May is BPD awareness month, for those who don’t know
I have EUPD (Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder) which is also known as BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). I’m unsure as to why there are two different names for it but there we have it. I have been involved with mental health professionals for several years. And if it wasn’t for them, I don’t think I ever would have seen a light at the end of the tunnel.
I couldn’t count the amount of times, I have been depressed, anxious or paranoid, and others have told me to just ‘change my way of thinking’ or ‘snap out of it’ and it’s so hurtful.
Mental illness is so overlooked. And that really upsets me.
If someone had a broken arm or a physical illness, then they receive sympathy and help and because it is physically visible people notice. Mental illness is not always visible. People can’t always see what’s going on behind the exterior we put on. We’re not asking for sympathy, just for understanding and support. Imagine if someone had cancer and somebody said to them ‘it’s just cancer, stop thinking like that and you’ll be fine’ it just wouldn’t happen.
So many people that have a mental illness are not believed, and are made out to be an ‘attention seeker’ and are made to feel that they are making it up and that they actually want to feel this way. This is so far from the truth. We don’t want to feel like this! It makes getting through each day so difficult, and without support and understanding it is impossible. We shouldn’t be made to feel like we can just change instantly.
It is hard enough to try and accept the fact that you’re not like everybody else and can’t think the same way, let alone with people putting you down even more and just laughing. It’s not fair. Society needs to change the way it views mental illnesses and stop ignoring it.
It’s 2019, why is mental health still not taken seriously?
Society says that mental health is now being taken seriously and although the truth about mental illnesses and how it truly affects people is being talked about more openly, unfortunately the support still isn’t always there from healthcare professionals.
I was dismissed from my care plan in my early twenties after seeing a psychiatrist for months and talking through my main issues. At the end of 2018 I felt myself slipping again and was close to going back to self-harming so I asked my GP to re-refer me to the same mental health unit. I was told to wait for a call which could take up to 7 weeks, which I did.
Unhelpful, uncaring ‘care’ professionals
The call was from someone who just had to ask me some questions to see what kind of state I was in and take some general information. The woman on the phone was rude, acted like she had no time to be speaking to me and reduced me to tears. After asking lots of personal questions I admitted that I had smoked cannabis on occasion when I had felt really anxious and was just sitting at home. I told her it wasn’t a regular thing and really was only when my tablets weren’t doing much for me and I needed help sleeping or to numb my anxiety for a short period of time.
She told me that no one would take me seriously and I needed to prove myself and not have anything for several months. Then get re-reffered and go through this whole process again! This made me cry as I told her I wasn’t a regular smoker at all and was far from addicted to it so could stop right now, but she said it wasn’t good enough and I need to sort myself out first.
After being in floods of tears and the woman just talking over me, she eventually hung up the call, telling me to ask for help again when I’m really ready for it. I was in such a state and this made me 100 times worse than I was before I reached out for help. I never asked to be re-reffered as I was so shocked by the way I had been treated, I just tried to sort myself out by practising my own calming techniques and looking back through the folders full of notes I still have from when I was under mental health care previously.
Symtpoms of BPD:
- Fear of being abandoned
- Explosive anger
- Unstable relationships
- Impulsive, self-destructive behaviour
- Chronic feelings of emptiness
- Feeling out of touch with reality
BPD can also lead to other disorders such as bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, eating disorders and substance abuse. I also suffered with anorexia which explains a lot.
My BPD still affects me every single day and some days I don’t really know where the real me starts and my BPD symptoms end. I can end up feeling really distant from everything. I do my best to surround myself with things that make me happy and people that I know I can trust.
Unfortunately if you do have mental health issues it seems you still have to fight to get the help you need and be on the case to keep reaching out for it.
This is the main reason I created the Mental Health section I have here on my blog, which includes free helplines and articles I’ve written all about mental health. I also have a magazine style ‘Dear Lozza’ page where you can reach out to me for advice on any subject.
I hope this post has answered any questions you had about BPD awareness month and you can understand this condition a bit more.
Let me know if you have any questions!