October 25, 2012

Paisley TreeWhen, aged 17, I found myself at rock bottom and in a fit of absolute despair was admitted to a psychiatric unit. I saw a string of doctors during my time there and various diagnoses were discussed. Bipolar seemed to be the most likely conclusion but, during a particularly erratic and incoherent period in my illness, the term ‘borderline personality disorder’ was mentioned. That scared me. Not in and of itself but because by that point I’d seen how nursing staff had responded to the girls on the unit labelled ‘borderlines’.

The staff seemed to project different meanings onto the behaviours of those with borderline personality disorder. Self harm, for example, was treated with sympathy in people with depression but the girls with borderline personality disorder were often castigated for using it to ‘manipulate’ staff. It also seemed like there was a reluctance to move these girls over from the day unit to inpatient in a crisis situation – a general perception that they were ‘trying it on’. The list could go on; I had a general impression that they were seen as second class patients.

my condition improved and the possibility of me having borderline personality disorder was dismissed

Time went on, my condition improved and the possibility of me having borderline personality disorder was dismissed. I was still left feeling uneasy about the way those girls were viewed but perhaps I’d been imagining it? The girls in question were the only other adolescent girls on the unit so it’s perhaps unsurprising that I paid particular attention to the way they were treated. Yes, perhaps that was it, the nursing staff were professionals after all!

Fast forward ten years and I’ve stayed well enough to finish college and university and to start my career. One afternoon at work was set aside for ‘Mental Health Awareness’ training. I’d silently giggled at the title as for much of my life I’ve been painfully ‘aware’ of mental health!

It seemed a lot like any other training session. Two trainers clicked through a series of slides and delivered basic but reasonably solid information on common mental illnesses. Then a slide came up labelled ‘personality disorders (borderline)’. The trainer looked somewhat disgruntled, ‘Well, we’ve got to talk about this’ she sighed ‘but I’m not sure we should have deal with these people as mental health professionals, we should leave them to the social workers really. I mean, they call it a mental illness but they’re really just being a pain in the arse sometimes’.

The slide remained up and she managed to list a whole host of other prejudicial generalisations

What’s appalling is that my first response wasn’t anger, but shame; was that what a doctor had once considered was the problem with me? Not ill, just a ‘pain in the arse’? The slide remained up and she managed to list a whole host of other prejudicial generalisations ‘They’re the kind of people who turn up pestering the doctor a lot…. You can often tell someone’s borderline because their speech or their clothing will be very weird… when you see ‘bag ladies’ around town a lot of them will be borderline’.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! I’d known girls with borderline personality disorder well and none of them were trying to be a pain in the arse, from what they told me they were struggling with extremes of emotion that I can’t even imagine. Their realities were often terrifying with a heightened threat perception or permanent fear of abandonment and they found themselves carried along by extremes of mood that left them feeling powerless and frustrated. None of the things the trainer was telling us rang true. I had no idea of the extent of the prejudice against borderline personality disorder and certainly wouldn’t expect it from mental health professionals who presumably know better.

To my shame I didn’t say anything during the session

To my shame I didn’t say anything during the session. I struck dumb by incredulity and self-consciousness but when I’d had time to gather my thoughts I put in an official complaint. To my even greater shame it may be the case that the staff on the psych unit all those years ago were indeed treating the girls on the unit prejudicially and I looked on and said nothing.

What I find shocking is that, ten years on, the prejudice seems more entrenched than ever and it’s entirely self-perpetuating. People with borderline personality disorder fear speaking out because they’re aware that expressing hurt, anger or indignation can be interpreted as simply ‘being borderline’ and that being labelled non-compliant can affect their treatment. What seems clear is that this attitude is institutionalised, these attitudes have no hope of changing if they are not challenged first from within the professional community. Borderline personality disorder is one of the least visible mental illnesses but one of the most – if not the most - in need of anti-stigma message.

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Borderline personality disorder discrimination

I can relate to this. I was told by a Psychologist that, 'it would take a lot of time and commitment on both sides to treat me and that it just wasn't available.' It left me feeling that the only way to get help would be through hurting myself I fear that there are many people out there who are missing out on potentially life saving support due to these attitudes.

That's shameful.

Wow, I've never heard of this before. The stigma seems so unjust and mental health professionals who share this negative opinion should be ashamed of themselves.

I have autism witch had

I have autism witch had apprentley led to me also having autism, I have been having problems sleeping and am paranoid people are used by the devil to do bad things to me so I will commit suicide. I've been trying for years to get some kind of help and I need someone to help me. When I ask I am spoken to badly witch must be extremely bad as I can't always tell due to autism. I feel the whole world has turned there back to simply because some metal health professionals don't like me (probably because of my different autistic behaviour) so all I have left is to commit suicide. I've asked everyone for help, I have begged for help and faced nothing but mistreatment being passed around and discrimination. I've been treated like I am a bad person and spoken to so badly that even I notice and I can be friends with bullies and not notice? Any way I hope you all the best and good luck I hope you have a great life and beta treatment than me ❤️


Hi there, I'm really concerned about your post and I really think it's a good idea to call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 - they don't judge, and they will listen to you. There is always hope - know that there are people out there that can help you to get the support that you need. Take care, Crystal at Time to Change

Never give up trying!

Hi, I sympathise with the comments you made in your post. Please never give up trying! It takes a brave person & one with courage to ask for help, especially when you are struggling in the depths of bpd. Its disgraceful that far too many mental health professionals lack the compassion and ethics needed in their chosen jobs! Please make a formal complaint against the professionals that have denied you treatment. Nobody should be treated this way and especially not by those who have a responsibility to help you or refer you to someone who can. I suspect my partner has bpd, & it breaks my heart to see him suffering in so much emotional pain. I have been in this relationship 3 years now & i knew something wasn't quite right with him at the start. It was more than a year later before I came across a website on bpd. I felt relief at first that I had finally found some answers that explained the erratic and depressive mood disturbances I saw with my partner & now i feel nothing but despair due to the lack of help on offer for him. It was another 6 months later when he was at rock bottom and on the edge of suicide that I went to his doctors with him to see a therapist for diagnosis and treatment. The therapist may as well have passed him a rope with her unprofessionalism. First she said i couldn't be in the room during the assessment & to wait outside but he insisted I be present. Then during the assessment she refused to listen to anything I tried to say. Its a symptom of bpd to project blame and negative behaviors onto others so when he sat there & denied all the symptoms for this disorder during the questionaire(which could have led to a diagnosis.) I said to her "I think he has bpd" I was met with a hostile response from her telling me that was a very serious mental disorder so I shouldn't be making these assumptions when I wasn't qualified to do so! I was speechless! I was trying to help my partner seek treatment as hes 38 years old and struggled all his adult life with this disorder. When I told him about the disorder he agreed he thinks he has this from the symptoms he experiences. He told me it is destroying him inside and in immense pain. He often isolates himself and hides away in his flat & withdraws to the point he doesn't function, just sleeps for long periods, other times he becomes hyper and will not sleep for days on end while calling me non stop & sending me abusive emails. He needs help.

BPD NHS code for abuse this person

It's 2 and a quarter years now I've experienced the harsh and quite frankly abusive reality of the BPD label. I've never fulfilled the diagnostic criteria and dispite the books saying BPD starts in late childhood or adulesence mine started 4 years after my menopause. I've experienced MH treatment under a different label which dispite it's many failings was excellent compared with how I'm now treated with BPD electronically attached to my medical records. I've been homeless 3 times since diagnosis, being in extreme physical pain and being upset was enough Dr said I wasn't in physical pain, painkillers helped. I know how it feels to be faced with the choice of a doorway or abuse. To have a relative say "yes I know you were being abused in that hospital but you were acting strangely so you needed to be there" how is someone supposed to act when being abused? I have greatest respect for anyone who has survived BPD treatment I've never had any treatment for it, but from what I've read about DBT it sounds a bit to much like the conversation therapy homosexuals were given for my liking. A CPN did once show me a DBT manual and tell me I should buy it and do DBT on myself (£40+ and I was forced to us soup kitchens due to extortionate rent at time). I actually think that NHS MH services produce symptoms of BPD in people with long term MH problems due to lack of resources. If a person shows intelligence then some feel completely wrongly that they can't be mentally ill and must have BPD with all the stigmatised nonsense that goes with it. Emotions are criminalised. Law abiding traumatised people are labelled mentally disordered offenders when they are refused help and don't leave the NHS property before the police arrive, even if the patient was asleep when asked to leave. One word of advice if you have BPD label don't ever complain about anything ever and get used to lies and the psychological abuse known as gaslighting. Receive a diagnosis of BPD or EUPD and prepare yourself for having your life rewritten and living in abject terror of NHS. I'm a former NHS employee.

EUPD diagnosis & DBT

To be fair that is a bit harsh, I work in psychiatric services for women for the past 10 years and have seen how successful DBT can be as a therapy, my partner is a DBT therapist and her service has seen many life changing stories and has been featured on tv for their achievements so to to say " but from what I've read about DBT it sounds a bit to much like the conversation therapy homosexuals were given for my liking" is pretty judgmental in itself and not very helpful for someone who maybe looking for help themselves as such a dismissive statement to make, i appreciate you may have had difficulties buy i assure you people are there to help.

Great blog post

Hi, I had a similar presentation at uni about various mental health problems, with the same prejudiced opinions being delivered to the class. I have a BPD diagnosis, as well as depression. I was furious but went for a quiet word with the lecturer afterwards. He'd never met me before so I introduced myself: "Hi, you know those untreatable nuisances that have BPD? Well you have one in your class...and it's me." We had to write an essay on one of the conditions he'd covered. I then said "Your prejudice is based on what you see on the outside, so I'd like to write about how I experience BPD from the inside and see if I can change how you feel about these patients". He nearly fell over - a 1st Class student with BPD calmly challenges his ignorance. I wrote the essay, got 100% and an apology and admission that I'd made him change his mind. Keep challenging the stigma! @crochetkid75


Fantastic that its affirmative action...!!!! It's so much more the judgement than the symptoms that its so difficult to deal with good for u!!!

Stigma in society

I just want to say that it's great what you did. We need more people to stand up to the stigma and challenge perceptions. I'd be really interested in reading what you wrote if it's not too personal to share?


Firstly...Well done for standing up for all of us with BPD (I'm aware this was 3yrs ago, but I had to reply). Secondly....I wish I could read what you wrote in your essay...I struggle explaining myself sometimes even though my CPN says I'm very articulate. Finally....a big thank you. Because of you, that lecturer won't be saying what he said in your class. That means future classes that he takes will learn the right way to view personality disorders and be less prejudiced. I hate being judged and stereotyped....I'm not your typical borderline (because there isn't really one!) and when I'm not in crisis people see that and they're surprised.

Thank you!

I am currently studying Psychiatric Nursing (after years of depression and, at one time, a diagnosis of BPD which no longer fits according to diagnostic criteria). I experience the same frustration when I hear other mental health staff speak in discriminatory ways about patients with BPD (and unfortunately, I have heard a lot of negative comments, which I try to challenge insofar as I can as a 36 year old 1st year student). I believe that BPD is merely a presentation of complex post traumatic stress in most cases - emotional hypersensitivity which is very much created by childhood trauma. I must say, I would very much like to read your essay if you would ever be willing to share it?

Very true

It took me 6 years to get this diagnosis, yet, the entire time they knew I had this disorder. I found out by seeing notes on my GP's screen about Borderline Personality Disorder from the mental health hospital and went back for an answer. The truth is, if no one on paper has this diagnosis then they profit from a huge cut in treatment costs (long term psychotherapy would be very expensive). This is why Psychiatrists try not to diagnose this disorder, and also why I have no treatment options anywhere near here. Would be great to have the opportunity to get better, but, I guess i'm just being a pain.


Thank you for writing about BPD. I have BPD but find I am unable to mention it. I was retired from work when things got really bad for me but when people ask why I can't work, I say mental illness or bipolar because the stigma against BPD is so severe. Most of the general public know little about BPD but if they google it, they will find a wealth of inaccurate and stigmatising information. And yes, the worst stigma I've received is from the NHS. I have countless nightmare stories about how I have been treated in hospital, by crisis teams and by GPs. Before I had the diagnosis, I was treated completely differently. The diagnosis of BPD was even kept secret until I demanded to know it and was then labled 'angry'. I am not ashamed of having BPD. I am however ashamed of the inaccurate portrayal of BPD. Anti stigma campaigns focuss a lot on issues like depression and bipolar and I truly support the work they do. However, I feel left out knowing my condition, the one that arguably carries the most stigma, rarely gets a mention. Stephen Fry turned public perception of bipolar disorder on its head with his documentary and had dramatic effects of reducing stigma. I think it is time something is done to fight the stigma of BPD.


@crochetkid75 totally inspiring! you go girl (boy)!!! we need more of this to inspire others and show how things can be turned around. I volunteerd to try and get myself better. But I lost my volunteering job when they found my medication (one of them was a chemist) and jumped to conclusions even though they knew i had depression when i started. I tried to fight it but it was just too much and I was not covered by the law because it was a voluneer post and not paid employment so that was that so i couldnt go to a tribuneral :( I miss it so much and it totally wrecked my progress to that point. even if the law protected me it would have been very unpleasant to stay x

Borderline personality stigma

20 years ago aged 18 i was diagnosed with this condition. since 1998 i have been told that i no longer meet the criteria for this diagnosis. however my two older children were placed in the care of their father by the family courts some 5 years ago due to my mental health condition. my younger two remain on the child protection register although all the social workers who have worked with me say that they can see that my children are very well cared for and much loved. at the last review conference everyone who knows me voted to remove the kids names from the register but this was overruled by the chairman; his stated reason because i have borderline personality disorder. my psychiatrist insists she is only seeing me to keep the social workers happy and she doesn't believe i have any diagnosable mental health issues. I am expecting a baby in 4 weeks and have been told that as soon as this child is born i will be expected to undertake an intensive course of dialectal behavioural therapy despite wanting to breast feed as i have all my kids. yes as a teenager i had issues, life was tough and i was angry but now in my 30's i can truthfully say that the most damaging and debilitating thing about my experience of mental illness is the fact that i have been left with this label.


If you have time and the insurance and the opportunity I would recommend you take advantage and try it.. I found it hugely helpful and not just for someone with a borderline diagnosis. It helped me more than anything else. The counselors were not judgmental. Borderline has such a bad rap that it's easy to reject anything that has to do with it, but this is good stuff, helpful to ANYONE.


This makes me so angry, thank you for writing this, and highlighting the struggle people have when they're diagnosed with BPD. I was diagnosed with BPD a few years ago, and I hate the stigma that comes with it. People with BPD, or any type of mental health illness, have enough problems without the stigma that comes with it.

Angry and sad.

This makes me angry and sad too.... while it's true that a lot of borderlines do manipulate, I have always considered ultimatums, suicide threats and ordering partners around to be absolutely abhorrent. I have borderline personality disorder, depression and anxiety, and the other symptoms of BPD fit well... I can change from bubbly to despairing in seconds, I am terrible at keeping and making relationships, I reject help, I invite rejection of others through my actions, I find it very easy to dismiss people from my life, even those I have been very attached to because I will easily become attached to a new person, I am terrified of rejection, I hallucinate, I have had suicidal episodes and I self harm regularly. So it is possible for someone to be borderline without being manipulative. Even with a diagnosis with several symptoms, people are still different. Thankyou so much for making an official complaint, and I hope you're doing better now. Amy

Fantastic post

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I am regularly shocked by the way in which my mental health colleagues refer to patients and service users who have been diagnosed as having a borderline personality disorder - not another PD! They seem to forget, as you clearly describe, that the 'symptoms' of BPD are simply ways in which people are trying to manage with emotional extremes, with complex trauma, with really tough things that life can throw at us.

As someone with BPD I have

As someone with BPD I have seen therapists flinch when my condition is mentioned. I've fell off the waiting list for therapy at least three times and I'm guessing BPD is the cause.

In my opinion the

In my opinion the institutional discrimination of BPD sufferers is THE biggest and most harmful form of stigma. I've come across the diagnosis of BPD at times (I disagree with the diagnosis). The label and my more BPD-ish symptoms have led me to be treated very nastily by MH professionals.

I know exactly how you feel.

I know exactly how you feel. This condition has such an awful stigma that is perpetuated by myths and a misunderstanding of the disorder. I for one certainly do not "attention seek" by self harming. I go to every effort to hide my self harming behaviours because I want exactly the opposite: no attention. But all it takes is for one ill informed person (whether that be a medical professional or not) to spread negative words about BPD and the stigma continues to grow. It's important that sufferers and people with a real understanding of BPD help to change the stereotypes of people suffering with BPD and give the condition the same respect that more well known disorders have. But sometimes, yes, it does feel like we have been short changed with the diagnosis with the worst stigma attached.

I totally agree with you. At

I totally agree with you. At first thought whilst reading the initial post I assumed I'd been given the wrong diagnoses, as I do not attention seek. But then it occurred to me that most of the other BPD suffers that I know also do not attention seek and it is about real extremes of real emotions. Hearing about this stigma has made me angry, I had no idea of it. I now seek to ensure it will change.

BPD discrimination

It seems from the responses here that people are having two main problems caused by the poor attitudes of mental health professionals. On one hand, people who have been diagnosed are being stigmatised because of the lack of understanding about BPD, leading to difficulty accessing the right support and causing wider social difficulties. On the other hand, mental health professionals are dismissive of people demonstrating symptoms of BPD and obstruct attempts to access support. I think that this is a terrible situation and that people will one day look back at this time with shame

Unfortunately true

I have now worked in mental health services for 5 years in both inpatient and outpatient settings. I have to say this is unfortunately very true. However it feels impossible as a member of staff to speak out. The ques"truths" that people with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder are trying to get a reaction, doing what they do to manipulate others and just want to be in hospital are hard to stand up to and honestly, it feels like you can't have a different opinion or your professional opinion in general will not be taken seriously. As an extreme example, i know of a 17 year old who attempted suicide, survived by chance more than anything else and staff were reassured they had done nothing wrong as she was just doing it for the extra attention she would get from being paralysed afterwards! We really need to develop empathy and a different way of working with people with this diagnosis. The only time I didn't experience institutionalized stigma was during my time volunteering with Mind. It was really refreshing.

Every single person who

Every single person who witnesses this type of thing MUST speak up. I have no doubt that the stigma and resulting discrimination around bpd lead to as many suicides as the symptoms of the disorder themselves.

Dreadful 'label' to be given

I totally agree with you that being given the diagnosis of BPD or as it's now known as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (which sounds worse than BPD!) reduces someones life chances. I was given the EUPD diagnosis recently and it makes it hard to get a job if you declare it on an occi health form. MH professionals say that you cannot be discriminated against by employers but let's get real here, who would want to employ someone labelled 'emotionally unstable'. Worse still they diagnose teenagers with this, as I was, and it had a devasting effect on my self-belief, I was ashamed to be me. On a brighter note, a fantastic psychologist I saw recently said that there is talk of renaming BPD/EUPD to something that reflects it's route cause, namely childhood abuse/neglect. Let's hope that they miss off the 'personality disordered' part as it makes people feel as though they are 'faulty'. Another point is that when you have the BPD 'label' on your records, you are in a very vulnerable position as staff can do and say anything they want and you cannot complain as it is just put down to you being BPD. I agree with the other comment someone made in that this diagnosis will be seen as wrong in years to come (hopefully anyway), especially as this diagnosis is given largely to women. What I would say to other sufferers is that if you have to tell someone you have a diagnosis of BPD, then tell them what caused it e.g childhood abuse, neglect... , which might encourage people to be compassionate rather than judgemental. Phew, end of rant!

Time to Change and BPD

I did email Time to Change much earlier in their campaign and said that I thought the issue of BPD/PD needed special attention. However, while Time to Change have featured celebrities endorsing speaking out about diagnoses such as bipolar and depression, there has been an absence of work on PD. This is a great shortcoming given that it is PD diagnoses which attract the greater stigma. I have a diagnosis of BPD but have difficulty in disclosing this when it is seen as a less worthwhile diagnosis to help, elsewhere it is not known and is written about in disparaging ways. There are specialist services for PD within the NHS but many of these offer one model of therapy only (group therapy in therapeutic communities). Individual therapy is viewed as dangerous and creating a dependency, there is no choice. I now work full time but couldn't tell my employer about the BPD diagnosis. I hope TTC will do more work on this subject.


I can't believe it!! People cant go around saying things like that its belittling to who ever it affects and the family, and i like many of you i have BPD and other MHI's and just reading that story fills me up with hate and anger and disgust. People are missing the point by a long shot and i have already tried to raise awareness for MHI within the children in care community because ths social services and foster carers are just as uneducated as the majority of the world all ready is. People are scared to learn about something they know nothing about and who have only heard bad things about what it is and therefore don't want to know due to not wanting to know any different!! :@

BPD and Institutionalised discrimination

I have learnt such alot by all of you that have taken the courage to write about your experiences. I just wanted to say Thank You, because it really is only by sharing , that those of us that have no experience of BPD or PD can learn the truth. Big hugs to you all. x


This is so very, very true (unfortunately). I'm a student mental health nurse and I met a few PD patients in my first year. Staff on the ward weren't overly concerned when they were sat crying, or threatening to hurt themselves. They said it was just what PD patients were like and there was no real point in treating them because they can't be helped. I'm in second year now and was diagnosed with BPD in November. At least I know what to expect from the "professionals".

BPD Relapse

I was diagnosed with "Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder" (Impulsive Type) 3 years ago during a relationship break up. I was hospitalised and was taking Chlorpromazine and some other stuff (i cant rememeber the name) I was discharged to CMHT and swiftly got my life back on track moved in with my sister who helped me get back on my feet and re establish contact with my children (who i had not seen for 2 years) I stopped all medication on my own and stopped going to my GP etc because I felt better. I also stayed single (and plan on staying single) BUT recently I have been having awful feelings about bad things happening to my children. I visualise things (like them being hit by a bus I am travelling on and other freaky stuff. I worry constantly about it and people I have spoken to tell me to go see my GP, but I am actually scared of being relabelled (after working so hard to shake it) I find it embarrassing because all I ever read about BPD are negative comments about being attention seekers and the like.

Intrusive thoughts

Hi, I just wanted to say that I also have those kind of thoughts about my daughter - I see / imagine myself pushing her into traffic from the pavements or pushing her down the stairs or drowning her in the bath etc - it's terribly distressing. I have been told they are called intrusive thoughts and you are totally unlikely to ever act on them and they are just part of anxiety and / or depression. They are awful to experience but they are not medically / psychiatrically worrying in general. It is natural that you worry about it but if you see a professional they will be able to reassure you as they did for me. I had one psychiatrist say I had borderline a while ago but none of the others I have seen think so, they now seem to be looking at bipolar and anxiety disorder. Don't be scared of being relabelled - just go and find out the real diagnosis (if you don't already have it) because only then can they help you to feel better. And don't worry about telling them about the 'freaky stuff' because I can guarantee it may feel that way to you and I but they have heard it.. and much worse.. many times before and it's not always an indication of something being terribly wrong.... as I found out. Don't get me wrong tho - I was terrified to admit to my thoughts, I thought they would take my daughter away or lock me up!!! But I'm now glad I did, it really does help to get some reassurance and have things put into perspective. I know everyone is different but I hope I might have helped you to feel a tiny weeny bit less freaked out about it. I hope you can see someone and talk it through. All the best. Debi


I do not understand where this stigma has come from? I have worked with BDP clients and i can assure you it is VERY VERY real! Though i know of many clients who are called liars about their phobias too which i will be looking into, yet when i called the Psychiatrist he scoffed at me and asked how dare i question him and scoffed some more! Rude over educated idiot if you ask me. No wonder he has blood on his hands! Anyone out there with BDP/PD/MHI'S please never feel ashamed, it can happent to anyone xxxx

Thank you

'Anyone out there with BDP/PD/MHI'S please never feel ashamed, it can happent to anyone xxxx' Hey anonymous : ). Just reading through posts of peoples experiences of stigmatization in regards to mental health professionals- touching, relevant but altogether very gloomy reading. Especially when you can empathize with so much of it. Your last comment helped me to feel unexpextedly better though, so thankyou! x.

Doesn't surprise me unfortunately

My diagnosis used to be reactive depression and bulimia. Lots of sympathetic doctors and therapists. Acknowledgement that my childhood had caused trauma. Now I have a diagnosis of BPD, although I only found out when it was written on my discharge form on leaving hospital. Now my depressive moods are no longer seen as real, my self harm manipulative, my agitated states and my anxiety just bad behaviour. My friend took me to a&e last month because she was so concerned I wouldn't stay safe. The psych consult said he agreed that I was suicidal but thought my chances of committing suicide successfully were low, so he sent me home with an urgent referrel to the CMHT. Two days later I overdosed and didn't seek help. Fortunately/Unfortunately it didnt' work. Had my assessment with the CMHT. A week later they have yet to tell me their decision. So not so urgent after all I guess. But it looks like the doctor was right. Doesn't make me feel any better though.

I married someone who i discovered had BPD

Until i married someone with mental illness (i think he has BPD), i had very little knowledge of mental illness!! the marriage was a disaster from the start. (he changed over night), I dont think my husband had knowledge of his mental illness either. Unfortunately the marriage didn't last and i think its natural for human beings to feel they are understood by others and to for them to understand themselves. without this knowledge of self you cant have a relationship with someone, and its very difficult for someone with mental illness to explain themselves unless they have the help they need to work through it. I unfortunately lived through an extremely traumatic couple of years of my life where the man i had married couldn't trust me and so i became the enemy. He took on a different persona and could switch back to normal if other people were around. It was so scarey. Jackle and Hyde at the flip of a switch. I had to flee from my house, i thought he was going to kill me. Education in the UK will help those who suffer from Mental illness and those who are trying to live with it, or even without that person, and the after affects are still with me. Keep up the good work.


The stigma against BPD and the wealth of inaccurate information on the subject available on the web makes me feel physically sick at times. I am afraid to discuss my diagnosis or come forward with it because I am well aware that people already have a preconception of what BPD entails, and that it will be hugely negative and unhelpful to me. People do not seem to realise that Borderlines are dealing with frightening levels of insecurity and extremes of emotion and often have absolutely no idea how to cope, which is why so many turn to self-medicating with drugs or alcohol or to self-harm or both. I think proper awareness of the illness and the removal of professional stigma against it would go a long way in helping those affected by BPD, sufferers and the friends and family of sufferers. I too would love to see the illness given as much helpful and positive press as other mental health problems have in recent years. People with BPD CAN go on to lead fulfilling lives and can also make very compassionate friends and partners.


reading your post breaks my heart and makes me so angry at the same time, i want to scream in that girls face (who held the presentation) my whole body tensed reading this. although im aware of what people think i try to ignore it, i get on extremely well with my gp, ive seen her for three years and find it easy to talk about anything but if i let myself even consider the thought that she might have the same thoughts as some things mentioned by you all by other mental health professionals i just crumble, i get paranoid and upset and end up thinking shes just being nice to me because she has to... am i right? all of you have gave examples of when doctors or other mental health professionals have "slagged" people with BPD off, can anyone give me an example of when they have recieved sympathy, compassion, anything remotely positive???? please reply, keep my hopes alive.

PD personality disorder

I believe that GPs and Psychiatrists find it difficult to comprehend PD because sometimes, PD patients do not respond to medication and this is a bit contradictory to their perspective. DBT is a form of CBT and has been very successful in the US. It treats the patients as the experts and looks at how and when an incident has occurred instead of why. This helps better understand the psychosocial factors that can impact on peoples emotions and inevitably their lives and those around them. Subsequently, DBT acknowledges that some people are aroused more rapidly in certain situations and their reactions can be more intense and more informed by emotions. Unfortunately, GPs are not specialised to deal with mental health problems. You could ask your GP to direct you toward a service that provides DBT or even pay for this form of psychotherapy privately if you feel it could help you. Regards

some professionals help

Ashleigh - some professionals do help. My friend with BPD had excellent care at the crisis house she stayed at, and her outpatient psychiatrist was good too. After a two year wait and many check-up sessions beforehand she got a year of psychotherapy and that helped her hugely.

During my nurse training I

During my nurse training I was diagnosed with BPD after a quick in you and and out again hospitalisation and later changed to Bipolar, why? Because they didnt know what 'triggered' my impulsive behaviours it was considered 'unpredictable', upon further observation (after 5 years) discovered it was episodic and linked to mood. Interestingly they had consistently placed me on anti-depressants which was inducing mixed episodes and mimicking BPD and claiming that if this were pure depression the medication would be working - so be aware of this.It seems when they dont know the problem it must be BPD! From working within MH i believe the BPD stigma comes from the minority. There are few people with BPD I monitor who are very needy and are reliant upon the services HOWEVER there are many more that are kicked out of the loop who are left to manage on their own and ignored, you need to make a noise to gain help. I really wonder if the majority of BPD's are given this diagnosis because they have no clue on what else to diagnose, just listening to the person maybe a step forward!

Hi. I have just come to

Hi. I have just come to realise on my own I have BPD. After wracking my brains into my past I know I definitely have it. My first thoughts were getting help but now after reading all these comments I'm not so sure anymore. I don't want to be labled. Everything I go through I have been through on my own. I dispise attention. I was actually thinking about telling my mum so she could understand but after reading this it seems telling someone will just make matters worse? If I have will, and change myself, and try to face up to the problems, would I be able to beat this? I'm so scared if I tell anyone the will see me different and make me worse. I just came to grips with having anxiety and dyslexia, and finally got some confidence I can feel better , until I discovered I have BPD. I'm not so sure confidence will get me through it. I'm not manipulative or attention seeking at ball. But all other symptoms are there. Thanks for your time.

Hi Gary, you should only talk

Hi Gary, you should only talk to someone if you feel comfortable doing so but talking to someone you trust can really help: this could be your local gp, a family member or friend. You can also talk to the infolines run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and they will be able to offer practical advice and info - their contact details are here: http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/what-are-mental-health-problems/help-support-services And there are some tips on talking about your experiences that you might find helpful: http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/talk-about-mental-health/tips

"Pains in the Arse" Unite!

Well, if having BPD means you're just a "pain in the arse", then I'd love to be a "pain in the arse" and eliminate the stigma associated with BPD. We need to educate people on what it's like to have to disorder from our point of view.

Sad & true

I was in an nhs psychiatric ward for a very different condition a number of times. When I was admitted once diagnosed with BPD the 'treatment' was horrendous and I was left alone for days at a time because nobody could be bothered me. It was a shocking contrast. Even when someone actually did speak to me I would get smirks and sniggers. Spent the whole time self harming to which they were unaware (and that's the way I wanted it)after being clean for many years. Such a lonely, hurtful experience.

Borderline Treatment

Having read the above I have been very lucky with the medical people who have treated me. I have a job but I have new managers who treat me as a "pain in the arse" and like you write above with much disresepct. Others have witnessed the treatment but nobody speaks out, I am frightened to speak out as what they do may get even worse. Speaking out takes great courage and can create problems for those that have that courage.


I have studied Psychology and been involved with helping many people from all walks of life and having various mental and emotional capacity. Personally, I do this without judgement, and would expect the same from any paid health professional. I am confused by hearing health professionals feeling anything but compassion for any person with a BPD diagnosis or traits therein. I am diagnosed with some traits, although I do not fit the criteria in the DSM5 in totality, I am still given this label. From my research I can safely say that I am not impressed with any data nor any mental health care giver's views (I use the term 'caregiver' loosely) because I know why the diagnosis came to be. It is a result of neglect, abandonment, lack of emotional attention and an unstable upbringing by the very people whom gave birth to us. This is the break in the emotional connection to society, if there is one, and it is because of apathy and ignorance. I sense ,too, that it is an undeniable heap of ancestral baggage of pain carried and passed on with our parents being the grand holders of this dis-function and inability to love. I see it as a spiritual advantage for some if it can be attuned to higher gifts and talents. I wish that the ones who went to school to help were not so flippant and cold of heart. Can they not see that is how we got to this passage? it is because of lack of compassion and neglect, why would any health professional aka "caregiver" be so casual about anyone, least of all the most sensitive and hurt persons? I am baffled at people in the system whom get paid to help, but seemingly looks like they themselves need a grief release ritual. Thanks for your time, Gillian

True !

Everything that you wrote in this post is so true. I am a therapist with traits that most people would be shocked to know because I can manage in a professional setting. I absolutely agree with everything you wrote and it's so unacceptable that people (mostly women) with this label are being retraumatize by those who are supposed to help. From my perspective and where I work, people with BPD are treated as if they are sociopaths, when in fact most are highly sencitive and empathic. Makes me so mad


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