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Why Research Was So Important When I Got My New BPD Diagnosis

Being diagnosed with a mental illness can be scary — especially if it’s first one.

I’ve had diagnoses since I was 10 years old. First depression, then anxiety, then PTSD. I thought I was done being diagnosed. At 29, there’s no way I could possibly form a new diagnosis, right?

Wrong. During a recent hospitalization, I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). What the hell is that? Being older and wanting to understand what I’d been diagnosed with, I researched BPD. I’m still researching BPD.

I believe it’s so important to research your diagnosis. Find books that describe what the characteristics are, how it’s treated and how it affects your life (personally and professionally). I’ve learned the characteristics of borderline personality disorder and can now recognize when my thoughts are “borderline thoughts” or when my actions are “borderline actions.” Knowing this is helping me realize I need more help. I want to develop healthy coping skills. I want to know how to handle my thoughts and actions. Doing the research has gotten me where I am now.

I’m waiting for a bed at a residential treatment center that specializes in borderline personality disorder, along with my other diagnoses. What got me here? Borderline. And I can say that with confidence. After a build up of events and emotions over time, I finally cracked and my borderline thinking got me to the lowest point of my life. But I’m here to tell my story — which is clearly not over yet.

Research. Research your diagnosis and encourage your friends and family to do the same. I know it’s hard to ask someone to do research, but providing them with websites or articles you’ve already read is a good start.

Just remember, you’ve got this.

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Unsplash photo via Thomas Lefebvre.