A thought struck me yesterday. In light of this Depp v. Heard trial, where Amber Heard was diagnosed with both BPD and HPD, even though BPD is already highly stigmatized Amber Heard just added fuel to the fire. Now, I'm concerned that if I tell someone I have BPD they will equate me with someone so crazy and abusive as her.
To many people, Borderline Personality Disorder is something they wouldn't have heard of before. Some strange diagnosis in the back of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Psychiatric Disorders to the uninitiated) But this week a hell of a lot more people learned something about it.
For those of you under a rock - I don't blame you - these last few weeks have seen the trial of Amber Heard. She has claimed successfully in past court appearances that Johnny Depp had subjected her to domestic abuse, and now Depp is fighting to clear his name and prove that he is many things but an abuser isn't one of them.
I know how I feel about the whole thing and this is not somewhere that I wish to discuss my thoughts on that. Plus my opinion means diddly squat, so instead I will talk about the part of the trial so far that I know a lot about and that is Heard's diagnosis of Borderline Personality. In fairness she was also diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality also but I am no expert on that, so just the one for me to talk about here.
Borderlines have what you'd call bad sides. Elements of their personality that are sometimes troublesome. We can be obsessive about things or people, we can be incredibly destructive within our relationships, sometimes mentally, sometimes physically, sometimes both.
We can be manipulative because we are desperately trying to have our plans come to fruition, sometimes without any thought for those who get caught in the crossfire.
We are likely to have periods of deep depression that can include suicidal ideation. We can have serious rage sometimes. We might punch walls or scream, and yes some of us will be physical with others. We might use drugs or alcohol to medicate ourselves from the issues that afflict us.
Read that list again.
Neurotypical people can and will do those things too sometimes. Sometimes the person you least expect to be a monster is the very worst of all.
Borderline people are NOT all the same. Nor are people with other mental illnesses or disorders. We are individuals, with individual characteristics. We are your mothers, brothers, father's, friends. Don't write us all off because of something you saw once on TV.
The other borderlines I know are beautiful people. Truly. They are far more likely to hurt themselves than others. They give love in amounts that are sometimes detrimental to their well-being and suffer pain that none of us can explain with any accuracy.
There is good and bad in every single one of us. That's what makes us unique as a species and that uniqueness is a cause for celebration, not something that should be feared.
So when you are asked your opinion on Amber Heard, remember that she can't see what you say, but your mentally ill friends will.
Embrace the differences.