It is hard to answer your questions the way it is framed, because I do not believe BPD exists as a discrete, valid diagnosis. I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, actually, when I was 18 years old. I had most of the symptoms of the so-called disorder at that time. But, I have now long ago ceased to have enough of the symptoms to be diagnosable with it, if it even exists. I did therapy and got help from some kind friends and family which really helped.
Basically, my answer is that the best thing is to recover from the "disorder" so that you can do whatever job you want to do. This is possible. I was unable to function several years ago - had to drop out of college- and was so depressed that I could not return for about a year, and believed I would never be able to do any kind of demanding job. But, today I work a challenging but rewarding 45-hour-a-week job in a professional field that pays well.
Below I copied an answer I gave to another question about BPD. I don't believe labels like BPD are helpful - they only make people think more negatively about themselves, and don't promote recovery or the strengths which everyone has in them, at least potentially.
Yes, I had it and I have recovered from it.
When I was 18, I was diagnosed with BPD by a psychiatrist. I had severe mood swings, overwhelming anxiety, was scared when my mother or father would leave me alone for even a day or two, hated some people and idealized others, would feel periodically completely hopeless, had suicidal ideation, etc. etc. etc. Almost all the classic borderlines symptoms, I had. I had been severely physically abused by my father for many years, had a mother who provided me with little protection from this, and our family was characterized by silence and non-communication among everyone. This abuse and neglect clearly were the main causes of my illness, since I grew up to feel worthless, scared, and afraid of how I was going to be independent in life and survie at all.
Today, I am 27 and I have a full-time job which I really enjoy, I have some good friends, have been able to date women, am not depressed or anxious most of the time, and feel much better and more confident about things.
What helped me was individual psychotherapy and group therapy, both of which I did, and doing my own research on BPD and finding out that a lot of the information out there about it is simply wrong. I.e., The ideas that BPD is a life-long condition, that is very unlikely to be recovered from, or that it's genetic/biological and can't be cured, only medicated, are all massive distortions.
Here are several sources which can provide you with some optimism:
A.J. Mahari's website - borderlinepersonality.ca - this is by a fully recovered borderline who no longer has the disorder and writes about how she got better. Her tips are right on the money, from my experience of how I got better.
Tami Green's website - borderlinepersonalitysupport.com - another recovered borderline who writes about how to get help and recover. She actually testified before U.S. Congress how she had recovered and how BPD is very treatable.
Some books I have read - I have read dozens of books about borderlines who have recovered. There are many treatment accounts by psychodynamic therapists writing in the last few decades. Many of their patients recovered completely or improved greatly, if they had a good therapist and were able/willing to stay in treatment. Here are a few of those books:
1 - The Bad Object - Jeffrey Seinfeld
2 - The Difficult Borderline Patient, Not So Difficult to Treat - Helen Albanese
3 - The Search for the Real Self - James Masterson
4 - 6 Steps in the Treatment of Borderline Personality Organization - Vamik Volkan
5 - Borderline Patients, the Psychosomatic Focus, and the Therapeutic Process - Peter Giovacchini
You could get several of these off Amazon for a relatively low cost. Some of them are technical and a little hard to read, but they are very positive about how borderlines can do. I especially recommend the first two.
Most importantly, I have my own lived experience - the knowledge that one can go through extremely difficult experiences, even into despair, and come out of it through persistence, belief, and support from other people to eventually recover and fell well.
Don't lose hope. You are still young and there is a lot you can do to change things. If you want someone to talk to about your problems, feel free to email me. Tarantiodace2012@yahoo.com
Answered By: Tarantio - 9/20/2012