Welcome to the blog for Free Your Mind mental health anti-stigma campaign

This is the blog for the Free Your Mind campaign which aims to battle stigma towards mental illness through the use of music, art, film, and culture.
The blog consists of informative and, hopefully, entertaining articles/posts.
Enjoy! :-)

Friday, 27 April 2012

Understanding BPD and other Personality Disorders (Part Two)

Understanding BPD and other Personality Disorders (Part Two)

This blog post is a continuation of 'Understanding BPD and other Personality Disorders (Part One)'

Within this blog post (and throughout this blog-series) I wish to further explore the thought processes, and behaviours, related to BPD (and other personality disorders); and how these relate to our rapidly changing states of mind, feelings and emotions.

(The mental health diagnosis I have been given is that of borderline personality disorder. ~ Nicola Edwards)

People with BPD, and other personality disorders, are often - mistakenly - thought of as "trouble-makers", due to behaviours which could be misconceived as being "anti-social."  Misconceptions of the behavioural traits displayed in those with a PD diagnosis include seeing people with these types of diagnosis' as manipulative, attention seeking, demanding, and obstructive.

I have been accused of displaying all of these behaviours at one time or another.

To say that those of us with personality disorder diagnosis' are "manipulative" is an extremely harsh statement to make.

I'll put it this way:
I constantly find I am at odds with both myself (internal - thoughts and emotions), as well as, the world around me; often unsure of the appropriate
behaviour for (many) situations; and, when past actions or behaviours have produced the desired outcome, it can seem that in order to produce the same desired outcome in similar future situations it would be "appropriate" to conduct myself in the same manner as in the past.

Another personal example of behaviour that could be thought of as "manipulative", is the way in which I often find it hard to address a subject, or concern, head-on; I tend to skirt around my needs, wants, desires, and/or concerns - behaviour which is due to difficulties with communicating my thoughts and feelings.

A highly relevant point to note, here, is that those of us with personality disorders have often had our behaviours reinforced on many different occasions.

To say that our behaviour is purely "attention seeking" is also an unfair  statement to make.

Living with BPD can be extremely painful on a daily basis; personally, I often feel in turmoil, which can feel like my own personal hell. The way in which I tend to communicate these feelings is through screaming, shouting, and/or aggressive behaviour.

Personality disorders are long-term (life-long) mental illnesses with which its associated problems persist for many years, without real hope for a cure; although, symptoms are likely to lessen as a person ages. So, surely, it is understandable why this would make a person quite demanding, and impatient.

People with personality disorders are likely to be involved with mental health services for a lot longer from adolescence right into the late adult years. After years of being offered so many different services and treatments, a person can start to feel like a guinea pig, and then become reluctant to engage / continue with another service or treatment.

This is one of the reasons for why I have found myself to be reluctant to receive treatments on offer (particularly drug-based treatments). Behaviour which could be seen as being "obstructive"; in other words, this behaviour could be seen as me obstructing my own recovery by refusing services and treatments on offer.

However; there have been times when, because of my borderline personality disorder diagnosis, and the behaviours which come with it, the mental health services have been the ones to cease attempts to engage with myself, as opposed to the other way round.

Diagnoses of personality disorders, including BPD, are largely stigmatised particularly among mental health professionals with many of those with PD diagnoses being seen as "trouble makers". It is for this reason that mental health services can sometimes disengage with patients, which, in turn, can cause patients (or "service users") - like myself - to disengage with current, and future, treatment.

BPD and other personality disorders diagnosis' tend to carry more stigma than most other mental health diagnosis', and not just within everyday encounters with other people (i.e. those who aren't mental health professionals), but also with those whom work within the mental health services.

This blog series on BPD and other personality disorders will continue in Part-Three, coming (very) soon.

Related previous blog posts:

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