I have Borderline Personality Disorder.”
These are the five words that inevitably lead to a shift in how others perceive me, and results in a change in their attitudes towards me. In recent years, we have managed to reduce the stigma that surrounds may mental illnesses, including mood disorders such as Bipolar, and we have seen an outpour in both sympathy and empathy for symptoms such as depression, anxiety or suicidality.
And yet, the stigma around personality disorders is still very much at large. I see it in the change of people’s body language, I see it in the shift of sympathy to fear when I correct my diagnosis, which has in the past widely been assumed as Bipolar.
The DSM-IV-TR (2000), states that a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder can be made when a persistent pattern of unstable relationships, mood swings and self image present along with marked impulsivity beginning in early adulthood and across a range of contexts indicated by a minimum of five of the following: