With regards to mental health, there are so many varieties of conditions and unique combinations of how individuals experience these conditions in their own minds, it can be difficult to pin down the issues and diagnose with confidence.
When I finally got my diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, it was a huge weight of my shoulders for sure but it clarified something I already knew. I’ve had 28 long years to get to know myself. In terms of how BPD is described medically, I’m pretty much textbook with regards my ‘symptoms’ and ‘behavioural patterns’.
I know that my fear of abandonment is unusually high. I have reflected on the cycle of unstable and highly emotive interpersonal relationships and I know I’ve tested those I love the most to see how long they’ll stay and make them prove to me they’re not going anywhere.
I also know I suffer from identity problems which I’ve talked about before on here where I try and fit myself into a comfortable box with a label on it. I always had to give myself a title of some sort or be doing something different with my life to feel valued / worthy of respect.
Mandy the singer, Mandy the bodybuilder, Mandy the blogger etc…
It was never enough for me to just be Mandy. I always wanted more.
Some of the symptoms of BPD I’ve experienced are particularly scary.
There’s this thing called derealisation and it usually appears when your anxiety is in a heightened mode. The world around you literally starts to not look real. Before I knew about this phenomenon, I had convinced myself I was dying. It’s very scary to experience and it causes you to lose inhibitions too because it’s almost like the world around you is a fantasy world. I genuinely thought I was crazy prior to learning about it.
Anyway, I digress.
The point I wanted to make was that if I wanted, I could now give myself the BPD label. If I wanted. But I don’t want to be defined by my condition. I have the condition. I’m medicated for the condition and my behaviours which helps enormously but if I didn’t HAVE BPD, I wouldn’t be:
Intense, passionate or extreme.
I wouldn’t feel the whole spectrum of emotions with every cell in my body.
I probably wouldn’t be creative either.
Instead of dwelling on your diagnosis and labelling yourself with the rather damaging term: ‘disorder’… (because that sounds like you’re describing something which is broken…), embrace all the things your condition has given you. The things it has added to your life.
Your condition is part of you, yes. But you’re not your condition.
If I spent days and days on end researching the many articles and studies on Borderline Personality Disorder, all I’d be doing is nodding along and ticking boxes in my head which relate to my experience of the condition. It’s great that so much information is accessible but I got my diagnosis and I’m moving on.
My BPD is a part of me and a part my family and inner circle have to deal with sometimes but I embrace all the things it has given to me.
And I’m certainly not disordered or broken.