One aspect of CAPS Independent Advocacy’s Much More Than a Label Personality Disorder project is a two day training course on Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). It’s run in partnership with LEARN, the Lothian Education and Recovery Network and supported by NHS Lothian. The course runs four times a year and is open to most NHS, social care and third sector workers.
The training is delivered by Lili, the development worker on the project at CAPS with some input from Merrick, the Self-Harm Nurse* and a couple of basket cases. Sorry, I mean people with lived experience of BPD. That’s where I come in. Along with at least one other person with lived experience we help deliver the training. We give our own experience, put a human face and voice to the clinically cold diagnostic criteria, explain how it affects us minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day. We answer questions to the best of our ability all in the hopes of reducing the unwarranted stigma attached to people with this diagnosis.
We’re not manipulative. We’re desperate and out of options and no one will listen to us or believe us.
We’re not acting out. We’ve usually tried all the alternatives, exhausted all our reserves and still not getting anywhere.
We’re not untreatable. There are several new talking therapies that have been proven to help people with BPD. Unfortunately these are almost impossible to get. I don’t meet the criteria for them in Edinburgh.
We’re not toxic! Ok, some of us are but no more than in any other group of people. People from all walks of life can be toxic. Having a BPD diagnosis doesn’t make us more likely to be toxic. From my own personal experience people with BPD are more likely to be incredibly sensitive to other people’s emotions and want to do everything they can to help others even if it’s to their own detriment. My other half occasionally has to ban me from volunteering to help others because I will take on too much and my own mental and physical health suffer as a result and he usually ends up picking up the pieces and putting me back together. I’m really bad at saying no to someone in need.
I digress. The next training session is Tuesday and Wednesday this week. And I’ve completely forgotten why I was writing this post. Oh well. This can be an info post about the training. I can post another if I ever remember what my point was.
*Not her actual job title but that’s how we all know her.