For a while now I’ve had a thought at the back of my mind wondering if my diagnosis of BPD (Borderline personality disorder) still fits.
Knowing that there are 9 diagnostic criteria, of which those diagnosed need to meet at least 5 over a long period of time. Knowing that some of these criteria I had definitely met in the past, but no longer do, and haven’t done for a while.
Thinking about this, yet not really spending any real time thinking about it.
After all, does it really matter?
Does it really matter whether I tick certain boxes?
I am not a thing to tick boxes, meet criteria and be labelled. I am a person with certain issues, which have an impact on my life, at some times more so than others.
Don’t get me wrong, a diagnosis for me is and has been useful.
A long while before I got full-blown mentally unwell, I had read about BPD and thought ‘that’s me’. I identified so much with the diagnosis.
When I got quite unwell I knew it was more than depression. Although I knew this, I never suggested any diagnosis to any mental health professionals – I didn’t consider it my job to tell them their job.
My Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) did indicate a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. She was the one person in the world who knew me best, so it was reassuring to have her see what I could see. It was further reassuring later to have a psychiatrist give me that diagnosis.
It was validation for me… but I’m not really sure that it changed much.
I didn’t find my treatment to be specifically tailored to someone with BPD, and that was clearly not the case since I moved to a new town (and therefore mental health team) last year.
But… the benefits of my diagnosis were not external benefits. They were benefits in my head. It helped me make sense of things. Make sense of me.
That was all a few years back. It’s 3 years next month since I got that diagnosis. Since people saw what I saw.
And lately, yes, there’s been that niggling voice lately wondering if I still fit that diagnosis. Probably because I’ve been seeing more and more of the me that other people see. And because the affects of the condition have less than they have been in the past.
And low and behold, since then, there’s been a number of things which have shown me that yes, I do have BPD. Clearly not as badly as I did a few years ago. But, yes, I do have borderline personality disorder
And the affects may be less than they have been in the past. But when I’m caught up in how BPD makes me feel that is irrelevant. It doesn’t make it feel any less hellish, any less confusing, any less complicated or any less despairing.
I’m still me though. I’m still all that I am apart from the condition
But the condition is still there, and I still have a long way to go before I can really be where I need to be. Where I deserve to be.
The more I realise that, the more I’ve had that feeling again lately of it being ‘too hard’.
It doesn’t help that although I do a lot of work on myself, I do need some professional help and obtaining that help has lately been harder than it ever has been.
But despite how hard it has been, how hard it feels, I’m pushing forward… not giving up.
Because, no matter what my mind may tell me, I am actually worth it.
You may find the following helpful as additional reading: