It doesn’t matter what label I’m given… no one will ever understand mental illness.

I was officially diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome as a teenager but Borderline Personality Disorder has been suggested by professionals at points in my life. I refused to accept that and even walked out of appointments when I was getting certain attitudes by professionals at the time I got kicked out of university. Regardless what mental illness diagnosis I’m given…. no one will understand. They never do when it comes to mental illness. I’ve spoken to others with BPD and when their illness is at the worse they get treated horrendously. That condition gets you treated worse than having a form of Autism. I’m still going to lose my home because someone decided I was too much hassle to deal with. There’s been so much publicity about mental health but it’s still shameful to be actually mentally ill. I sort my mind out myself to the best of my ability due to the services attitudes being extremely disrespectful to me and that hurt so much that it caused damage permanently because they were like that toward me when I was at my lowest. Many of us that have struggled for years are totally put off getting help. We know the system. It’s trying to say that it has changed but until they actually have any understanding of the illnesses practically rather than out of a book. Psychiatrists and Psychologists don’t have mental illnesses. They don’t know what it’s like to be mentally ill. How is that even fair? We are judged by those that have just learnt out of textbooks. There are no individuals with mental illnesses that are the exact definition of whatever is written in a textbook. Trauma adds different dimensions to the symptoms of those illnesses. BPD diagnosis will be just as useless as the Autism label. I will still get treated like a disease etc.

One thought on “It doesn’t matter what label I’m given… no one will ever understand mental illness.

  1. They just lurve doling out diagnoses of BPD. Doesn’t matter whether or not you actually have it, it’s an excuse for them to say your fundamental problem is that you’re a bad person and that you brought your problems on yourself; that you don’t deserve help, pretty much. It’s not a new attitude and one the Victorians were trying to deal with; it’s ironic that when people talk about “Victorian values” they’re talking about a return to the so-called “values” the Victorians tried to hard to get rid of.

    I’m not an expert on BPD, but from what I understand it’s a form of trauma which in essence is caused by profound emotional neglect when growing up. Some people might think that doesn’t sound like much but humans are social animals, and it’s widely recognised that isolating any animal socially is cruel; so why make an exception with people? As such, it’s not a personality disorder, it’s trauma, and the behavioural stuff is the result of someone’s unmet need for social and emotional interaction which never comes.

    Autistic women in particular get misdiagnosed with BPD often; there was some study a while back that showed that a significant number (possibly most, I forget) of women who supposedly had BPD in fact didn’t but instead had formerly undiagnosed autism. So to actually be diagnosed ASD and still have people try to fob you off with a BPD diagnosis… that’s not to say that they can’t co-exist (honestly I have no idea) but it is a basic principle that you don’t over-diagnose.

    Why women, specifically? Because even with professionals (one might say especially with them…) there’s a misunderstanding of both diagnoses and they look for the stereotypes rather than actually get a specialist opinion. The stereotypes have a strong tendency to the male traits, and when using male traits as a metric, you get mostly… males. Well no shit. So it doesn’t look like ASD because they’re clueless, so why not shoehorn a fictitious BPD diagnosis in there.

    Which leads to the second part of the “why women?” problem which is plain old sexism. Suddenly it’s not a diagnosis that needs caring for properly but a personality problem: cue insinuations or more often outright statements of being manipulative, attention-seeking, histrionic… you’ve heard them all before. Nothing there that isn’t a “moral failing” in the eyes of the morally failed.

    And it stays with you. It explains not just your behaviour but other people’s. If there’s conflict with other people that’s your fault too: you’ve been diagnosed with BPD, which they’ve decided stands for Bad Person, Delinquent. And anybody can do it: it doesn’t need to be a doctor, it doesn’t even need to follow the guidelines in the DSM or ICD; and as such, it can be done in secret without discussing it with you, by a social worker or anybody else who thinks it would be useful (to them, obvs, not to you). And if you complain about it they know there’s nothing much you can do: they can obstruct, they can lie to you, they can just do bugger all, and no matter who you take it to you’ll get the run-around or told that a diagnosis is simply “an opinion”.

    That said, if a diagnosis turns out to be a thing it *can* be overturned if you find a friendly specialist, and make enough of a noise and they’ll tend to find you one: the squeaking wheel and all that.

    What a pain in the arse though. There’s a strong temptation to say “life’s too short”. I managed to get rid of my misdiagnosis and though I never got an apology nor even a proper explanation, I’ve already wasted far too much life on this shit.

    Blimey, that was a bit long. I woke up at 3am, you’d think I’d at least have the courtesy to be too tired to write pages of crap.

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