Changing the name of Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder

I get really tired of reading on and on about how a borderline personality diagnosis sets someone up for a lifetime of labels and stigma. These articles are often written by professionals. So here is my consumer perspective. It’s not the same for everyone- but I hope we can agree on the action areas this population needs!

For me getting the diagnosis was horrific just like being told I had depression or another illness I have. But it saved my life. It gave me hope that there are services out there for this conditions. It gave me validation and I got the specific evidence based treatment I needed.

A diagnosis doesn’t create stigma, it’s how people view the name and misunderstand the behaviours.
People who self harm will unfortunately be called attention seekers by people who don’t understand.
My erratic mood swings and aggression will always be misunderstood as acting out rather than trying to deal with underlying trauma.

When health care providers have said to me people with BPD are manipulative, selfish and controlling.

I don’t get angry for myself, I feel sorry that they hold such shallow views about people trying to cope with life in general. I don’t see my “personality” as flawed. And the only time I do think about it is when I read the negative comments about the label.

Changing the name of BPD to something else doesn’t fix the problem. Nor does using the diagnosis as the focus of all treatment.

Instead we need discussion on the actual problems
👉🏻 the lack of training for clinicians working with this population.
👉🏼 The lack of lived experience workers in educational systems, hospitals and treating teams.
👉🏻The lack of government funding for BPD
👉🏼 the emergency crisis where people who are suicidal do not get timely treatment.
👉🏻The Shame we put on ourselves for reaching out for help.
👉🏻The fear of the unknown of working with someone which I’m truly not equipped for and haven’t had proper supervision and support with.

“Difficult” clients exist because we have “difficult” clinicians

Who ultimately Fail to see the person as a person and not just their diagnosis.


Published by Beyond Personality Disorders

Founder of My Potential Mental health Advocate; Occupational Therapy Teacher and Researcher Australia “As an occupational therapist diagnosed with BPD I will use this page to share about the various interventions and strategies that are helpful to those with BPD. I will also share about the positive and sometimes challenging approaches that health professionals have used in my treatment in emergency, inpatient, outpatient and community settings. I hope that by sharing my lived experience I can help improve the experience of those struggling to understand Borderline Personality Disorders (BPD) and also support those living with BPD and other mental health challenges Most importantly we will share how occupation can powerfully help change lives!" Laura

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