9 Things You Should Know About Borderline Personality Disorder, From Someone Who Has It

This piece is the first in our series examining the stigma toward mental illness.

Borderline personality disorder, otherwise known as BPD, is a mental illness that is estimated to affect 1.6 percent of U.S. adults, though that number may be as high at 5.9 percent. While all mental illness carries the weight of stigma, BPD is one of the most misunderstood and least accepted, both by the general public and by mental health professionals. There are many myths that surround this illness that further contribute to suffering — myths that often keep those who identify with this disorder from seeking treatment. I know this because I am one of them.

For a long time, I resisted my diagnosis because I thought it confirmed what I already believed to be true: that I was difficult and unlovable. However, I now understand that this is not the case. While living with BPD is not easy, it is possible. And beyond that, you can have borderline personality disorder and still live a happy and fulfilling life. Personally, I manage my symptoms through therapy and hard work.

Living with any mental illness is a little easier when those close to us understand our disorders a bit more. As such, here are nine things those with borderline personality disorder want loved ones to understand.

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