I Have A Personality Disorder (Supposedly) Part 3
So far I have explained what a personality disorder is medically and one way that I have been perceived by another. One more comment to add to that perception before I move on.
It is extremely dangerous to define someone by their symptoms and illness like this stupid man did! We are all unique and have good and bad parts about us! We should be seen as WHOLE human beings, not just silly checklist symptoms! We are more complex than that!
So….Borderline Personality Disorder……hmmmmmmm
There are no statistics in Canada that talk about the prevalence of this disorder (unlike depression). USA stats show that as of 2008 6% of the population will have BPD and most will be women. About 1 in 100 adults….which would explain why I can’t find a BPD buddy! (http://www.camh.net/About_Addiction_Mental_Health/Mental_Health_Information/BPD/about%20BPD.html#WhatisBPD)
I personally feel that, compared to the few others with BPD that I’ve spoken too, that I’m not greatly affected by the disorder. I’ve always considered myself to be a “mild” case. This could be because I may more so have the tendencies. The psychiatrist did base the diagnosis off of how I used to behave and very little on how I currently was.
The biggest traits that I feel I portray are the intense rage and split thinking (black and white).
I really don’t just get anger. I do go into a rage very quickly over many things that I feel hurt me. The problem, I find, isn’t whether or not I should be upset with the situation but I find it difficult to control how upset I get. So it’s not the situation, it’s my response which then wrecks any valid point I may have because I’m screaming and throwing stuff around. All while this is happening though I’m yelling at myself in my head to stop but it’s like rolling a ball down a hill. I can’t stop until I reach the bottom or something gets in my way.
I may be screaming and yelling but no one is listening. People shut down when I go into a rage and rightfully so. This hurts me more because even though I know inside I’m expressing myself in the wrong way I really need someone to listen to me. I am angry because I am hurt and I want that hurt to go away.
The rage is very painful. It doesn’t just cause emotional damage to myself and those it’s directed at but it also physically hurts me. When I am that angry the risk of me self harming increases. I’ll usually bang my head against something when I’m angry and the coming down into sadness is when I’m more likely to cut although I’m less impulsive when I’m sad so I can usually avoid that self harm method. There was an incident of where I had worked myself up to the point of where I was experiencing pain in my heart. That scared me so much that I was able to quickly pull myself out of the rage and began breathing because I knew I had gone to far.
It’s in a rage that other traits to come out such as impulsiveness and overall instability commonly associated with BPD. It’s this rage that can make my personal relationships, image of myself and my life unstable.
My split thinking really doesn’t bother me and has been more helpful than destructive. Experiencing BPD has sometimes been described as not having an “emotional skin”. Splitting is my skin. I do have the ability to see grey in certain things or eventually see them in situations I didn’t earlier but for the most part seeing things as all good or all bad has protected me from getting too emotionally invested in issues I shouldn’t. If someone wrongs me it doesn’t bother me to push them out of my life. For example: one of my friend’s said extremely hurtful things about me behind my back and it didn’t pain me for a second to not talk to him for a few years. Because of how emotional I can get splitting helps me not waste my time and cope in a way that for once doesn’t hurt me.
The splitting helps with the good because I think it is important to go all in to something (some would argue this is the attachment issues that are associated with BPD). If you don’t know when stop giving it your all that is when you will run into problems but for the most part I know when that point is.
There is a horrible book out there called The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty by Simon Baron-Cohen. I haven’t read it but I glanced inside and as the description says:“Borderline personality disorder, autism, narcissism, psychosis, Asperger’s: All of these syndromes have one thing in common–lack of empathy. In some cases, this absence can be dangerous, but in others it can simply mean a different way of seeing the world.”
I can agree that a lack of empathy can be dangerous and we have seen that in the world (ie: Hitler) but I think overall the concept of empathy is in the eye of the beholder. I should be able to decide when being empathetic is important. I can’t be empathetic all the time! Not everyone and every situation deserves that energy! (Is this rant proof of those with BPD not having empathy?)
This book also bothers me because right off the bat in the title it is giving the reader no chance to judge for themselves who the people experiencing these disorders are. I know I immediately thought that this man was calling people with borderline personality disorder evil. I thought about how much empathy I have and was greatly offended.
Also to top it off he used an example of an unempathetic “borderline” that hits way too close to home. January 1, 2008 my friend, Stefanie Rengel, was murdered by an idiot, David. He did it because his stupid girlfriend, Melissa, thought Stef was a threat to their relationship. David stabbed her multiple times and left her bleeding in the snow to die only a few houses away from her own. Both were sentenced as adults and are in prison. Melissa was diagnosed as BPD which infuriated me! I didn’t want the bitch who murdered my friend to share that link with me! I believe there is nothing wrong with her except being stupid in thinking murder was the way to get what she wanted! So…..the author of The Science of Evil used MY FRIEND’S MURDER AS AN EXAMPLE OF MY ILLNESS! This boosted up the offensiveness big time!!!! I WOULD NEVER KILL SOMEONE but yet this is the impression that this author wants to leave his readers with of BPD…….
When I’m not in a rage I swear no one would call me a mental illness of any kind and that is commonly what I’m told when people find out I have a diagnosis. This still begs the question “what does crazy look like”. Crazy looks like you and me! But anyways, my good traits I feel or more numerous than my bad. I am very compassionate, have a lot of friends, am great with kids (which is my job), I love to socialize, I’m funny, I’m very nice, empathetic, open-minded, nonjudgmental (where it’s important), understanding and I feel a really good person overall!
We all have our flaws and I find it unfortunate that mine have been deemed disordered but I will always go about my life, doing my thing and just being happy!
Posted on February 16, 2012, in Madness, Mental Health, Stigma/Discrimination, Personal and tagged black and white, black and white thinking, borderline personality disorder, BPD, empathy, happy, personality disorder, positive, rage, Simon Baron-Cohen, splitting, Stefanie Rengel, The Science of Evil, traits. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.