[TW This post discusses suicide and self-harm.]
Living with BPD, in my experience, comes with a double whammy of difficulty. As if the various aspects of borderline personality disorder are not difficult enough, the condition tends to be very misunderstood.
These are 5 things I wish people understood about my BPD. I realise that everyone with this diagnosis is an individual and so if your list might look very different to mine! Okay, here goes...
1. The intensity of the emotion
This is the thing I most wish people understood. If people knew just how extreme emotions can feel for me, then perhaps they would understand my behaviour when I am upset. I sometimes describe as being 'electrocuted' by emotion or 'drowning' in it.
2. The stigma from within the medical profession
It frustrates me when people assume that all medical professionals are compassionate and non-judgemental by default. Some are, but others are far from it. Sometimes people look at me in disbelief when I recount my experiences of awful treatment by mental health professionals. (Note: I have also had some *amazing* care too).
3. Just how difficult it is
There are days when I am in so much emotional pain that I think almost constantly about suicide. Some days, everything hurts and I feel I can't go on. To pick myself up after each episode, each fear of abandonment and urge to self-harm is, well, exhausting.
4. The shame and embarrassment
If only people could know how ashamed I have felt when I have been in crisis. Sitting in an A&E corridor waiting hours for yet another psychiatric evaluation and texting my friends to tell them where I am because I don't know how I will survive this pain alone. Seeing my messages left on 'read' because 1. they are too scared of what to say and 2. they need space from me for their own wellbeing. I can only describe the depth of this shame as lying in a pool of my own vomit.
5. The trauma of BPD
I haven't heard anyone else talk about this, but I feel traumatised by my own experiences of suicidality, self-harm and periods of depression. I have painful memories of the things I have been through & carrying that around has been (although it is getting easier). I have nightmares very easily too and have done since I was a child.
What things do you wish people knew about your BPD?