The Leprous Stigma Of Borderline Personality Disorder Is What Isolates Its Sufferers
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Health and Wellness

The Leprous Stigma Of Borderline Personality Disorder Is What Isolates Its Sufferers

It's time to set the record straight because people with mental illness need support not stigma.

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The Leprous Stigma Of Borderline Personality Disorder Is What Isolates Its Sufferers
Wikipedia Creative Commons

We have made huge strides in mental health awareness. We have mental health awareness month (in May, by the way). We have countless organizations, like NAMI, to help people with mental illnesses. For certain mental illnesses like depression and bipolar disorder, there's almost a normalcy associated with them as countless celebrities and highly successful people have come forward with these mental health disorders.

It became so extreme that bipolar disorder even became a fad where it was cool and hip to have bipolar disorder. This is probably due to its association with creativity and "unique" thinking, leading a certain demographic of people to seek a diagnosis to "cement the idea that they are different and special."

However, for borderline personality disorder, the stigma associated is so intense that even some mental health professionals refuse to treat its sufferers. I thought it was time to do some research and discuss the stigma associated with this mental illness because this disorder can be the most debilitating and its sufferers, like all sufferers of mental illness, need support and not stigma.

Borderline personality disorder, also known as emotional dysregulation disorder is characterized by emotional instability, strained relationships, a distorted sense of self, fear of abandonment and self-harming behavior. People with borderline personality disorder can be described as the most caring and loving people, but when they feel negative emotions, they simply can't react well. This disorder is often stigmatized as being a female disorder, and its sufferers as manipulative and violent.

The stigma has reached so deep that among many mental health professionals, people with BPD are described as "difficult" and "treatment resistant" and are thus dropped and denied mental health services. This causes a dangerous downward spiral as this rejection by society and mental health professionals only worsens a disorder whose hallmark feature is a fear of abandonment.

ER doctors have even ignored the signs of suicide exhibited by a person with BPD, only to have one victim actually attempt suicide because of the deep-rooted belief that she was faking her emotions to get attention. BPD is often associated with the "crazy" ex-girlfriend who is too emotionally unstable. The stigma is so intense it has been called the "leprosy of mental illness."

In reality, BPD is a serious mental disorder characterized by hypersensitive emotions "evoking grief instead of sadness, humiliation instead of embarrassment, rage instead of annoyance and panic instead of nervousness." They have been described as third-degree burn patients where "the slightest touch causes immense suffering." It is so important to realize that this is an actual mental health disorder with actual symptoms that people cannot control. Once we realize this, we can move forward from the stigma associated with BPD and offer our support.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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