borderline stigma

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borderline stigma
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    Community Voices
    Megan Glosson

    A Therapist Used My Borderline Personality Disorder to Dismiss Rape

    When I received my borderline personality disorder diagnosis in late 2017, I was blissfully unaware of the harsh stigmas that some clinicians place on their borderline clients. In fact, I never dreamed that a therapist would make assumptions about a client based on their diagnosis, let alone hold a diagnosis against them. Unfortunately, it only took a year for me to understand why so many people who live with borderline personality disorder (BPD) struggle to find therapists who will work with them, and I don’t know that I’ll ever forget one specific incident I encountered during one of my therapy sessions. Close to a year into my work with a dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) therapist, I walked into what quickly became one of the most difficult therapy sessions I’ve ever had. Earlier that week, an incident happened with my then-husband in which I did not consent to sexual intercourse, but it happened anyway. Given my history of sexual trauma and my low self-esteem, I felt very conflicted and ashamed of the events that occurred that night. I assumed I could bring all of my thoughts and feelings about the event to my therapy session, and my therapist would help me both process everything and recommend coping skills to help lower my emotional intensity. However, I soon learned that my assumption was very, very inaccurate. The therapist not only dismissed the majority of my emotions, but she went on to say that I “probably consented without realizing it” and later decided to “ignore” that detail so that I could turn the event into “something more dramatic.” In fact, she said she even questioned if the event happened at all and accused me of making certain details up in order to “seek attention.” She continued by saying my tears and “cries for attention” wouldn’t help me in the long run, and I should focus on the work I need to do instead of focusing my attention on “ruining perfectly good relationships .” In other words, the very therapist who touted herself as someone accepting and helpful to people with my diagnosis was actually using my diagnosis against me. As you can imagine, I left the session feeling completely broken and more than a little confused. The narrative in my head of the night with my partner wasn’t at all matching up with this new perspective my therapist had provided, and the dissonance between them pushed me even further into the shame spiral I had already landed in days before. Instead of finding resolution or at least a safe haven from my own self-hatred, my therapist merely fueled the fire and made me hate myself even more. Because of that day, it took me a long time to fully open up to anyone else about the events that happened with my former spouse. Even when I did finally confide in a few close friends and eventually a new therapist, I downplayed the situation and resorted to using language that placed all of the blame on myself. Even now, I still catch myself trying to mentally frame the event in a way where the ownership falls on me — even though I know deep down that I was merely the victim in both the incident with my ex-husband and the session with my former therapist. Since that day, I’ve moved on to a new therapist and reframed my thoughts surrounding it all. However, I refuse to forgive the therapist who dismissed the entire credibility of my story just because of the label she’d given to me. Most people say that forgiveness isn’t for the other person, it’s for yourself, and I firmly believe that. In this specific situation, though, I’ve learned that forgiveness isn’t always needed. In fact, you can still find closure and move past troublesome events without forgiving anyone — you just need the courage and strength to accept what happened and close the door on that chapter in your life.

    Community Voices

    Do you worry about your friends/family accepting societal stigma about BPD as fact and potentially abandoning you because of it?

    I’m not sure if I will explain this very well. Does anyone ever let societal stigma get on top of them too? I am almost scared for the people in my life to look too far into what BPD is in case they start to think badly of me. I’m not sure my FP knows they’re my FP or even what an FP is. I sometimes freak out that her simply knowing she is my FP is enough for her to abandon me because she might feel scared or worried if she reads about what it is and realises she is mine. And I guess that’s not even stigma really, a FP relationship is just very intense. Does this make sense? I don’t even know. Just feel like the stigma of “toxic, dangerous, obsessive” could be enough to scare someone off when I’ve worked so hard to get to where I am today and learn to control my behaviour and impulses (for the most part). Does anyone else relate to this fear of abandonment in case friends/family believe the stigma too much and have a lack of BPD understanding? I have never experienced this but it is a fear of mine. I am struggling to rationalise this in my head. #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #EndTheStigma #BorderlineStigma

    10 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    I have been ghosted by my fiancé

    <p>I have been ghosted by my fiancé</p>
    8 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Family Support is imported.

    <p>Family Support is imported.</p>
    10 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Please help me find therapeutic help for my BPD in Salt Lake City Utah

    <p>Please help me find therapeutic help for my <a href="" class="tm-embed-link  tm-autolink health-map" data-id="5b23ce6700553f33fe98e87d" data-name="BPD" title="BPD" target="_blank">BPD</a> in Salt Lake City Utah</p>
    2 people are talking about this
    Community Voices
    Community Voices

    Empty! Empty! Empty

    I navigate through social interaction as a chameleon, adapting and radically changing my identity. Whether it be for the purpose of endearment, preventing them from leaving or because I do not know who I am. However, after such drastic identity changes and attempts, I feel an intense deep void within, ensuing me to experience loneliness. I often question, why do I incessantly change my personality. Why do I constantly contend with an empty vessel. Why can't I interact like most people do.

    I was wondering whether anyone else experiences this? Feeling less alone in this battle.

    #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #BorderlineStigma #MentalHealth

    3 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Dear Diary 📔

    <p>Dear Diary 📔</p>
    Community Voices

    Experience of intensive DBT programs


    I’ll be starting a 24 week long DTB program. I literally with major depressive disorder and borderline personality disorder. It’s every Monday evening and ends in September 30.

    I’ve just decided to take control of my life and try to gain some skills to manage my personality disorder. I just hate that BPD is so stigmatised. I’ve recently lost 3 friends because they would gaslight and misunderstand me. The worst part is that they all talk shit about each other’s back and told the last person I could trust in that group to be careful. I’m not a gossiper because if I have an issue with someone, I say it to their face.

    People who talk shit about someone they “care” about are just not trustworthy and liars. The friend then sent my text to be careful about the others and she sent the message to them. I usually distance myself who talk shit about others because it’s so cowardly and disrespectful.

    So, I’m still hurt but my psychologist has been suggesting DBT. Juggling this with my Masters is going to be a lot but I want to do it.

    How has your experience been of joining at intensive DBT programme? #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #BorderlineStigma #On #Depression #DBT

    5 people are talking about this