June 9, 2021

End the Stigma of Borderline Personality Disorder & Be an Ally.

The voices of those given the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are frequently silenced, and their personal narratives of who they are and what happened to them are often not shared.

When they speak out against abuse or ask for better treatment, they are often seen as demanding.

They are rarely believed.

Instead, they are described as manipulative, attention-seeking, and difficult.

Many providers do not want to work with them, terminating and running away, as if they have the plague.

Even the general public speaks poorly of them.

Just google “Borderline Personality Disorder,” and see what pops up.

Even better, check out Quora and all the posts made by people who have claimed to see “Borderline” in someone but not actually experience it themselves.

Movies, too, depict this population as cruel, vindictive, and combative.

It feels as if everywhere you turn, this label is seen as a mark of evil.

It truly baffles me.

I wonder who is telling this narrative.

It can’t truly be the people who suffer from this “disorder” if we want to call it that.

Even when reading comments by those who claim to have this “disorder,” I wonder who filled their heads with the narrative that they are “bad.”

I don’t know where we went wrong with this diagnosis in mental health, but I believe how it is viewed to be completely wrong.

These people are loving individuals with more empathy than most.

They care deeply for others and attentively listen.

They also suffer from severe attachment trauma and deeply long to be loved. They have a hole so vast that often leaves them frantically looking to fill it and doing everything in their power to not lose what is plugging it.

You see, there seems to be a stigma that continues to be present in the air, and it’s time it ends.

It’s time those who do not carry this wound stop telling others what it’s like to have it.

It’s time to listen.

It’s time for mental health providers to pass the microphone to those hurting with this attachment wound and really attempt to at least hear them out rather than jumping to their own beliefs that their behaviors are “manipulative” or “attention-seeking.”

It is time to be an ally to this population.

Often, those given this label are abuse survivors.

Many were scapegoats in their families.

Most were not the golden child.

Some were that kid being picked on in elementary school.

A lot of them were “loners.”

Almost all wished they were loved more or differently.

Maybe you’re a mental health provider and have someone on your caseload who meets this profile.

Maybe you’re a partner or a family member.

Maybe you’ve never heard of this “diagnosis.”

Whoever you are, please know this:

These people are very much in pain.

It is not a show.

It is not manipulation.

It is not attention-seeking.

It’s a true cry for help because they are drowning in a hole within them that most have never experienced.

It is not a figment of their imagination.

It is not just in their minds.

They feel this pain from their head to their toes.

Have compassion.

Please stop judging them.

Please stop the pathologizing.

Please let them be the ones to tell their own narratives.

Many have sad stories that have led them to feel the way they do.

If you don’t understand them, be grateful.

While not everyone claims to have a history of childhood trauma, many diagnosed with “BPD” do.

The narrative we hear about this population is the one from mental health providers, families, spouses, and so on, but often not that of those with symptoms of this diagnosis.

It’s time we listen to their narratives and paint their experience from their perspective, not that of outsiders looking in.

I believe this is one step toward helping this population heal.


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