We have to admit it, there is a huge stigma surrounding BPD. There once was a massive stigma around lots of mental health conditions that have since lessened and hopefully, one day, this will be the case for BPD. I’m writing this post because something needs to be done. I’m not saying that this post will change how people view BPD, but I am hoping it will help us to not be ashamed. Being ashamed and hiding our disorder, especially from those who should help us, is damaging and adding to the stigma.
Today, someone told me that they believe they have BPT but won’t talk to their doctor about it and tried to get misdiagnosed with a different disorder just so that they could still receive help without being ‘labelled’ as BPD. Firstly, this was heartbreaking to hear. Secondly, trying to get a misdiagnosis is NOT GOOD! You could be prescribed the incorrect medication, in receipt of the wrong treatment and without getting the correct diagnosis, you won’t truly be able to get help and recover from it. This isn’t me having a go, this is me understanding why you might want to hide away the fact that you have BPD but you won’t get any better.
I was misdiagnosed for 10 years, it did not help at all, I got no better, if not worse, and I would not recommend anyone purposely get themselves misdiagnosed. I’ve read comments about people getting misdiagnosed as Bipolar because it was easier for them to accept and those around them. You’ll end up receiving therapy, support and medication for Bipolar which won’t help you with BPD. It might help in some ways but therapy, support and medication for Bipolar are meant for Bipolar. If the medication helped every mental health issue, they’d just prescribe the same to every mental health patient, but they don’t and they don’t for a reason.
So, please, don’t be ashamed of you BPD. If you’re ashamed because of the stigma, hiding from it will only aid the stigma in its growth. Be proud, accept the help. We’re poorly and should not be ashamed of that. Some say, when a celebrity comes out and shares their BPD story, then the stigma will calm down, it will be deemed ‘acceptable’ to have BPD. But it doesn’t start with a celebrity, it starts with you, me, us. Learn about BPD, hopefully, this blog will teach you a lot, just as it has taught me. Educate others, talk about it. Show you’re not ashamed or afraid. Yes, we may hate that we have it, but I’m sure everyone with an illness hates their illness. The only difference is that we are ashamed of our illness when we have no need to be. Someone with cancer is not ashamed, they know it cannot be helped. People with Bipolar or Depression feel less ashamed as the stigma is being reduced. Someone with a broken leg does not feel ashamed. Be proud that you’re strong and acknowledging that you have BPD.