Mental Health Stories

Borderline [Part 1]

Borderline Personality is mostly completely ignored, given little funding and unlike other mental illnesses is rarely given media attention. So let's talk about it.

First of all, can we not? Secondly, borderline what exactly? You may have noticed last week borderline personality disorder featured in the news. This is shocking in itself. Borderline Personality is mostly completely ignored, given little funding and unlike other mental illnesses is rarely given media attention. So it felt like a big thing for me. And the report featured told us what sufferers have known all along. That people who are labelled with the diagnosis of personality disorders are in dire need of more help.

We are “let down” by a system that stigmatises us and often refuses to recognise and treat our symptoms, instead of dismissing us as “attention seeking”. It is one of the most stigmatised illnesses. There are literally articles online Personality disorders are “the Cinderella diagnosis of the NHS’s already Cinderella mental health services”.

Tell me something I don’t know.

Mental health services are underfunded and quite frankly failing in this country, with people frequently being sent out of the area to receive any mental health support. If they are offered it. If its available in their area.

I am extremely lucky in that I currently am receiving a treatment known as DBT (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy) which is the recommended treatment for my diagnosis, but so many people are receiving no help at all and are left to cope alone with an illness that kills 1 in 10 diagnosed.

1 IN 10.

It is not acceptable that this illness is ignored when it is taking so many lives. According to statistics from the RCN (Royal College of Nursing) 1 in 20 people is living with a personality disorder right now. That’s a lot of people that need help and a lot of people that aren’t getting it. It’s simply not acceptable.

Also, can we talk about the name for a minute? In so many ways I find it distressing, stigmatising and unfair. Let’s define borderline. ” A division between two distinct or opposite things”. What exactly is divided? Me? What are the opposites? Mad and Sane? Am I somewhere in between? For people with this diagnosis, this can be extremely unsettling. I know it is for me. Patients with this diagnosis often have an unstable self-image so why tell them they are on the border between two things? It’s inherently confusing. It makes you feel like you cant be right, that everything about who you fundamentally are is wrong. After all, you have a disorder of the personality. Which is just so wrong to say.

Yes, I struggle with self-esteem and change, I have hurt myself, I have attempted to take my own life. I have heard a voice which is still terrifying to admit. I struggle with feelings of abandonment, but my god that’s not to say there is something wrong with my personality. I like to think I’m kind, selfless, a great big sister, I love reading (though I often cant.. lack of concentration sucks), I at times have a dark sense of humour (thank you mental illness). Surely these things are not wrong – they are what makes me well me.

Uniqueness should be celebrated.

Nobody should have their very self, the essence of their being labelled disordered. The personality traits I have described are a good thing. They are certainly not borderline. In fact, one of the key symptoms of this disorder is sufferers can see the world in extremes. Black and white thinking. It is either one or the other. There is no in between. This is the exact opposite of borderline. It seems almost as if someone just decided to pick a random word, negative word. Not quite worthy of help.


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Liked this? Take a look at these:

Borderline [Part 2]

Walking With The Wolf

Falling Apart and Starting To Mend [Part 1]

Fast Track: The Decision

The Start…Or The End


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