Ask about BPD
Why is it so hard for people to understand what a nightmare BPD is? How it affects your everyday life. With major depression as well. It’s a total nightmare. Given up on psychiatrists, they don’t help and medication doesn’t work. No wonder people self medicate.
Thanks for listening,
Thank you Frustrated,
It can be frustrating to experience the stigma and misunderstand that comes with BPD. As we struggle for wellness we want people to see how far we have come and encourage us to continue on our journey. Unfortunately, some people do not, and will not, understand your battle. They are unable to understand we have a recognized, yet invisible, debilitating disorder.
Inability to Cognitively redefine a person:
When we begin our path to wellness we must understand that others may be unable, or unwilling, to cognitively redefine us. People with BPD often go for years undiagnosed. In that time our family and friends have learned to define us by our actions and mis-actions. They have hard wired their definition of who you are in their brain.
When we are finally diagnosed it often comes as a relief to us, but not to our friends and family. They may question the diagnosis wanting to know how or why we are disordered now, but not in the years prior. Or in some cases how the criteria can even be considered disordered when everyone experiences the criteria at one point or another. They do not understand that BPD is a long term and pervasive pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image and emotions.
When feeling frustrated:
- Consider their fears. They may not want to confront the role they play in your illness and daily suffering.
- BPD is an invisible illness. People do not always remember what they cannot see. If we had a friend with a broken leg we would feel obligated to help, but with an invisible illness there is no physical signs which unconsciously allows people to ignore our illness as if it didn’t exist.
- Evaluate how they judge others. Most people who have BPD have a family history of invalidation so if you are looking for validation in a family member who has never given it before you may be fighting a losing battle.
- Your use of language becomes other’s use of language about you. It is easy to say hurtful things followed by, “I can say that I have BPD”. But other people learn how to describe you by the words you use for yourself. If you call yourself crazy then others will too.
- Everyone is fighting a battle of their own. Our battle is paramount to us, but for someone else their battles are what are paramount to them. In their life and mind your battle becomes lost among all the others. This isn’t because people are mean or hurtful, but simply because they are focused on handling their own issues first.
When we feel frustrated we must remember that feeling is coming from within not without. It is our mind struggling with what we can not comprehend in someone else’s actions. To end frustration we must evaluate why we feel this way and how we can change our perception.
We can do this by:
- Combating negative assumptions. Just as people have cognitively defined us, we have defined them in return. We must question our assumptions to see if our definition needs updating.
- Being wary of projection. When you come from a mind of projection it is even more likely that you will have a misunderstanding with someone. In the mind of projection we make assumptions about what they are thinking or how they feel and the truth may become buried in the lies.
- Being aware of splitting. If you are talking with someone you have split into the black no matter what they say or do you will always feel as if it is not enough.
- Radical acceptance. In order to radically accept a situation for what it is you must first let go of the “shoulds” and the “woulds”. We can expect people to be accepting and supportive, but that doesn’t mean they will. Challenge thoughts like: They should have known – Honestly, they might not know even if “everybody else knows”.
It’s about winning the war:
Remember that you do not have to attend every argument you are invited to. We are in a war for understanding and to win a war you must win the important battles, not all of the battles. Nor do you need to fight everyday. This is difficult for us because we have been fighting for understanding and validation all of our lives.
Before you engage ask yourself these questions:
- Is this a battle I want to fight today?
- If I do engage, what do I hope to gain?
- What is the probability I will “win” this battle?
- Is the battle worth my day’s emotional energy?
By choosing your battles you are not giving up, or not trying, you are drawing a boundary line for your mental health and wellbeing. In learning how and when to walk away you learn control of your emotions. Being able recognize their rude and uncaring remarks are a reflection of them not you is key to living a life of peace.