We had a really interesting chat in our group session yesterday about how other people (friends, family, colleagues, etc.) responded to our BPD and treatment. It transpires that a lot of the group are told that they are making it up, or that it’s something they have done wrong and they aren’t trying hard enough to fix it. People are told they are using it as an excuse to hold them back or to behave badly. One of the member’s partner said that they obviously weren’t making any progress when the rest of us can see just how hard they are trying.
It’s interesting because people seem to contradict themselves in saying that everyone has mental health issues but when you say, “I’ve been diagnosed with BPD” they’ve just responded with, “Don’t be ridiculous”. Those who haven’t understood what it meant haven’t troubled themselves to find out and each and every one of us has been told by someone we know that the diagnosis is wrong, despite the rigorous assessment period we went through.
Now obviously I’m generalising. I’ve been very lucky and I know some of my loved ones have put a lot of time into learning all about BPD and have been super supportive about my treatment and my progress. But it’s just so hard when you’re putting yourself through such a battle to change your behaviour when you have people putting you down, mocking or degrading the fact that you’re struggling and you are getting help.
Basically, what I’m saying is, if you know someone with mental health issues, just give them a bit of support. Don’t make them feel silly for sharing something which is probably hard for them to admit and also scary and confusing. Stand united in their battle with them. It’ll mean the world, honest.