Lately I have been at conflict regarding the amount of support available for “carers” vs the support available for people with Borderline Personality Disorder (labeled here as “consumers”).
To be honest, the amount of services and groups (support and otherwise) available to people caring for someone with BPD greatly outweighs anything available for us.
It is easy for carers to get caught up in the whole “needing help to deal/cope” with someone with BPD thing, yer it is easier still for people with BPD to feel helpless, when there are currently not significant services available to treat their associated needs properly.
Helplessness in BPD people breeds disaster, we all know this, feelings of helplessness, neglect, isolation and rejection can result from lack of good service, and yet seeing the people who “care” for them access services instead can also make them feel vulnerable, rejected, and angered at the state of affairs.
The whole thing is a mess really – pathways do not exist for BPD diagnosed individuals – we are given a diagnoses and told to “research BPD on the internet” (as I was), or perhaps we are offered medication which usually causes more harm than good (in my personal experience).
When some form of treatment does arise (after years of fighting the system to actually try to get INTO a treatment plan), it turns out that the treatment is indeed bad treatment, and ends up causing much more harm than good (in my personal experience).
I have spoken quite vocally about my ideas around the subject of medication for BPD people – it is not a definitive answer or solution to the problem – you cannot expect to give poison in order to cure the pain , this will never work.
Funding services exist for “carers” in order to allow them to get respite (which is not in a house full of mentally ill and highly medicated individuals).
Funding services exist and are in place for “carers” to allow them to involve themselves in recreational activities in order to give them some normality in their lives.
Where the HELL is ours?
This angers me (and a lot of people I know with BPD) to no end, and yet it seems not to matter just how much noise and complaining we make – things do not change, because nothing is done.
At times I feel like I am a one-man-band here fighting for a whole country full of people like me, because others are either too unwell to do it with me, or have not got the desire, passion or bollocks to fight any more (having been dragged through the system time and time again, or perhaps slipped through the cracks all together).
This is a very tiresome and aggravating experience for someone with BPD, and the struggle is all too real. No matter how much noise and commotion I try my hardest to cause in order to get things recognized, nothing changes because people will not accept that there is an issue here.
In no way am I saying that “carers” should not have all the help that they get, quite the contrary, they probably need more, but so do we. The funding is unfair, the treatment is minimal, and the understanding is completely non-existent.
Often, people like myself do kill themselves due either to lack of treatment, feeling unsafe or unheard, or even being rejected or exited from treatment before they are even ready.
I know people who have passed away from this (R.I.P. all of you, I continue doing what I do because of you).
Whilst the government and medical professionals are busy funding more support services for Schizophrenia, Bipolar and other “mental health” conditions (including the carers of these people), more of us will continue to fall by the wayside, I guarantee this.
This is bleak, this is disturbing, but it is honest, and that is what I am here for. I am a voice for the people who have none, I will stand up and demand what we all want – fairness, and the same as the carers!
In this day and age, things could be (and most bloody certainly should be different), but the sad reality is that it’s not, and without intervention probably will not be for a very long time (if ever).
The changes that need to happen will not come quickly, but have we not waited long enough? Do changes for “Depression” and other mental health support and treatment services come quickly? Yes, they most certainly do.
Borderline Personality Disorder is seen as a problem. The people who are diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder should not be seen as a problem though – we cannot help that we have this, we did not choose to have this, nobody would be stupid enough to do that. Why are we therefore being punished, rejected, declined and abandoned every day by the system which clearly does not work, then?
There are courses, support systems, and support groups and networks available freely for carers to access (and often more are funded for them if need be),yet no such thing exists for us, we have to rely upon the public system (which is very unforgiving at best), or perhaps if we are extremely lucky (or with rich families), we can access some of the private services available, or maybe we can take a loan out of the bank to pay for this, and end up in debt for the rest of our lives whilst we try to pay it back…
In USA more services exist for people with BPD, and in Europe more services and better management for people affected by BPD exist, yet here in Australia we are limited, but what is the cost to these limitations?
Seriously, can we put a price on someone’s life?
Here is an example of how people with Borderline Personality Disorder are not being considered in the Infrastructure Plan for Victoria’s Clinical Mental Health System even though they are high users.
Disturbing to see that BPD not mentioned in the VIC Statewide system design consultation, mental health section here https://t.co/QS7XZjoVQ5
— Scott Heath (@_ScottHeath) August 26, 2016
I do not think that hospitalisation is a starting point for good treatment, there are other forms of intervention and treatment which could be better.
I would encourage anyone in Victoria to read and submit feedback to the Design, Service and Infrastructure Plan for Victoria’s Clinical Mental Health System.
Image Credit: Walking through the field