The doctor I saw in hospital implied that I might have Borderine Personality Disorder (http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/borderline-personality-disorder/#.UzNT0fl_smQ) as well as Bipolar Disorder (http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/bipolar-disorder/#.UzNT_Pl_smQ) .
It isn’t the first time that the subject of having BPD has been brought up with me- far from it. But now, with what I thought was a fairly stable Bipolar diagnosis, they want to add the BPD on as an additional and I know what it means. Because whatever they say, whatever the truth is, MH professionals use BPD as slang for won’t get better.
(I know, by the way, that that isn’t the case. I know that with proper treatment and support people with personality disorders can and do get better. And I, unlike many MH “professionals” I understand and empathise with it as a valid and serious illness. I point this out because I don’t want it to sound like I am slating BPD, or its sufferers, just because I don’t have it.)
But I don’t think that I do have it. Outside of hypomania, I am not impulsive. Outside of depression, I do not experience intense negative emotions without reason. My relationships are not intense, unstable or short-lived, not even my relationship to myself. The romantic relationships I have had with the closest symptoms to BPD relationships, are the ones in which my partners have been mentally unwell and, in at least one case, had a personality disorder herself. Self-harm is about the only symptom I have of BPD. When I am fine, I do not self-harm.
I know, in my case, that BPD is being used as shorthand for “we have seen too much of you. Why aren’t you better?” and “You self-harm, which is problematic for us.” The Crisis Team I saw after breaking my leg said that they thought “years of psychotherapy, rather than a hospital admission” was what I needed. They said this after an interview during which they very transparently assessed me for BPD in the eyes of their minds.
I, meanwhile, feel sick with worry.