I regularly Google the name of my blog to check where I have been mentioned that I may have missed. The results are usually positive link backs and I’m glad to be part of such a supportive blogging community. Today I discovered my blog and the radio interview I did as part of Mental Health Week linked on a blog that is so far removed from what I am trying to achieve here.
The link has since been removed, and I won’t link back to the blog that I am talking about. I need to talk about it, but I don’t want to give it any more oxygen than is absolutely necessary. I want to talk about the dangers of a blog like the one I came across, but I don’t want to flog the dead horse.
In the About section of the blog, the writer admits to having a relative with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and lists the wrong doings of the person they have had contact with. This however is not what I have an issue with. I understand that people with BPD can be hard to live with, that they can often be abusive, manipulative and emotionally volatile. It can absolutely be hard for those who love someone with BPD, especially if they either aren’t seeking treatment or aren’t receiving adequate treatment.
What I do have an issue with however is the belief that this experience is how all people with BPD are. I have an issue with a site that decides that their experience can be used as a factual recount of how all people with BPD act. I have an issue with a site whose only ‘support’ is to remove yourself from the life of the person with BPD.
In order to receive an official diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder a person must meet at least 5 of the 9 criteria. That means that there is hundreds of different ways that a person can present and still have a diagnosis of BPD. No two people are alike, they may share similar characteristics, but they are not exactly the same.
This site cherry picks information from reputable sources in order to fuel the negative conversation. One post in particular talked about the need of a person with BPD to surround themselves in chaos. They used quotes from this article which talks about how a low sense of self leads to people with BPD acting out to produce outcomes in which they feel comfortable. It’s ‘waiting for the other shoe to drop’ on a larger scale. However, rather than using it to provide a balanced article, they have used it to prove that people with BPD are bad, to be feared and are incurable.
Even stigma isn’t safe from this site. The author believes that reducing stigma only helps the person with BPD. Which in it’s simplicity is true. Of course removing stigma of BPD of any mental illness will make life easier for those who are living with the illness. However on far larger scale, talking about BPD, educating people about the realities, and providing funding for treatment benefits the entire community, for many generations to come.
Through the removal of stigma people with BPD will be able to seek and receive treatment that is adequate. Currently BPD is still seen by older professionals as incurable, a burden on treatment teams and the patient is then placed in the too hard basket. It is only through reduction of stigma and the research of pioneers in BPD treatment such as Marsha Linehan that people with Borderline can even have a hope of living a better life. Which in turn means that those around them reap the benefits.
I don’t want to take away from the experiences of people who are have a relationship with someone who has BPD, that is not my aim here. I just want them to have a place that offers support and information that is accurate. There is enough scare mongering about mental illness in general. I don’t believe that a site dedicated to talking about the horrible side of people with BPD is in anyway helpful.
If you have a loved one with a personality disorder then I would recommend checking out the website called Out of the FOG. It provides balanced, factual information and there are also support forums available.
Do you know someone with a personality disorder? Do you believe that the removal of stigma benefits the community as a whole?