Creativity in people with BPD
Creativity is defined as “the use of imagination or original ideas to create something”. That means you can break creativity down into two elements — imagination or/and originality and creating. The former is often what is found in bounty in people with BPD. We have vivid imaginative capacities and also an ability to find interesting perspective to things that most wouldn’t. We also have the innate knack of over-analyzing things beyond the grasp of most people and beyond the realms of four-dimensional reality.
Let's explore the brain of a person with BPD to understand what happens inside. We possess highly sensitive and reactive limbic system (emotional centers of the brain)which lends us the ability to experience an emotional depth that can kill most people. We also have highly permeable skin to emotions such that we can sense emotions of someone who hasn't even felt them yet. We can easily put ourselves in the shoes of people, characters and even animals. Such emotional relativity lends us the ability to learn from the experience of others. It also makes us extremely empathetic to the suffering of others.
We also tend to possess sensitive sense organs. There is quite a bit research around this. While this makes us sensitive to crowds, noises and smells, it also empowers us to detect triggers that could easily be missed by a non-bpd mind. For us, sensitivity and sensibility are sisters making up two sides of a coin. What looks like a curse can be twisted to benefit both us and those around us. I can tell you exactly what ingredient you missed in a dish. I can tell from a mile's radius if someone is smoking. But don't go on comparing me with a dog's snout. We are human after all, way too human.
When you live such emotionally charged existence, your subconscious also develops a vivid personality. Your dream world is so exciting that what most people called reality is no more interesting than a dead rat. Reality stinks, rots and has a sort of naked existential vulnerability that reflects the brutal inevitability of its vapid monotony. How do I know this? Because my inner life invites me into its surreal theater more seductively than what any human being ever could.
Reality stinks, rots and has a sort of naked existential vulnerability that reflects the brutal inevitability of its vapid monotony.
You cannot possibly contain this sort of intensity but learn to channelize it in the right outlet. This is hard for most people with BPD minds. However, some of us who do find at least a semblance of stability, can release this emotionality into positive directions - artistic work, innovative perspectives and finding new solutions to dated problems. One outlet is through emotional expression as in art forms (writing, painting, photography) and the other through developing newer coping mechanisms by churning the creativity of our minds (entrepreneurship, drive to help people, innovative solutions).
Sylvia Plath, the famous posthumously diagnosed writer with BPD is an exemplary example of artistic finery. In her short years on the planet, her body of work speaks miles about her creativity and suffering simultaneously. Also, Jim Morrison, Marcel Proust (I think Proust was a person with BPD), Amy winehouse and Angelina Jolie. Many of them died an early death but their work continues to shine to this day.
However, and this is where the catch or what scriptwriters call the climax of the story comes. Living so intensely that each emotion- pain, pleasure, helplessness, joy, excitement - is a thousand (if not a million) times more intense and unpredictable also makes a person highly prone to maladjusting in society. To really be a part of this vapid degrading monotony that compromises living. To engage in tasks necessary for human survival but appear as unappealing as a dead rat. They might fascinate and provoke a certain philosophical inquiry but are after a while, tedious and yes, disgusting!
To conclude, only if a person with BPD finds in their indomitable spirit to bear with the obligations of existence can their emotional richness and artistic gift find a meaningful outlet. Because ultimately, we have to perform in reality, however long we might choose to exist in our inner transcendence.