How I Wish My Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnosis Had Been Handled
If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.
On August 20, 2016, I woke up in a hospital bed. I had attempted to die by suicide the night before and woke up the next day.
It felt surreal, that I had impulsively done that. It was not my first time feeling suicidal or even attempting it. But it felt so unlike me, and that is exactly how I had felt for the last two years prior to that. I could never tell what was bringing such intense feelings and at such polar opposites at times. And then, August 19th, I snapped. I had no plans to attempt suicide that day. One minute I was happy, and the next I wanted to fall asleep and never wake up.
That next morning though, I woke up. I waited patiently, staring at the ceiling, for my mother to arrive. She did. I was guided to a different wing, minutes after finishing my breakfast, where I was met with two young students. I was going to be interviewed by them first. They asked a slew of questions about what led me there and how I was feeling in the situation that led me here, so on and so forth, before they left me alone to consult with the psychiatrist on staff that day. I waited 10 minutes before the psychiatrist entered, followed by the students. He sat down in front of me, with my discharge papers, and told me that, from his understanding of the situation — told to him by the paramedics’ reports and the interview by his two students — I had borderline personality disorder (BPD). And that was it. I was offered help, but only if I could afford it and I knew I couldn’t. I didn’t have the proper insurance to cover any kind of one-on-one therapy. When I said I couldn’t, he signed my papers and said I should go see a social worker at the clinic closest to me, who would then refer me to other options better for my financial situation.
I was allowed to go home then.
I felt empty. I was guided out from the room to meet with my mother. And I went home.
And I still felt so helpless. I did everything possible since then to help with my diagnosis, but I wish things had been different. I wish the psychiatrist had shown an ounce of care when he handled my case. I am in no way against students learning to handle being with patients or learning the interviewing process, but after pouring my feelings and heart out to them, I wish I could have gotten even an ounce of respect and actual mental health care from a psychiatrist. My suicide attempt was me screaming for the help I wish I would have gotten. I was afraid to even open up to group therapy or individual therapy, in fear of meeting someone like the psychiatrist who diagnosed me. In fear of being left helpless again. I had been not given an ounce of support from medical professionals, and handling anyone this way can have grave consequences.
I felt like I wasn’t worth the help. That feeling intensified for months until I ended up receiving support. Limited support.
I wish my diagnosis had been handled differently. I know I deserve the help. I just wish I had gotten it when I needed it. I wish I had been given more options. I wish there was more of a follow up on suicide attempt patients once discharged.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.
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Getty Images photo via Grandfailure