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
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