Borderline Personality Disorder is a tough diagnosis. I am not saying that other mental health diagnosis aren’t but BPD in particular seems to have a huge stigma around it.
Some of this is down to the media falsely representing it but also just plain ignorance.
The name seems to suggest that we have a disordered, bad or broken personality. This is what I first assumed, as did many people I know who were diagnosed.
Borderline personality disorder – What I wish I was told
- There are no specific medications for BPD but there are medications we can try to ease the symptoms of the issues you have along side it. (My case depression, anxiety, anorexia.) It may take a long time to find a medication that works for you. These medications may take up to 6 weeks to begin to take effect. They may make you feel worse at first but those symptoms should ease.
- There are many types of therapies – being told about all of them would have really helped. Letting me know which ones could be available to me would also have been helpful. DBT, MBT and Psychotherapy are most helpful for a BPD diagnosis.
- If you don’t get on with your therapists, Psychiatrist, CPN then you can change them. BPD can cause problems with making and maintaining relationships. I wish I was told that this will be understood.
- The diagnosis of BPD can be a blessing as well as a curse at times. You will feel emotions very intensely, the good and the bad. You care very deeply for others but don’t let this hamper your recovery by putting others before yourself all the time.
- There will be very hard days. But what is important is talking to family and professionals and staying alive. Those days when all you do is breathe and remain with us are enough. Be proud of yourself for the little achievements because when you look back they will actually be your biggest.
- You will probably not be able to work for a while. THAT IS OK! Embrace this time. Use this time to focus on you and concentrate on whats important – getting better. Practice lots of self care and NEVER feel guilty for needing time to get better.
- You will probably come across people who do not understand and may make insensitive remarks but this is not because of you. This comes from lack of knowledge. Stay strong and learn to open up to only those you trust. You do not need to be an open book.
- You will get better! If you take a step back and let people help you and guide you through difficult times you will be ok. There will be times you don’t agree and there may be disagreements or even arguments but this is ok too. These will probably be the things that push you to do things that you don’t believe you can. It will be so worth it!
- You are so strong. You are brave. You are loved. You will inspire others with BPD.
Some of the points above could also be applied to Depression, Anxiety, Eating disorders and many other mental health issues.
The above list are some of the things I look back on and really wish I was told or had a professional say to me. It is such a difficult, scary, confusing time having a diagnosis of any mental health issue. Especially a diagnosis you know very little about or seems to suggest you have a disordered or bad personality.
Almost every single thing I know about Borderline personality disorder I have found out myself. Through reading articles and stories online. Buying books and talking to others who have the same diagnosis. But should it really be up to us? Yes, we do need to take some responsibility for our own lives but when we are at our lowest, worst and scariest of places, surely we should be given some of this information? Especially the positive parts. If not directly to us then to our family members, carers or friends?
I hope some of the list above helps you, whether you are the one suffering or whether you know someone that has a diagnosis.
Please be kind always. You never know what battle someone may be facing.
Lots of love
Reproduced with permission, originally published here