Tag Archives: borderline personality disorder stigma

On Grading The U.S. For Mental Illness

I took it upon myself to research mental health statistics in the United States this morning after thinking about which state would be nice to move to once I had the resources to do so. What I found was shocking and disappointing, but interesting at the same time.  Continue reading On Grading The U.S. For Mental Illness

BPD, Stigma, and How It All Comes Together

I decided to write another post for today because I’ve been curious about something to do with my Borderline Personality stuff:

Stigma.

Delicious, steaming stigma, waiting for you to drink it all up over and over and over again.

Stigma? What’s this stigma you’re talking about?

Apple’s Dictionary app defines stigma as “a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.” Stigma follows mental disorders closely because they’re not in the norm, they make people act weird without intentionally trying to be weird, and let’s face it – people can be real jerks when they want to be.

What does stigma have to do with BPD?

Stigma has a lot to do with BPD because after looking online at sources for BPD, it’s the most stigmatized mental disorder. Both the general populace and therapists stigmatize BPD patients like crazy. 

I already knew that. 

Oh. 

But even therapists stigmatize that much with it?

They do, and it sucks. It really, really sucks. 

Therapists primarily stigmatize it because of the black & white view that borderlines have when it comes to relationships. Therapists are wary of when a patient with borderline is going to leave his/her treatment with them, so they find people with BPD difficult to put up with. Other reasons that come up for therapists’ frustrations are the lack of having effective therapy skills to handle people with BPD, getting tested (and frustrated) with borderlines testing their limits to see if he/she can trust the therapist, and misdiagnosis. People with BPD usually have another mental disorder, such as bipolar disorder or depression that therapists decide to hone in on and treat instead. My therapist has a master’s degree in psychology and she refuses to put the BPD label on me because I don’t “act like people who have it.” She focuses on my PTSD and MDD instead.

Why does so much stigma exist against borderlines?

Again, people can be real jerks. And uneducated. The most common stereotype (from what I’ve seen) is that people with BPD are violent. People with BPD aren’t violent and are, in fact, scared and mean no harm against people. It doesn’t help that mixed media has projected this onto people. It also doesn’t help that BPD has only been classified as a mental disorder, so with only 33 years of research (BPD was classified and given a name finally right around 1980) I guess you can say that the disorder is still relatively new to the scene. 

What do I do about it, then?

Honestly, that’s up to you. You can always develop coping skills to combat negative things people might say. Build a positive support network and try to find a therapist that won’t give you muck about having the disorder. Educate those that you can about BPD because the more information that gets spread, the better. You can also do what I did and create a blog about it! The possibilities are endless. 

You are in charge of your own life. You are better than any stigma that gets put against you. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.