What do you know about borderline personality disorder? Today’s guest contributor, Natalia Hero, shares her personal insights into the often stigmatized mental illness, usually referred to as BPD. If you have BPD, please comment below and tell us about your experiences.
May is Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month – it’s also my birthday month, and the month during which I was diagnosed with the disorder. I like to think that that reinforces the connection I have with my illness – that BPD is very much a part of me, to be accepted and even embraced rather than demonized or ignored. To me, this has been an important part of the healing process. But the way BPD is perceived by others is another matter entirely. The disorder is highly stigmatized even within the field of psychiatry – it’s been described in some of the literature I’ve read as “incurable” while its…
You have probably seen this blog on Fearless Girl vs Charging Bull which has been floating around social media the past couple of days. Yesterday I had a minor tweet rant in response, and apparently I am not done. So here is a blog of My Thoughts™ on the matter.
First, the fact that Greg Fallis’s blog lays out extra context, for example the SHE inscription, is good (notwithstanding his grating Reasonable Objective Man explaining to you silly people who don’t like history tone). Context and facts are always to be welcomed.
That aside, his take is garbage. Here’s why.
I spent a weekend last year counting all the statues in the UK’s Public Monuments and Statue’s database (ikr). I wrote about it in full here, but here’s a brief summary:
Out of 925 statues, only 158 were of women standing alone (the figure for men was 508). If you count group shots, the number of female…
Thank you for the begging letter asking me to sign a “togetherstronger” pledge or something.
Thank you but no. Again, no. I already told you in my last email that I was pro-IndyRef2 and pro-independence. Were you even listening? I guess not but that seems to be par for the course with Labour these days and that makes me sad.
I already told you I support IndyRef 2 when I asked you to support it. Were you even listening? I guess not. But then why would you listen to disabled person of colour who was a victim of a post-Brexit hate crime and just wants to escape from Westminster rule as they don’t seem to care about me and my European friends. Who uses human beings as bargaining chips? Terrorists and Westminster politicians. And these are the people who I feel you are backing when you say IndyRef 2 shouldn’t happen. I know where you stand now. You won’t read this but that’s ok. I’m used to being ignored. Westminster have made it very clear that disabled people and people of colour mean nothing to them and Labour’s actions have left me believing you think the same way too. I miss the old Labour party. I really do. I don’t recognise you any more.
. . . who sent me an email saying why she thinks Scotland should stay in an abusive relationship.
To whoever reads email replies to Kezia’s “Better Together” email,
Everything changed when we were told we were being dragging out of the EU because of England and Wales. I’m a person of colour. I was assaulted three days after the EU referendum thanks to the result. It made all the racist scum think that 52% of the population agreed with them so they started attacking people like me. The attack has left me traumatised and completely terrified of this Brexit process and my attacker is still out there. It’s only going to get worse with the Tories completely in charge and the opposition so ineffectual. I’m so scared and the only people who actually seem to care are the SNP. My SNP MP has bent over backwards to help me which is more than Labour have ever done. I welcome an independent Scotland and the chance of staying in or rejoining the EU. I feel safer with SNP and EU rhetoric than with Westminster.
Via a Rethink Mental Illness campaign. The bit in italics is my addition. Yes, I did send it.
Dear Prime Minister,
Why do you hate mentally ill people like myself? Are you doing this to push many of us over the edge so that we won’t be such a burden on hard-working taxpayers? I used to think that sort of belief was paranoia but I’m not so sure any more. You’ll never know how terrifying that is. Believing your own government hates you so much that they’re actively reducing your support in order to encourage you to kill yourself. I guess this is what passes for Compassionate Conservativism.
I am writing to ask you to reverse the changes to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) regulations, which came into force last week.
I am deeply concerned that these changes undermine two recent Upper Tribunal rulings, which would have broadened the reach of PIP. This will prevent people with mental health conditions from accessing financial support to carry out daily tasks such as planning and making a journey – potentially risking isolation.
This is in stark contrast to your Government’s welcome commitment to delivering parity of esteem between physical and mental health.
Please will you reconsider, so that people with mental health conditions have access to the same vital financial support as those with physical disabilities?
“My anxiety: Something’s off
Me: How so?
Anxiety: Something’s wrong
Me: Like can you give me a general idea?
Anxiety: Something’s off”
A friend posted this and it got me thinking. My anxiety definitely does this but it also has other methods of attack.
Like this one:
Me: I’m not anxious.
Anxiety: . . . !
Me: Why am I not anxious? Actually this is rather pleasant.
Anxiety: *wakes up*
Me: Er . . .
Anxiety: Did you miss me? By the way, something’s wrong.
And this one:
Me: I’m not anxious.
Me: Why am I not anxious?
Anxiety: Did you say something?
Me: What have I forgotten about?
Anxiety: Panic stations! Red alert!
Me: Argh argh argh!!!
“Disability benefits should go to “really disabled people” not those “taking pills at home, who suffer from anxiety”, a key Theresa May aide says.
No 10 policy unit head George Freeman said personal independence payments (PIP) reforms were needed to roll back the “bizarre” decisions of tribunals.”
Bizarre. Awarding disability benefits to mentally ill people is “bizarre.”
Acceptable disabilities according to the Tories’ own press release: visual impairment, kidney failure.
Unacceptable disabilities: “psychological distress” meaning anxiety/mental illness.
I don’t think they understand what pathological anxiety actually is. It’s not feeling sick and terrified before an exam. Apparently that’s pretty common and fairly normal. This anxiety is waking up most mornings and feeling so sick to your stomach about, well, when barely awake I’ve no idea what caused it, that you cannot face getting out of bed because you feel like you’re going to die if you try to do anything at all. And actually wishing you hadn’t woken up and had died in your sleep instead. This is me four or five mornings a week. And almost every night. Could be worse. Could be all day, every day. I do get some respite. Not much but some but I generally have to spend that either recovering from the rest of the stuff or fixing all the things that got left behind when I was too ill to do anything and that’s exhausting and makes the anxiety come back with a vengeance . . .
I’ve tried various things to get over it like thinking about my friend’s adorable kids but all that does is make me associate the kids with the anxiety. Every thing else I’ve tried either doesn’t work or makes it worse. I just have to ride it out and hope it will pass before I need to leave the house.
I know I posted the government’s press release on this subject a couple of days ago along with a rant but this aide’s comments needed destroying.
This press release has just confirmed that Tories don’t think mental illness is anywhere near as bad as physical illness. How on earth are we supposed to eliminate the stigma and discrimination that goes along with mental illness when our own government actively encourages it? These privileged people have zero understanding of just how debilitating mental illness can be and no empathy. We’re doomed.
I’m in the Work Related Activity Group of Employment and Support Allowance so I have to talk to a JobcentrePlus person at least every six months. At my last “interview” the JobcentrePlus employee, “P”, lied about where it was supposed to take place. He told me I was supposed to have attended the Jobcentre itself which is a lie because I got it changed to a telephone appointment and my MP’s assistant remembers me making the phone call to make that change. P is a liar.
P then tried to force me to take medication and therapy against my psychiatrist’s advice. My psychiatrist says I’m as well as can be expected and I’m not to rock the boat. Medication does not help me and there is no specific therapy available for my condition in my area. P thinks he knows better than my psychiatrist. P also gave me incorrect information about the Mental Health Information Station at the Walpole Hall. He told me they do therapy there. They don’t.
By the end of the “interview” he’d harrassed me so much that he’d pushed me into suicidal ideation. Instead of ascertaining where I was and who I was with (he knew I wasn’t at home) he sent the police round to my house. The police broke down my door leaving me out £150 for my insurance excess as the door was beyond repair. He did this to me despite my warning him just how fragile I am. I felt bullied and threatened and intimidated and I still feel that way. I freak out whenever I hear someone with a similar accent to his. The police were furious with him too. He wasted their time and by not giving them complete information he potentially jeopardised my life. He didn’t give them my mobile number, just my address and he knew I wasn’t there. The police only found me because my mobile number was on a crime I’d reported back in 2002 and I hadn’t changed it. If P had asked where I was and if I was alone he would have discovered that I was with my carer who is capable of dialling 999 if necessary. My carer chose to talk me down rather than needlessly escalating the situation. It would have worked if Jobcentre P hadn’t been so incompetent.
I’m terrified I’ll be sanctioned because I refuse to disobey my psychiatrist. I cannot comply with JobcentrePlus demands because my psychiatrist will not give me medication. What am I supposed to do? Buy random psychoactive substances on the street? I’m terrified. I honestly don’t know how much more of this I can take. I’m fighting suicidal thoughts every single day but the actions of the DWP/JobcentrePlus just make it worse. They claim they’re doing this to help us but they’re not. They’re making things worse. Much worse.