May is BPD Awareness month. It’s oddly fitting that I seem to be in a black hole of depression at the moment.
I’ve talked about my mental health a few times on the blog, I sometimes worry if I share too much, but when I get an email from a reader thanking me for being open about it, I know I’ve done the right thing. Mental illness has a certain stigma attached to it. It often makes people automatically think i’m crazy, bad, insane, and hey, to some I might be, but that’s not all I am. Everyone has layers.
I struggle a hell of a lot. I understand that a lot of people do, I know that there are people out there that have worse lives then I do, and I actually feel guilty about it. I hate that most of the time I find just living hard. It frustrates me that I have problems, that I get anxiety and I can’t live a full life. That I can’t go out and catch a bus, that I can’t have a full time job, that I can’t go to the movies by myself, meet new people, the stuff most people take for granted every day.
I’ve been seeing councilors, therapists, psychs, since I was around 10. I was diagnosed with depression, then Bipolar, then that was changed to Borderline. I feel lucky in many ways that I’ve learnt from a young age many coping mechanisms. It’s what has let me come so far. At one stage my Mum told me she didn’t think I’d make it to 18 I was so badly depressed. I’ve always felt a bit different, more, I dunno, MORE. I used to wake my parents up every night until I was around 10, just to make sure they were ok. I’ve always felt scared.
I’ve pushed through many things. I used to self injure, almost every day. I don’t anymore. I sometimes slip up, but I sometimes go over a year without hurting myself. I’ve learnt to recognise my emotions and try to rationalise them. I’m often telling myself “It may FEEL like the end of the world Natalie, but it’s not”.
While it was good knowing what was wrong with me, in regards to getting the right help, it’s hard having a ‘label’ thrust upon you. I don’t have all the symptoms they list and that is always something to remember, every person has their own special concoction of illness. I am not an angry person, at all, I will go out of my way to make others happy, to the point of making myself miserable. One of the big criteria is ‘reckless behavior’, and on a list with things like, substance abuse, reckless driving, promiscuous sex, my main ‘reckless’ areas lay in spending and binge eating.
The statistic that scares me the most is the suicide rate. 10% of people with BPD will commit suicide, it’s the mental illness with the highest suicide rate. 70% of people with BPD will at least try. So if you put 10 people in a room, 7 of them will have tried, and one will be successful. I am one of those 7, but I will NOT be that 1.
If you ever feel suicidal, or suffer from depression, don’t be afraid to get help. It’s hard to reach out, but please do. There are many specialised groups, lifelines etc in most countries & are easy to look up online. Don’t be afraid to try medication either, for some people one pill can help a simple chemical imbalance in the brain. Also, don’t forget that you are never alone.