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My story

“They seemed so lovely and polite until they read I had BPD. Then their attitude would change instantly.”

Content warning: suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; trauma

Author wishes to remain anonymous

I experienced childhood trauma within my family home from a young age; by the time people found out what was happening I was 15 years old in a psychiatric hospital.

When I was 16, and in the care system, I was told I had an emerging personality disorder, and from the age of 17+ I was a revolving door patient constantly in and out of hospital. When I was 18 in 2014 I got the BPD [Borderline Personality Disorder] diagnosis. Instantly I was treated different, I was [considered] manipulative, attention seeking, abusive, not worthy.

I spent 4 years in a psychiatric hospital and the only way they would let me leave was if I took part in DBT  [Dielactical Behavioural Therapy, a type of talking therapy] which I didn’t want to do. There were other people on the wards with other diagnoses and they got treated so much better than the people with BPD, the nurses had time for them even when they where in crisis. To me they just got told to disengage and leave me to it.

Their attitude would change instantly.

I was discharged from hospital after completing DBT for a year. But since then I have struggled with self-harming and trying to commit suicide. Every time I went for help they seemed so lovely and polite until they read I had BPD then their attitude would change instantly. They would only talk to me if they needed the answer to a question or to do the bare minimum treatment, and I would speak to the mental health team who would just dismiss me and send me home saying “if you were going to do it you wouldn’t have come here.”

It just made me feel like such a failure and like I was to blame. I’ve been to A&E when it’s not been to do with anything self inflicted and you get treated like you’re the only patient there, they’re so lovely and kind. Like don’t they understand that I don’t want to be hurting myself or feeling like I want to die all the time? But that was how I learnt to cope as a child going through trauma I wish it was as easy as just saying “stop” and I don’t do it anymore or feel the way I feel.

I feel like people forget why you have been diagnosed with it; the trauma.

I tell them I’m desperate and when I want to take my own life it consumes me and they just say that you’ve felt like this before you’ll be fine, and in my paperwork it says that BPD isn’t a real mental health problem, [but] it really is.

Since this diagnosis I feel like people forget why you have been diagnosed with it, the trauma, and only treat the diagnosis which is “manipulative and attention seeking.”

Speak your truth: your own experiences can help create change

If you want to share your experiences around this diagnosis you can take part in Platfform’s Truth Project.

Platfform are campaigning for a review of the use of the diagnosis of PD. Add your voice to our call for change by sharing your story. We will share these with Welsh Government and use them to strengthen our campaign.

For more information, and to access the survey, click here.

If you are in a mental health crisis, please read this paragraph

If you have been affected by anything in this story and would like to talk to someone you can call Samaritans on 116 123. You can also call the national mental health support line for advice on 111 (press 2.)