The Mighty Logo

When Your Family Doesn't Think Your Diagnosis Is Real

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

To be diagnosed with any mental disorder and have your family doubt if it’s real is one of the toughest things someone could ever deal with. Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is difficult to deal with on its own. Emotional instability that manifests itself in unstable relationships and self-image, like you’re jumping from one extreme to another all the time. There is never an in-between.

Before I was diagnosed, I spent a great lot of time wondering if other people function the same way I do. It didn’t feel right, how I function, but I thought if someone else did the same things, maybe there was nothing to be bothered about.

It was always just one of two things. Either, I was really depressed or really hyper (but not necessarily happy). The only consistent thing about me was that I was always over-thinking. Sometimes, I literally feel total chaos in my head as thoughts race and jumble into one massive pile of mental torture.

It wasn’t obvious, to say the least, because I got great at faking it around people. Yet, I had, and still have, sketchy relationships, especially with friends. Sometimes, it seems like I trust too much. More often, I don’t trust anyone at all.

I remember specific moments when I find myself not caring enough, if at all, even for the closest friends I have. I do things, mostly impulsive, ridiculous things, that I know might threaten my friendships without much regard to the possible cause. It feels like some sort of nightmare or a curse.

Then, I wake up and realize I don’t want them gone from my life, and they actually mean something to me. I make it up for whatever I’ve done wrong. Then, the cycle just resets.

I used to think I was just naturally mean (although I knew I wasn’t.) The truth is, it often feels like there are multiple sides to who I am, and there are moments when I cannot figure out if any of them is even the real me.

Yet, the thing that makes it harder is when you have no support from the people you’d expect to be there for you. The support you need becomes doubt as they insist that everyone goes through the same things.

I still don’t know how to deal with it, to be honest. I’m still not sure how to convince my family that this is more than real. If only they could see what goes on inside my head, then they wouldn’t doubt for a second that this is not a matter to be ignored.

To people like me who live with BPD, or any mental illness, and find themselves in a similar situation, let’s stay strong. It is difficult to be met with doubt instead of support, but I am with you. We are going to get through this. We will find ways to be better and live above this disorder. Believe me, even if they don’t believe you and even if there are times when even you don’t believe in yourself, I believe in you.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

 Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: February 28, 2017
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home