Dear Mental Health Services: Please Don’t Judge Me Because I Have A Personality Disorder.

Borderline personality disorder is one of the most severe mental health conditions, and yet it remains one of the most highly stigmatised, even amongst professionals, like yourselves. As you are well aware, it is mainly the result of childhood trauma, and has been deemed the psychological equivalent of third degree burns.

Yet, despite the pain the condition inflicts, in your eyes, we are manipulative, dramatic, attention-seekers, and consequently overlooked, ignored, or even discharged by you when it comes to sharing how we are feeling. Many of us will even be refused therapy.

One look at the diagnosis and you label us as ‘overbearing’, and ‘too difficult to work with’. I just have to say this, why become a therapist if you’re incapable of treating the more challenging conditions? And why not meet the client in question first before passing judgement? This is a more common occurrence when it comes to ‘attachment issues’, prevalent in borderline personality disorder.

I’ll be the first to admit that I struggle with attachment issues, and research has shown me that mine are mild in comparison to some, but is treatment not required to improve both the symptom and pain endured by the sufferer?

It is because of your sheer ignorance that many of us will hide our symptoms, especially when it comes to suicidal ideation. I can recall opening up to a doctor about wanting to end my life and her reply was “Well, we can’t stop people from killing themselves”. I was left to go home, alone, despite everything that I had just disclosed to her. I’d spent all morning mustering up the courage to reach out, and she didn’t believe me.

Needless to say that a complaint was filed, but how would she feel if a loved one of hers was treated the same in their darkest hour? And how would you feel, for that matter? This is something that many of you professionals fail to realise. We aren’t ‘attention seekers’, we’re crying out for something or someone to take the pain away, yet instead you try to silence us with medication, the same medication that you say isn’t the cure for borderline personality disorder. How hypocritical of you all.

And why must you constantly compare us to the boy who cried wolf? Up to 80% of sufferers will attempt suicide at least once, and 9% will carry it out, making borderline personality disorder suicide rates 50 times that of the general population. While there’s no denying the fact that the condition does carry impulsiveness, do you not believe that the statistics alone are enough to both improve and increase the level of support provided?

3 thoughts on “Dear Mental Health Services: Please Don’t Judge Me Because I Have A Personality Disorder.

  1. Thanks for this post, unfortunately this has very much been my experience supporting people with a borderline diagnosis in the mental health system. The psychiatric world just seems to see the diagnosis and ignore the person, and so often people just get passed from ward to ward, discharged, end up back in hospital, discharged again, all without ever being treated as an individual or given the proper time and attention to find out what support they really need.

    Like

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