A 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.