I was going to start off this blog with something light and airy, vaguely humourous about my attempts at setting up websites or blogs and the like. Instead, I find myself posting about Borderline Personality Disorder (the one everyone thinks they know about) or Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (the one no one knows quite what it means and sounds relatively harmless. Emotions. Who needs those, right?) as it is now correctly known.
I have EUPD. As much as it sounds like nothing, and as much as I get a reaction of ‘oh, right, that’ when I mention BPD – I’m kind of starting to think there is an advantage to the new name. Consider this: you are finally diagnosed (wether you wanted to be or not) and the medical community suddenly starts treating you that bit more… differently? I’d like to say seriously, but that’s not the experience of the contributor to this article in The Mighty. Her mental health team now simply thought they knew all about her, all from three little letters. B. P. D.
Does she like cats? No idea. Is she more of a dog person? Who knows. Does she prefer classical music over jazz and does she prefer a latte over a cappuccino? And these are only the simplistic (if occasionally significant) things that make up the person with whom the medical community sees fit to deal with, all and only through the lense of three little letters. B. P. D.
They feel like a chain around my neck. I’m ‘lucky’ I have aspergers, it is written in my file in neon (well, it’s typed there anyway) that I am meticulously honest and tell people how I feel/what I am doing (assuming I know myself). That… takes a little of the pressure off but I now understand why my mental health worker was at such great pains to point this out to anyone new seeing me. She knew me before and after I became ‘official’ you see.
In fairness to my mental health team, I have been treated exceptionally well and with great kindness, the medical staff at the local medical hospital and my GP surgery have all been brilliant (and all on the wonderful NHS!). I’ve not suffered much from the stigma amongst HCPs and it is nice to know in a way, what it is, that this thing that makes my Crazy act out has a name. It’s why I prefer the new name though, I prefer having to explain it to strangers rather have them think they know me because of an eposide of Criminal Minds or something.
Still, I’d rather give the whole thing back, but then, I wouldn’t be me, would I.