Having borderline personality disorder (BPD) can be both challenging and confusing. Due to the stigma surrounding personality disorders, I was too embarrassed to tell anyone. I was scared that I would be judged and abandoned by people. This can be isolating as trusting to talk to somebody is extremely hard.
People with BPD are not a stringent check list. The myth that comes with BPD is damaging, especially when you are the one struggling. Words can be devastating, words like, manipulative, narcissistic, not a nice person. If I had any of those traits, I wouldn't be fighting the peoples fight against discrimination and the stigma of ill-judgement. This goes for others that I know with the same diagnosis. People need educating on this disorder.
Meeting others with an array of different mental health struggles helped me as I don’t judge them, nor do they judge me. This makes me feel accepted and understood. As a result, we all support each other.
With support, understanding and educating people that aren’t knowledgeable about mental health problems, both stigma and discrimination will keep on diminishing.
Unfortunately, I have been on the receiving end of discrimination. Others that I know in similar situations, who also have a mental health problem, have also been on the forefront of this inexcusable behaviour. Shockingly enough, most experiences have resonated from professional multi-disciplinary teams such as doctors, nurses, and other professionals.
As a result, people struggling, including myself, have been made to feel dejected, abandoned and marked for the rest of our lives as less than a person. Through volunteering and starting a group, we all realise how strong, empathetic, and genuine we are. Through strength in numbers, we can continue to fight for mental health in education, holding our heads up high and accepting that we are beautifully flawed.
It’s time to shine and all be proud of who we are. We don’t need to change, it’s the ignorance of others that needs to. The more we speak, the more we learn, and the less discrimination and stigma there will be.
Once I was ashamed of admitting I had a mental health condition, I would hibernate from the world. Now, I hold my head up high and grow stronger with each day. My passion is also well used in helping others now and them also helping me. The key is to never give up the fight in helping and supporting others who struggle each day with mental illness.