People make so many judgements about borderline personality disorder
When used as an adjective, the term ‘borderline’ means ‘only just acceptable in quality or as belonging to a category.’ This is why a lot of people make the assumption that borderline personality disorder is not quite a personality disorder, not quite a mental illness. It’s a term that creates confusion. Your personality is often used to describe who you are as a person, so being told you have a personality disorder makes it feel like there is something wrong with who you are. That’s tough to hear. The alternative is not great either – Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder. This immediately packs a punch; the assumption comes that the person with this label is likely to be unpredictable. It’s not going to be easy for someone to tell their employer that their diagnosis describes them as emotionally unstable, those are not the words that suggest a person is going to be reliable.
So what else do people think about those of us diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder? Well, I’ve heard and read a lot of things. I am expected to be manipulative, selfish and difficult to be around. Those are not nice descriptions to hear. It pains me that people might hear my diagnosis and put these attributes onto me. All of these beliefs that people hold about this illness are damaging in their own way.
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Living with mental illness is difficult. It is made even more difficult when so many people seem to struggle to have any empathy with you. They can understand sadness and anxiety and by extension, feel empathetic towards those with depression and anxiety disorders. However, it is a lot more difficult to understand a condition like BPD because of its complexity. Does that mean the assumptions and shame attached to it are fair? I don’t think so. Maybe it takes more work to understand some illnesses, but not putting the work in is harmful to the people that experience them.