One of the things that is most difficult for Borderlines is the great and mounting stigma of the illness. For years in the psychiatric/medical community Borderlines were kept in the dark about their illness; psychiatrists often stated it was a difficult illness to explain, an anomaly of the psych world. Often times, because of the nature of the illness where patient becomes abnormally attached to caregivers, seeking out the approval and attention of said caregivers and when the caregivers couldn’t act on a Borderline’s demand and the Borderline would fly off the handle or self-injure, they were/are labeled children, often ostracized, ridiculed (yes, ridiculed) and humiliated by the people charged to take care of them. Saying that a Borderline is a petulant child in need of attention is an oversimplification of the illness and often harmful.
Searching around on the internet, I was trying to find true stories of people with the illness, for you to get their perspective. I found some good information and stories. One story bugged the shit out of me, however, because of the vitriol coming from the poster of the story, clearly stigmatizing all Borderlines, that they will not recover, that, if you’re in a relationship with a Borderline female, get out, etc. This article did not take into consideration many males are Borderlines as well. Still, the article is a good example of Borderline Bashing that since going on my research journey, I’ve come across plenty of times on the interwebs.
I found some inspiring stories of people with BPD and some that are still suffering. One woman found that faith has helped her cope with symptoms.
In my novel that I am writing I try to convey the heaviness of the illness as well as some of the stigma surrounding it. The reason I didn’t go heavy handed on the staff abuse was because it is already heavy and somber. Amber is a Borderline and is aware of this but only on the surface. Her frienemy Briana is also a mixture of personality disorders. Most of the kids in the book suffer from some kind of behavioral or personality disorder, as many of young adults then and now are being diagnosed as such, sometimes without merit. Medication helps because sometimes a Borderline has a concurring illness such as Bipolar or Dysthymia (major depression).
Borderlines are popular targets for the media and the interwebs. Have you heard any BPD horror stories? You can leave them in the comments. Looking forward to it.