Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Week: TJ’s Story
It’s Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Week! 💙
TJ one of our speakers has very kindly shared their perspective on the most common misconceptions about BPD.
When I saw the first therapist who suggested I might have BPD, I wish I had been told not to search it up on the internet. After the last session with that therapist for the year I decided to do a google search for BPD. This led me to a number of websites that implied that if you had BPD then you were an inherently manipulative, volatile and difficult person to deal with. Finding this made me believe that there was no way I could have BPD. So, I chose not to follow up any inquiries about whether I could have BPD for a couple of years.
It wasn’t until I headed to university that I thought about the possibility that I could have BPD. I had been struggling with my mental health for a while but trying to pretend that I was coping. I met a friend who I was able to talk with about the possibility of having BPD. She was instrumental in helping me feel comfortable enough to accept that I had BPD and she also helped me find services that I could use to seek help.
While this was a number of years ago and having my diagnosis has helped me better understand some of my symptoms and actions. I still sometimes fear that some of my actions could be considered manipulative by others. I also still struggle to ensure that put too much pressure on myself to be less of a burden for others. Feeling like I could be a burden due to the stigma that surrounds BPD played a significant role in why I didn’t seek help sooner.
I’m now in my final year of my undergraduate degree, I’m learning how to ask for help in productive ways. I have also started the processes needed to start seeing mental health professionals again in preparation for my next year of study at Honours level. I hope that conversations about BPD and the stigma that is attached to it continue and that more people are able to seek help as early as possible.
If this story has brought up strong feelings for you, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, lifeline.org.au