After dealing with depression, unexplainable mood swings, rages, suicidal thoughts, and a general sense of loneliness, I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder a few months ago. In some ways, I was glad.
I’ve been debating the purpose of my life for a long time, as well as the cause of my mood swings, obsessive thinking, self-harm, and crippling fear of abandonment. Even though the most caring people surrounded me, I always felt lost and broken.
I went through over ten therapists and still couldn’t open up to any of them. I couldn’t imagine that anybody, even someone with a master’s degree in mental health, could comprehend the range of emotions that pass through my mind in a single day.
Following my diagnosis, I was referred to a Dialectical Behavior Therapist (DBT), who answered all of my questions, explained the structure of the therapy and how my condition operated, and how it could be regulated.
I had some answers for the first time in my life.
I came across Meghan’s essay Surviving Breakups When You Have BPD the day after my first therapy session. The more I read her post, the more it felt like I was reading my diary, which was detailing all the emotions I’d been trying to identify my entire life.
I knew I wasn’t alone, and there were things I could do to boost my mood and maintain a positive relationship with those around me. And it was enough to make me feel less hopeless about life and the opportunities it presents.
You must Share Your Story
I never told anybody, but my then-boyfriend about my mental health problems, and none of my friends or family members knew what was going on with me for the past few years.
I didn’t want to come off as frail or insane. People would pity me or look at me differently, or at the very least, they wouldn’t understand what I was going through. But something changed when I started looking at all the people who shared their experiences and offered support to others on social media.
I couldn’t lie any longer, pretending that my life was so much easier than it was. I reached out to my audience to tell them the truth, which no one had previously understood.
I didn’t do it to win sympathy or more likes. I did it to show myself that I’m no longer afraid of the dark. I’ve had it with pretending and leading two lives with myself and others. I am not a psychopath. This is my personality, and I’m learning to embrace and cope with it.
It felt incredibly liberating in several ways.
I couldn’t believe the outpouring of support I got after posting my struggles on social media.
I didn’t see the point of getting better after feeling wholly alone and dealing with feelings of abandonment and emptiness following my recent breakup. I shut down and rejected help, but I started to feel more supported and loved than I had ever felt before despite feeling isolated and worthless.
I knew I wasn’t alone, and the people around me reminded me of that, whether it was my family and friends, fellow authors, or strangers from our world.
Defend Against Stigma
Most of us have experienced depression, anxiety, or panic attacks at some point in our lives. Any of us have had suicidal ideas or attempted suicide.
It’s challenging to identify and accept that something is wrong with you or your loved ones in a world where illnesses have been stigmatized for hundreds of years. Undiagnosed diseases or mental conditions can jeopardize your relationship with a loved one and your relationship with yourself.
People are also afraid of being diagnosed, of being labeled insane, and therefore of being ostracized from society. Mental health problems are also stigmatized, and many people would rather ignore their symptoms and emotions than admit they need support and seek help from a specialist.
It’s past time to acknowledge that having mental health problems or disabilities is nothing to be ashamed of. There’s nothing shameful about recognizing that you have a disease, panic attacks, or just nervous about life or yourself and finding the right person to work with to become a happier and healthier version.
The value of motivation and reinforcement cannot be overstated.
Support is as essential as air and water when it comes to mental health.
Life is full of ups and downs, and without the love of those around us, it’s impossible to find the motivation to keep fighting and fight when everything seems bleak and hopeless.
Not everybody has access to psychological support or close friends and family to address their issues. Like all of us, they end up feeling hurt or as though they don’t belong in this world when everybody else seems to be happier and carefree.
The best thing we can do is make our contribution to the de-stigmatization of mental illness.
Tell people about your experience. To ensure that the people you care for do not conceal their true feelings, be transparent and never judge them. Learn about your physical and mental health, as well as what you can do to improve it. Set a clear example for those who are still hiding in the dark, trying to make sense of what’s going on.
Your example will motivate others to understand their mental habits, seek support without feeling humiliated, and even improve.
Most significantly, your example will assist others in feeling included in our society and no longer feeling so alone and hurt.