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What is Crazy?

2012 December 3

By Ars Moriendi,CJE -

At my recent visit to the psychiatrist, I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. I
have heard of this before and I am sure most people have too. I was frightened and a quick
search online only led me to believe the worst. Borderline people lie, cheat, steal and have
complete lack of regard for social norms and standard. This is, at very least, what most people
would have you believe. Is it true? I certainly hope not. I’ve never met these criteria.

I have only come out to a few friends so far, but their reaction has concerned me. Mostly I hear
that there is no way that I could have this disorder. I think they are afraid because I infiltrated
their worlds with my diseased mind.

Is it really so shocking to hear a name for the eccentricities that you always knew someone had?
Does it make a person vastly different that who you’ve always known them as to know that they
have a disorder? I feel like the very same me I always was. I laugh, I cry, I hurt, I destroy every
relationship that I have and seek new ones just as quickly. Such is the nature of who I am.

I went in to see the doctor thinking that I had schizophrenia because I had delusions and
paranoia. I found out a few things about psychosis along the way. Like hearing things that aren’t
there is very common and even people with no disorders of the mind can be subject to hearing
voices or sounds. I also learned that paranoia comes along with many mental illnesses, even
personality disorders.

Personally I am relieved to know that I may have BPD. You see, no one is born with a
personality disorder. They are not organic. Axis II cluster b disorders (aka personality disorders)
come from trauma, abuse and abandonment as a youth, mostly, though not always. At some
point I was subject to a trauma that my young brain was not able to process so it stopped
learning and went into coping. As I grew and developed this part of me did not and it left a
gaping hole that I could not fill or fix. With proper therapies I can lead a normal life. I do not have
to take medicines because medicines do not treat trauma. So I am relieved.

Really, though, I wonder if there is still such a taboo with mental illness that even those who
deal with it daily in their lives can feel shock to learn that one of their own has it? Are mental
illnesses so vastly different that one can be considered mainstream while others stay on the
back burner? I should hope not because I can be you, your brother or your sister I can be your
child who lashes out and rages. I can even be your elderly parent who just seemed a little off to
you as a child. Are we really that different from you

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4 Responses leave one →
  1. Diana May-Waldman permalink
    December 5, 2012

    Ars, informative article. Thanks for having the courage to put it out there. I love you for who you are now and who y0u will discover that you are. The journey of women is never an easy one.

  2. Ars permalink
    December 3, 2012

    I am sure you know this already, BPD people don’t know who they are. It may be all that I am until I can learn to find out who that person is. and where that person became broken. Axis 2 disorders are not organic and you won’t find a doctor who tell you differently.

    Also, not every trauma victim goes on to have a personality disorder is like saying not all smokers get lung cancer. Of course not all of them do, but I bet it is safe to say that the odds are stacked.

  3. Neil Friedman permalink
    December 3, 2012

    Not so fast. . The causes of Personality Disorders are still very much up in the air. Not evry traumatized child develops a “personality disorder’ not has every child who is diagnosed with a personality disorder been the victim of severe trauma. The general consensus, as I understand it is that there is most likely a pairing of the two. And that some individuals may be genetically predisposed to developing Personality Disorders.
    BPD is many cases can be quite debilitating. have seen patients who suffer with this terrible disease. Many of the manifestation of BPD can be quite Horrifying ie; self mutilation, extreme eating disorders,the inability to develop any meaningful relationships etc. . .
    There are any good reading source of information on this subject including When the Body is the Target by Sharon Farber/ Psychodynamic Borderline Patients by Otto F. Kernberg and. . . Are you different then “us’ ? We are all different then each other and while we should be accepting of our differences we shouldn’t fail to recognize that some of our difference run deeper then others. ..
    But what I believe is most important is that we don’t identify ourselves with those things that ail us . You may have BPD but its not the All you are. . .

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