Friday, 22 January 2010

Borderline Personality Disorder

I hate it.

I don't want it to be my diagnosis. I don't want professionals to look at my notes and think oh great, another bloody Borderline. I don't want to be thought of as a manipulative, attention seeking, pain in the arse. I don't want to have the diagnosis that all the professionals hate. If it was going to help me access specialist treatment, like a theraputic community, or DBT, then fair enough. But it isn't. The treatment I get is the same I would get without the BPD diagnosis, except with the added bonus of my psychiatrist telling me how lucky I am that they are providing me with treatment, as they generally turn down all PD referrals. Which I am assuming means that as soon as it isn't convenient for them to treat me I will be discharged. Perhaps I am being overly cynical here, but I have seen the difference in treatment I received from the Crisis Team before and after they knew I had a PD diagnosis. Before, I was getting daily visits, and although I generally scorn the crisis team, it was actually helping. Or it was at least stopping things from deteriorating. Then they found out I had a PD diagnosis and I never received another visit from them. It is all very well the NICE guidelines stating 'People with borderline personality disorder should not be excluded from any health or social care service because of their diagnosis', but this isn't the reality. People *are* refused treatment because of their diagnosis. I am lucky - I have L, who is possibly even more anti BPD diagnosis/stigma than I am. But if she were to leave I have no doubt that I would just be dropped. I want my diagnosis to be Depression again. There are no advantages for me in having a BPD diagnosis, and many disadvantages.

But also, I don't want to 'be' Borderline.
I don't want constant suicidal thoughts
I want to be able to have 'normal' relationships with people
I don't want to form ridiculously strong attachments to people who can't genuinely care about me in return
I don't want the crazy changes in mood
I don't want to get so angry over such minor things
I don't want that horrible empty feeling all of the time
I don't want to make impulsive decisions that lead to me being disappointed in myself

There are so many other things, too many to even go into. Some are more related to my Depression or Eating Disorder or Anxiety, but really it all links in. I don't know where one issue stops and another starts.

I don't want to be Borderline.
I don't want to be me.


  1. Many professionals would agree with you about the way a diagnosis of BPD is often misleading and counter-productive. I wonder whether the various professionals you are involved with would say that your treatment and your diagnosis are well matched — and if not, what they are planning to do about it.

  2. What I try to remember is that I'm not my illness. I am not bipolar just as you're not borderline. We have the illnesses but they ultimately don't have us. You're so much more that BPD. You're you underneath all of those labels and that's what matters.

    Take care xx

  3. What Em said. You're you, a multi dimensional person, who has had some shit times, and some shittier treatment because of three letters in a row. It's not fair, it really isn't the whole thing is just ridiculous. There was a time when I didn't know what BPD meant, I often feel like my life was better before then, before trait-gate, before there was paranoia and fear of going to the doctors because of my notes.

    Lola x

  4. I'm in agreement with Em it's an illnesses like any other but one you can recover from in time. It's a label and that's all... you have to want to change that and fight to change it. It can be done, it takes time often a long time but you can earn the words 'recovered' in your notes as much as the words 'BPD'.

    Alison x

  5. Firstly, thank you all for the comments (because we all know I am a comment whore!)

    cbtish - To be honest I don't know if they think the treatment I am receiving is appropriate for my diagnosis - I assume they must do to be giving it to me, but even if they didn't I doubt anything would be said, as there are no specialist services in my area, and to pay for me to get treatment out of area would mean inpatient treatment at a Theraputic Community or something, as there isn't even any specialist services in the surrounding trusts. And they are far too tight to do that! To be fair to them though, I do have a fantastic CPN who is committed to working with me despite me being a needy pain in the arse most of the time. So as long as I have her I won't whine too much. It just frustrates me that the BPD diagnosis blocks access to things like the Crisis Team, which could be useful, whilst not actually doing anything positive for me, as I would have my CPN with or without the diagnosis.

    Em/Lola/Alison - I know I am not my diagnosis. I am me. It just doesn't feel like it sometimes you know? When I say I don't want to be Borderline, no, I don't want the label, but what I really mean is that I don't want the thoughts and feelings that have given me the label. I don't want to live like this. I don't want my life to be a constant battle to stay alive. So no, the label sucks, and has many negatives, but it is what gave me the label in the first place that is the most negative thing, and that is the way my brain works.

  6. The diagnosis per se doesn't bother me, but the attitude towards it of so many mental health professionals most assuredly does. In particular, your point that they consider you lucky to be receiving any treatment resonates with me - my new psychiatrist basically said the same to me last week. Bastards.

    How dare they diminish the psychological suffering of people with this diagnosis? How dare they add to it, by treating us as attention-seeking manipulators? It enrages me. They are the very people that are meant to help, and yet they so often seem to want to do the opposite.

    I don't expect them to take responsibility for us all, but I damn well do expect to be treated as a human being, with a little bit of dignity and respect shown towards me.

    Sorry for ranting hun - hugs to you.

    SI x

  7. Oh rant away - I agree with you completely. Personally I haven't encountered too much stigma as the result of my diagnosis - I would say the only real time has been when the Crisis Team stopped seeing me, and that upset me a lot. And I couldn't ask for anyone to be more supportive and understand than L is. But generally I think the attitude of professionals towards BPD is outrageous.

  8. Sometimes I open up (or Wiki) DSM-IV at random and choose a new psychopathology for myself. It usually takes me about ten minutes or so to 'buy' into the label. I'm sure if I were under the auspices of a psychiatrist, I could get them to verify the label. You ain't those three letters.