Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is often categorized – in short – as a mental illness where the survivor exhibits explosive anger, impulsive behaviors, and unstable relationships – with romantic partners, as well as friends and family.
Due to the destructive nature of these symptoms, BPD has almost become a bad word in the mental health community. As an MSW, I have come across professionals who won’t work with individuals who have been diagnosed with BPD due to the stereotypical “abusive” nature of the disease.
However, the symptoms listed above provide an overgeneralized assumption of the disorder based on only three out of nine possible symptoms – and all symptoms are frequently linked to trauma. This overgeneralization of BPD marginalizes survivors of the illness by belittling or oversimplifying their experience – particularly those who don’t fall under the assumed criteria.
Furthermore, it makes finding help extremely difficult, let alone receiving an appropriate diagnosis. There are four types of Borderline Personality Disorder that all exhibit differently, and to be diagnosed with BPD, one must exhibit five out of nine possible criteria.
My Experience as a Professional Mental Health Worker with BPD