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I Have Borderline Personality Disorder, And I Am Not Crazy

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I have struggled with borderline personality disorder and depression for much of my life. The past two years in particular, I was severely ill with treatment resistant depression. Add in the particulars of having borderline personality disorder (BPD) and you get someone who cannot think clearly and believes she is unworthy of the blessings she has been given.

Those with borderline personality disorder are often misunderstood. As a social worker, while reading through an adolescent's intake forms and seeing the diagnosis, I was guilty of saying out loud to my colleagues, "Oh no, this one is going to be manipulative! Another borderline!" While that was completely inappropriate of me, it went along with the stigma of having this diagnosis. While this was 16 years ago, I still see the stigma today and only recently started to be open about my own BPD.

I went through years of denial in my 20s even while different doctors diagnosed me with BPD. I would challenge them or would keep it to myself and convince myself they did not know what they were doing and were mistaken. I wasn't manipulative or moody or engaging in self-harm, except I was. I simply could not own the fact that my behaviors did fall into this category or diagnosis. I believed people with BPD were crazy and I wasn't crazy! I was just a regular 20-something trying to build a life for myself.

The truth is I have struggled with BPD for over 20 years and the evidence is clear: Intense fear of abandonment, distorted self-image, self-harm, changeable moods and chronic feelings of emptiness. I have battled these particulars for 20 years and continue to battle them today. I know I am not crazy as that word has been over-used and at this point, has no real meaning. Everyone has struggles, with or without a diagnosis. We could argue that we are all crazy, so what's with this label, anyway?

I work very hard each and every day fighting my inner monologue of self-deprecation and use my handy DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) skills to push me through. It is hard though and anyone with BPD will understand the daily struggle. My brain is constantly running and because of that I have to remain vigilant. I make sure I get enough sleep at night and that I exercise and eat in a healthy manner. This only aids in the process of combatting my BPD each day. It also helps with staying healthy in many other ways. The effort and energy to fight my BPD on a daily basis represents my inner strength and I am very proud of that. My symptoms have certainly decreased over the years as a result of good therapy and most recently good group therapy (DBT). They do remain though. I am not cured and do not expect there to be a cure. It's just another part of life that is difficult but can be managed. Sometimes it is managed better than others but I am only human.

I have BPD and no, I am not crazy.