Originating from childhood trauma, I suffer from anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD) - also known as borderline personality disorder (BPD). I have struggled with my mental health since I was 16 years old and I’m now 25. In that time I have become a qualified paediatric nurse and have, at times, received backlash from some people about my competence because of my diagnosis.
My most recent diagnosis is EUPD. EUPD is a disorder that 1 in 100 people have and one I feel is under researched and holds a lot of stigma. Before my diagnosis I was so confused as to why I felt the things I did, and so I breathed a sigh of relief when my psychiatrist spoke about EUPD to me as it all just made so much sense.
I have been cautious with speaking about my diagnosis to some people as I have unfortunately received comments that are unkind and hurtful. People with EUPD often struggle with how they think and feel about themselves and how they think and feel about other people. And so I worry a lot about how people will view me once they know I have mental health issues.
For a long time I suffered in silence and this unfortunately resulted in a suicide attempt where I was in intensive care.
I felt all of these intense emotions and didn’t know who I was anymore. I had not long qualified as a nurse, which I worked so hard to achieve, but I was living with a huge problem that I was receiving no help for.
EUPD is exhausting and I feel like my mind is on overdrive 24/7. I’ve taken time off of work occasionally when things get really tough, and I’m very lucky that the majority of my colleagues have always been supportive around my mental health. But as a person with EUPD I always have doubts in the back of my mind that they will be fed up of me, or think I’m wasting time, or shouldn’t be a nurse.
I feel that these negative thoughts stem from comments said to me over time and because of my own self-doubt. I felt like no one understood me and that I wasn’t not like other people. People who once spoke to me, and who I even saw as a friend, chose to cut contact with me. When struggling to explain myself to others, I was told that this was all a made up thing in my head and that I shouldn’t be trusted, because if I could make something like this up then what else would I be making up?
This made me feel so alone and I even began to believe that maybe it was all in my head and so I stopped speaking. I stopped trusting. All of which are traits of EUPD.
As soon as you mention the words ‘personality disorder’ people automatically think that it means you have this ‘nice and nasty’ side to you and that you’re unstable and untrustworthy. Having a personality disorder is far from this. EUPD is where you can feel so overwhelmed by the strength of emotions and how rapidly they change, it is the voice that tells you that you’re not worthy of love and that it is all your fault if bad things happen, and that you deserve this. With these intense feelings and peoples’ misconceptions it is hard to trust and open up to others.
Since working with the mental health team and being supported by friends and family I feel that my diagnosis is something I’m no longer ashamed of, and with a diagnosis I feel that my life has changed in ways I never thought they would. I feel empowered to speak out and want to embrace my individuality.
Close friends noticed changes in me and my mood swings and intense emotions and have taken it upon themselves to research EUPD, to find out more information and to gain an insight to what life with EUPD is like, and why I feel the things I do and sometimes say the things I say. I think that research is limited but there are some really good websites that help people to gain some understanding.
EUPD is a part of me but it doesn’t mean I’m a bad person. I have been a qualified paediatric nurse for almost 4 years now and am lucky to have a good circle of friends and family who I have immense amounts of love for.