November 4, 2013

AimeeA while ago, a doctor in A&E told a very good friend of mine that her injury was 'a classic Borderline self-harm cut.' Later, a different doctor told my friend that her injury should never have been referred to like that and apologised profusely for the other Doctors words.

I have personally experienced a lot of stigma but I believe the majority of it was more because I couldn't find the words to explain why I would do the things I did. And if I didn't understand, then how would anyone else?

The medical professional just saw a young girl, with not a thing wrong in her life at present, overdosing, going to A&E then running away. Attention seeking. I can't blame them for assuming this because I understand that's what it looked like and once I could explain why I would do what I would, an Advanced Statement was put in place to prevent me ever being treated like 'just' an attention seeker.

I think the worst treatment I've had has been from police. I've been called a 'spoilt cow,' I've been asked why I like attention so much and have been labelled a time-waster.

The thing is, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) itself means that people living with it find it difficult to name their feelings and emotions but this is no excuse for others to just assume what they may be. I've heard patients say they don't want to leave hospital; this doesn't mean they like it or enjoy it, it doesn't mean they're attention seekers - it can mean they're institutionalized or that they feel safer in this setting.

I've heard girls say they don't want to get better but that doesn't mean they like being ill; it could be because it's all they feel like they know, they're used to it. It could be because they feel more supported when they're poorly.

When people make negative assumptions about you, it leaves you feeling not only misunderstood but lonely and unsupported. Feeling like no one can or wants to help can be the beginning of something very bad. Just because I have the BPD diagnosis does not stop me being human.

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Well said!

Hi Aimee, you've said a lot of how I feel too. Treatment by doctors, the police or nurses is sometimes much beyond just being unfriendly. It hurts most when you get the same reaction from friends or former friends "Oh she just reacts like that because she has BPD, just ignore her". Luckily some people can also be really nice and helpful. Sadly I've just moved and now have to find any of them.

thank you soon much for this!

thank you soon much for this! Reading this was like looking in a mirror. I have harmed badly and people can't understand, and when people don't understand they don't always know how to react. I find BPD hard because it makes me feel like I'm a bad person because there is something wrong with my personality. thank you for writing this. You have lifted my spirits today.


I think it was really brave of you to share your experience with ys amy.I too am living with bpd and have experienced stigma and discrimination,mainly from family and friends.probably the reason i dont have friends too.but like you i have also experienced stigma from the police and from A&E.But at the moment im having dbt and its helping a little but im still in early stages.


Hi I noticed you have started DBT. I wondered how you were getting on. I know you are still only going through,the first sections. I did DBT for 3 yes and found it,extremely good and, although very very hard work, i really felt the benefit. I finished in 2009 and still use the toolkits. I am nowhere near cured and I don't feel for 1 minute I would/will ever be cured, I am just able to manage my life far better. I wish you well with your DBT hun.

Know it all too well

I don't have your diagnosis, but I know a lot of those feelings. I don't want to get better- not that I ENJOY being like this, I just don't deserve anything better. Some of my doctors have been truly amazing and life saving...others have driven me further into myself and confirmed my self-hatred. It's amazing what a few off-hand comments can do to a person. I am so glad you have that statement in place, but I wish no one was dealt with as an attention seeking. If someone is using self-harm or worse to get attention, I would not class that person as healthy. But that's just me. Best of luck with your health and happiness and thank you for the blog

Hi Aimee, Thank you for your

Hi Aimee, Thank you for your blog. I also suffer from BPD and so often people don't understand. I have been to hospital many times through self harm and yet if I manage not to just walk out I end up getting fixed up and shipped out even if I really cant face walking back home back to being alone in my flat for days on end.


I know exactly what you are saying. After years of bulimia, self harm and depression I sort help. I was told by a lead psychiatrist that I had bpd who then laughed at me. Told me to leave the room, whilst they told my husband 'how to deal with me when I was difficult?' I was referred for therapy and was told that I wouldn't get better as I there was nothing wrong with me and that it was all in my head. Only after another hospitalisation they accused me of being deliberately uncooperative and therefore beyond help and that I was wasting there time. A year later, I was finally diagnosed with having bipolar II. After all the medication failed and I was completely hypo! To this today that meeting where I was treated appalling still haunts me. Why would someone train in mental health, and then want to be so cruel and spiteful to their patients. I tried to complain but no one would take it seriously.

a way to complain

hi this is absolutely appauling treatment.i dont know wether u have heard of p.a.l.s its an organisation you can use to complain about how was treated.theyre really good.

bpd hard to find help?

I have bpd and lived with it for 29 years, im still trying to get help, i think its that most doctors, police, other poeple in high power jobs are psychopaths and get off on messing with other poeples lives...

Thankyou for this Aimee -

Thankyou for this Aimee - those forms of stigma have got to be some of the worst, and they're usually from professionals who should know better, and they're usually things that are said when you're at your very sickest! Such a good idea to have an advanced statement in place.

who cares about them

I honestly feel people w/o "mental illness" are the most uncentered...Whatever they Don't understand they deem wrong while we tend to be open minded


i have had bpd for 8 years now and i am starting a therapy called dbt next week ......i often attend hospital as i feel it is a safe place to be or often i selfharm and have to be there ... but some doctors can be right ass's but thats because they havent got the intelligence or knowledge to expand behond there own world ... BUT WE CAN !!!!!


I suffer with BPD also depression, anxiety, mood disorders, eating disorder. I am getting help with these at the moment. Still i feel terrible, some people (partner) do not have any empathy, remorse of how he makes me feel, my emotions are so intense and i am struggling with life.

dont worry

UR NOT ALONE !!!!!!! i commented yesterday on ur blog about not having the knowledge or intelligence but you know what sometimes it is pure ignerance,.... (sometimes) you get some fantastic people as in doctors and nurses not yet come across one but maybe in the future ... im not happy having bpd i hate being a so called attention seeker .. i have been told im a time waster... , attention seeker..., bitch... ect no im not lying either so many people have a negative stigma towards bpd but u know what i am going to change i am going to prove them all wrong and i am going to create change .... i want to leave a footprint in this world...

First time I've opened up

Its so nice and reassuring when you can see that your not the only one with Mental Health problems & that there are others out there who understand how you feel! This is the first time I have freely opened up and this blog makes so much sense to me! I have been to a&e and have had nurses make comments about me and judge me the momment I am brought in, but on the other hand I have had a nurse who just wanted to make sure I was okay and protect me! I suffer with depression, anxiety, bulimia, PTSD and they are starting think I may have BPD, its confusing with all these medical terms being thrown at me and I am just moving over to the adult services so I'm really struggling to deal with it all but just reading through some of these blogs is reassuring :)


I have BPD and have suffered with it from being 13years old, I'm now 22 and only just found an doctor that isn't patronising or acts like there above me because of my mental illness. It's extremely lonely having a mental illness especially when all your friends and majority or all of your family don't have any issues. I feel like I shouldn't have issues as I'm happily married and my grandmother and grandfather have raised me and I love them more than anything and they are my mum and dad but I still feel low a lot of the time and slip back into self harm

Thank you!

Hi Aimee! I have been thrown around the mental health world for almost 10 years now. Finally, after what seemed to be a million different medications and diagnosis, I am sure I fit the final one. I also have BPD. It is such a struggle, and stigma surrounds it with no remorse. Its insane the things that are assumed about this particular "label" BPD. I would like to share something with you that I came across innocently today while searching the net. Here is the link: I was, of course, very sensitive to what was said on this site. It sparked something in me. It was like every misconception possible was there. Written by someone with seemingly no knowledge of what life with this is like. She was aiming to change the lives of people having the "hardship" of "dealing" with us. Making us out to be just horrible people. Narcissistic, seductive, three year olds trapped in adult bodies, that need to be taught structure and rules When asked on a forum if a girl should continue a relationship with a BPD patient, her response was a short, "dont." And that was that. It was insanity, I felt personally. She even brought murder into it, as if we are demonic half and halves. She went on to say that BPD is not an illness and then to further it by saying that we are in control and that the parts of us that are terrible, do pretty much define us. I was heartbroken, and for a short few minuets thought that I could be that person described. But the fact of the matter is, I am not. And the people described in there, are not anything like me, or anyone I have met. I stumbled across this, and I feel that you are very brave for posting your thoughts and wise words for everyone dealing and even those not dealing with it, to understand further inside the mind of a borderline personality patient. Thank you, again. It means a lot.

Treatment at the er

I am here at the er and while seeing the nurse she asked to see my wound. I showed her and she said" You did a really good job" I said excuse me? She said you made yourself a nice deep cut without asking me anything. You know what ignorant nurse I have been working my butt off in DBT therapy, yoga, counceling I quit smoking and have not done harmbto myseld in over 6 months after battling BPD.How dare you. Why do these ignorant cruel people even work in healthcare. It makes me do sad and I will speak my mind, get well and fight for the well treatment of others with mental illness. I am here for a reason.

My Heart Goes out To You

I don't suffer from BPD but your words have touched my world so much. My daughter has BPD, Bulimia and a number of other diagnoses, too many to mention in fact. I have tried to fight and help her through her illness. Telling her to trust doctors and healthcare workers etc .... sadly however her experiences have been like yours ... over for years, so many times. Not only mistreatment from the medical profession. Strangers, friends, family all have an opinion, which different from other illnesses they are not hesitant in passing judgement on or casting aspersions. I try and build her up only for her bravery to be dashed by loose comments and hurtful opinions. If she cannot understand then how can she explain. I have sat there while she has been assessed for sectioning. Being told that she has the choice to stay in hospital voluntarily or to be sectioned. The choice of no choice. Surely if someone is able to make the decision of whether they will voluntarily be in hospital then they have the capacity for decision? We have been fighting now for 4 years and still her notes are lost, care workers unsympathetic, and she is told just to stop wasting the time of the crisis teams. Even after she woke from an induced coma after a massive overdose she took when the crisis team in Berkshire just said 'pull herself together' we are no nearer to anyone helping her. My daughter is still fighting and I am very proud of her. If only she had support, understanding and contact with others who can say 'i feel the same and you are not different' then possibly the hopes i try to give her would be felt by her. All of you who have written on this page are very brave. You are very strong and I for one know how hard you are battling every day of your lives. <3


bpd I find hard to deal with I am doing dbt at the moment its hard work but its worth it

BPD as result of abuse. Mistreatment by services

Hi I am so sorry to hear that others out there like me are being dismissed or mistreated by so called 'professionals' and/or 'care' workers. It disgusts me. I was diagnosed with BPD 6 months ago and also have complex PTSD (I have been the victim of rape and abuse by my own family). All of 2016 has been a process and I have been in and out of A&E with suicidal tendancies and self-harm. In my case it seems the people who are most caring are the police who take me there. Unfortunately I know what I will be met with once I arrive. They say that I have all the helplines and should use them. Go home and take a diazepam and rest. Dont do anything stupid. When they say 'we are an emergency department, what do you expect from us...this is something you will have to learn to live with and get on with things' it makes me feel hopeless. I am there because I do not trust my impulsiveness. A temporary safe place. I have had some shocking things said to me by helplines and CPN's. Of course, once they trigger me I sometimes end up carrying out unhelpful coping strategies causing further damage. Im then told 'you cant behave like a child, grow up and accept the harsh reality of life and the only tiny bit of hope for you is MBT, even that might not work since you dont seem to want to help yourself'. All I ever do is work so hard on getting better! The services make me feel so much worse and I have no family/friends and feel trapped. I have so many different masks I wear to protect myself for whatever sitation I may find myself in. I haven't been to a psychiatric hospital because they told me it wont help me (even when I expressed i was suicidal & desperate). I was actually told that the services are p*ssed off with me because I have been in crisis for a month. What are people with BPD meant to do when faced with this? It's disgusting! So to everyone who is facing the stigma and hostility when trying to get help, I can only empathise with yous and say that unfortunately its all too common. Lets hope we can try and get them to understand!

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