Accepting a Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnosis: First Stages (Again)

As time passes, old wounds can grow over as we pay so much attention to the current moment, but sometimes something happens, and while we might not even know what that something is, on Monday we may be fine, but when we wake up on Tuesday, you are covered in weeping sores.  Not on your body, of course, but those “emotional third-degree burns” that Marsha Linehan (Queen of all things DBT) refers to when she talks about people with borderline personality disorder.

It just so happens that Borderline Personality Disorder has been on my diagnosis list, off and on, depending who you ask, for a very long time.  Since this past April, it is now very much on my diagnosis list, and I have been instructed to process this.  And I have, and as much as I don’t want an additional label, I do meet criteria for the disorder and I have read books and articles and webpages about it, and it all just screams my name.  If you aren’t familiar with the disorder, I really would encourage you to look at the link I provided above, or even Google search for articles.

I have talked it over with my therapist, and it isn’t that I have BPD in place of Bipolar Disorder, but that the two illnesses interact to make each other much worse and much harder to treat.  I have put off making any kind of announcement on this blog about the “new” diagnosis, but now I am very certain it is something I am dealing with and have dealt with for a large part of my life.

I was afraid that I would be judged, that others would leap to conclusions about me, that people wouldn’t really understand, would just see a “broken” person.  There is a great deal of stigma about mental illness in the world, and there is even more stigma and misinformation about BPD out there, than most disorders.  This is something I am going to live with the rest of my life, and I will consistently  have to manage my life in such a way that I do not devolve into all of the maladaptive behaviors and patterns that it is so easy to slip into.

There’s really a lot to this, and much more that I wanted to say.  What I really wanted to do, though, was finally get the information out there, make the admission, state the obvious,  whatever.   I will follow-up with more thoughts about this (and all sorts of other stuff, too, I’m sure).  My world is shaky right now, but I’m doing as much therapy and DBT and whatnot as possible,  and if worse comes to worst, I always have LarBear and my family.  Not everyone can say that, and I am especially thankful for them and their patience.

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23 thoughts on “Accepting a Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnosis: First Stages (Again)

    • Yes, I know. I’m suspicious, too, but I think that using it instead as a tool to look at why I act certain ways sometimes, does explain and help things along.

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  1. It takes a huge amount of inner strength and courage to admit to BPD in any form. I know several people with this, in varying degrees, and just admitting it to yourself and then to whomever is listening, is a major major step.

    Sometimes labels (which I am not entirely in favor of) box a person in, forcing other people’s expectations on them, but sometimes a label will help define, not the person, but the problem, giving you a handle to hang onto.

    Knowing and Naming, in this instance, is half the battle.

    Hugs to you.

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    • I am wary of labels. I’ve worn a few over the years. The only one I love and will always love, is J Jill. Flattering, comfortable, wash and dry clothing.

      Everything else, from BP to a variety of personality disorders (pick one, they all fit depending on how you look at it) have been as wrong as they were right … and even that depended on a great many other things that may or may not have been going on. Labels make it easy to categorize a person or group — and may provide a convenient excuse. Are labels always bad thing? I suppose not. But. I have seen them very overused too many times …

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  2. I have both diagnoses and while it can be hard to identify which symptoms come from which diagnosis, I like to think I’ve gotten pretty good at distinguishing them. I have a very hard time with the BPD diagnosis sometimes – I get caught up in what people are going to expect that diagnosis to mean and the fact that I don’t really fit the stereotypes. It’s funny – my therapist can say that a certain thought pattern or behavior is typical for BPD and it will really upset me that she thinks I’m a bad person, but if my psych APRN said the same thing I’d feel thankful that he’s identifying it as a symptom and not that I’m a bad person. I don’t know if it’s wording or tone of voice or what.

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    • I know what you mean. I can take the comment coming from certain people better than others. I think it partly lies in how much I worry about what that person thinks of me, too.

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  3. The fact that have so much insight that you can see and admit the fact that you have borderline is a HUGE PLUS for you. When you know you have a disorder, then you can go about doing something about it. So pat yourself on the back for the insight and the actions you’ve taken to feel better. Good for you! Hugs and more hugs.

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  4. After 8 years of being treated for both bipolar and borderline I still very rarely tell anyone that I have borderline. There’s still too much stigma attached to it. But you’re doing all the effective things sweetie, and I’m proud of you. ❤

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