I’ve decided to compile a series of blog posts on different MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS. As you all know, positive mental health is something that I support 110% and I play an active role in trying to destigmatise these illnesses and help people to understand them more. However, I can’t help but notice that although we’re all working hard to “destigmatise” mental health issues, that some of them are being left out. It seems that only the more popular and talked about illnesses such as depression and anxiety are being discussed, and I don’t like that. Sure, it’s great for me because I suffer from anxiety, but what about the people who suffer from schizophrenia, manic disorder, and all those other illnesses? I feel like people are still afraid of these illnesses, and that’s why I’m going to try my best to have them explained from the point of view of somebody who has experienced the illness themselves. This way it’s humanized, and will be easier for people to understand and in some ways relate to. I want to destigmatise mental health issues, and I want to do it the right way. There is no mental illness that deserves to be left out.
People are becoming more and more aware of mental illness, and yet somehow our knowledge is still limited. Borderline Personality Disorder is a condition which usually stays with you for life. People recover but it’s always a part of you. The illness is quite often confused with depression, anxiety and even bipolar disorder which can make it even more difficult for Borderlines to receive the help that they need. My mental health deteriorated around the age of 12 and it wasn’t until I was almost 16 that I received the diagnosis. This changed everything for me. Everything made sense all of a sudden.
Borderline Personality Disorder mainly affects my mood and my relationships. I can go from absolutely fine to suicidal in the space of a few hours. I am also extremely impulsive. I look back at some of the things that I have done and fail to understand what was going through my head to make me do it. The mixture of anxiety, depression and rapid cycling mood can be so much to deal with.
Borderlines often end up in unstable relationships. These may be romantic relationships or even friendships. Due to this it is hard for us to find people we trust and often get attached when we do find someone. Getting attached to people can be extremely tough for us when it comes to leaving, and can make our mental health deteriorate even more.
I have also spent a while in psychiatric hospitals. This was a blessing and a curse. At times it made me even more depressed and frustrated. I had several diagnoses thrown at me only to find out that it wasn’t that. At times I was so drugged up that I spent the majority of my days in bed.
Medication is only part of the treatment for BPD. Extensive therapy is required and it can take quite a while to build a bond with your therapist especially when you’re scared of getting attached and having to leave.
Many people with BPD are often labelled as ‘attention seeking’ and this is really upsetting, especially when all you want is help from someone. I often get told to ‘just get a grip’ which makes me extremely angry. It’s hard to reach out knowing that you will immediately be put down. Please never criticise someone when they tell you about their problems, regardless of how petty they sound. We all have different definitions of the world ‘problem’ and by telling someone that their issues aren’t important, you could potentially stop them from reaching out and getting appropriate help. In an ideal world, there would be no stigma around mental health and we could all talk openly about it. This would be so beneficial to many people suffering as they would know that it is okay to ask for help.