To me, it's a bit like someone asking you the manufacturer's name of a chain link fence, when you are being held against the fence by a mugger. It is just not that important at the moment.
When I was first diagnosed, all sorts of horrible images ran through my head: was I a baby killer? An animal torturer? Did I eat whale meat? Was I, God forbid, a Consumer? So I promptly shelved the problem for 15 years, while my therapist and psychiatrist worked on it without me knowing. I vaguely remember that time. I was quite nutty and psychotic and I couldn't deal with One More Thing. I also started drinking again, which, to me, solved that problem right then and there. What problem?
Apart from the stigma, which exists even among health care professionals, I have hesitated to name this problem for this reason: it makes me even more vulnerable to the sickos out there.
You might be getting a real laugh out of that one, but it can be a common complaint, even within families. There are many human beings who, knowing you have a mental illness, set out to take advantage of your condition. They are the same sickos who rape people who are in a coma, or aren't able to speak, etc. Yes, it does happen. And it is not nearly infrequent as you would like to think.
The doctor who sexually assaulted me targeted women with Bipolar disorder. I was targeted for years by a guy who pretended to know the aliens in my head, and ended up stealing some of my jewelry. He was comparatively mild, he only wanted 'company' and beer money. Or there are the numerous people who simply like f**king with you because you are mentally ill. That kind also tortures baby animals. I have even been taken advantage of by a private, non-profit that I worked for.
And families? Well, some families belittle those family members with disabilities by chalking up every action, emotion, and decision to the disorder(s). This is the hardest to accept. This is Stigma.
People who don't know enough think that the Person IS the disorder(s) that they have. All it boils down to is this: I am not different from you, but I might react differently than you would. And I might not, it depends on the culture that person lives in. I would have made a brilliant shaman, to name one.
The unicorn meat eating cats are awake and want to go outside and Max, my spaz puppy, is asleep in the bed. The zinnia and lavender have been humming quite loudly lately, happy with all the rain we have had, and the grass is growing as we speak, as they say. And there are true friends in the world, which makes the journey all worthwhile.
As Anne Frank wrote, "Those who love me have found me."
WebMD has this to say:
Borderline personality disorder is a mental illness that causes intense mood swings, impulsive behaviors, and severe problems with relationships and self-worth. People with this disorder often have other problems such as depression, eating disorders, or substance abuse.
Everyone has problems with emotions or behaviors sometimes. But if you have borderline personality disorder, the problems are severe, repeat over a long time, and disrupt your life. The most common symptoms include:
- Intense emotions and mood swings.
- Impulsive behaviors that are self-damaging, such as substance abuse, binge eating, and reckless driving.
- Relationship problems.
- Low self-worth.
- A frantic fear of being left alone (abandoned).
- Aggressive behavior.
- Feeling empty inside.
- Problems with anger, such as violent temper tantrums.
- Hurting yourself, such as cutting or burning yourself.
- Suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts.
- Feeling suspicious of others for no reason (feeling paranoid) or losing a sense of reality.