Today I've got Sarah from Aphonic Sarah on the blog talking about Boderline Personality Disorder. I think personality disorders are some of the least talked about mental illnesses in psychology. Some of my classes in college did touch upon BDP, but not nearly enough. So I think people could definitely stand to hear more about it, and that's only one of the reasons why I'm very happy to share this lovely post from Sarah. And now I'm gonna turn this over to her. :)
When I tell you I have a personality disorder, what's the first thing that comes to mind?
It wasn't the moment I was diagnosed, but a few days later while sitting on my bed that a thought passed through my mind. 'What's wrong with my personality? I think I can be a pretty good person to be around...?' This was just one of a million thoughts that went through my mind when I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) on September 23rd, 2015.
What is Borderline Personality Disorder? Well, if you Google it you can find different thoughts and opinions on the disorder. Some believe it's all in our heads, that it's an act to gain attention to themselves, overly manipulative, and that only women can be diagnosed. (Considering my long-term battle with anxiety, attention to myself sounds like a nightmare waiting to happen. )
It is, however a mix of many different things that lead to a diagnosis.
Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships
Recurrent suicidal behavior/thoughts
Chronic feelings of emptiness
Inappropriate, intense anger
Transient, stress-related paranoid thoughts
That's a lot to throw at someone. Not everyone deals with the same battles with their disorder however, I do have most of these signs. The best part of being diagnosed? I had NO IDEA what Borderline Personality Disorder was. This was something brand new to me, and it made me fall deeper into the darkness I was already swimming in at the time. My family doctor had mentioned the possibility of being bipolar. I could have accepted that much easier. I knew what it was, I was aware of it. This was like being thrown into a world where I knew absolutely nothing. I didn't know what part of me was me, and what part was my BPD. I was lost, scared, afraid. I didn't know how I was going to move forward feeling this way.
I wanted to learn as much as I could about what was laid out before me. After 27 years of struggling with my own mind, I finally knew the path I was walking, who wouldn't want to understand more about what's going on with themselves? I spent a few hours looking online reading article after article of anything I could get my hands on. I thrived with the need to know more about who I am. What I ended up doing to myself was going down a dark rabbit hole and losing myself in all of the false accusations and beliefs of other people. I went into a depression believing that all these years I was a monster. A beast of feelings and emotions who can't couldn't control how she was going to feel from one minute to the next.
So how am I now almost a year later? I'm doing okay. I take a mood stabilizer to keep everything somewhat balanced, and I have an amazing woman in my life who takes time to listen to me when I verbal vomit in her office due to the anxiety of needing to face the issues that made me arrive at this place. My therapist is a phenomenal woman who sits and listens without making me feel judged. Do I have bad days? I absolutely do. More days than good sometimes. I've learned to accept these feelings and emotions. They are there. Sometimes they are stronger than they should be. I cry, get angry and sometimes I don't know how to bring myself down. But that's okay. Feelings and emotions are natural things that happen to everyone.
In my house (which includes 3 children, a step daughter and a husband) it's known that sometimes crying happens. Mom has times when she needs to take a step away from everything when it becomes too much. My daughters have seen me cry, go from happy to sad, and explode with anger that comes from the smallest of things. It's nothing that needs to be hidden. Mental health will always be an open topic and discussion in my household. It's nothing to be ashamed about. It's nothing that needs to be hidden or kept inside. Why is this? Because I don't want any of my daughters to feel alone or ashamed if something like this were to happen to them.
Mental health is a work in progress. Not everyone is going to know what to do the moment this new adventure and battle is put before them. Some people walk onto this field facing the horror of what they think is the enemy in front of them. It was weapons and can take control of their mind, making them feel like they aren't strong enough to handle what's going on; what could happen to them. A lot of people don't make it past the battle field... They sink in the ground and get swallowed whole by the overwhelming emotions and obscurity. This is one of the many reasons we need to have a conversation about mental health. It needs to be something spoken about and taught to not only young adults, but adults as well. People need to understand that seeking help doesn't make you weak. Going to a therapist or taking medication doesn't make you less of a person. Having something beyond your control doesn't make you any less of a human being. You're strong no matter what battle is placed in front of you. No matter how much people try and make you feel like less of a person. You're worth the same as the person next to you. It does get easier down the road.
If anyone needs an ear or shoulder to lean on in life when it comes to anything, please feel free to reach out. My blog is based around books, yes. But I also touch on mental health for so many reasons.