Working from Home with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

March 1, 2021 Kate Beveridge

Holding down a job and working from home with borderline personality disorder (BPD) can both be challenging at times. The fluctuating, unstable emotions can get in the way of good work performance and maintaining a positive reputation. Working from home with BPD presents unique challenges and advantages. 

Why I Started Working from Home with BPD

I worked in customer service and sales for more than seven years. All of my positions were front-facing, meaning that I was constantly interacting with people throughout my workday. Especially in my customer service role, I was required to smile, make conversation, and be generally positive with all members of the public.

This could be challenging at times. When I was feeling very low and devoid of energy and emotion, I still had to pretend. Some days this was actually helpful, and the simple action of smiling for hours would elevate my mood. However, other days were more torturous. I felt empty inside, but I had to spend the entirety of my limited energy on projecting positivity.

Sometimes I would have breakdowns at work because of stress or suicidal feelings. I was also regularly late, particularly when my depression symptoms were strong. I used to take antidepressants, and when I increased my dosage and eventually quit, I had to take days off because my brain was in a haze.

Overall, I was not a model employee. I could go for months pretending like nothing was wrong, but the act of working in public was slowly dragging me down. 

The Positives of Working from Home with BPD

I've been working from home for about a year now. I work as a freelance writer, so I have week-long deadlines and no restrictions on my day-to-day routine. If I want, I can write from bed for a few hours, take a nap, and then continue working. This has its advantages and disadvantages.

One of the main advantages of working from home with BPD is that I don't have to put on an emotional mask. If I am having a difficult and tumultuous day, only my husband and my dog will see it. If I feel particularly low, I can work intermittently from the bed and take a lot of breaks without a manager breathing down my neck. I can work around my moods and focus my efforts when I am feeling most productive. 

The Negatives of Working from Home with BPD

One of the key negatives of working freelance is job insecurity. I live with a lot more anxiety because I always worry that there won't be more work. One month, I lost 90% of my work in a single weekend and had to start from scratch. Not having a boss has its drawbacks when I can't guarantee long-term income.

I also have to have a lot more self-discipline. No one is monitoring my work hours, so I need to motivate myself to work for hours every day and meet deadlines. If I have a bad day and don't work one day, I need to make up that time later in the week. This can be challenging if I am passing through some difficult emotions, but it's a matter of practice. 

Overall, I have to be my own boss and monitor my emotional state. I can give myself concessions and take time off when I am feeling awful, but I also have to be tough and make sure that I complete tasks. This can take an emotional toll, but it is still preferable to working in customer service.

Do you have a regular job work from home with BPD? Or both? Do you notice that your BPD or other mental illness affects your job performance? Let me know your experiences in the comments. 

APA Reference
Beveridge, K. (2021, March 1). Working from Home with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Author: Kate Beveridge

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