Of my mental illnesses, borderline personality disorder has to be the hardest for me to explain to my friends and family. It happens the same way every time. I tell them I have borderline personality disorder and they ALWAYS say “So, like multiple personalities”? NO, it’s not like multiple personalities. It is confusing for the public and daunting for the afflicted for this mental illness to have such an incorrectly descriptive term.
I have heard in other countries they call it Emotionally Unstable Disorder, which it a much better term for it. However, I feel like from a “stigma” point of view, it could be a very ugly term to the public. I can remember symptoms of BPD as far back as early childhood and blowing up in my high school years.
I have always had attachment issues. My mother had to give me to my grandparents when I was 2 in order to raise my sister and my father fled when I was about that age as well. Since then, I remember that I had horrid issues with attachment and what I call “attachment rage”.
For example, when I was 17 my boyfriend at the time had to go home. It was late. I “needed” him that night and I was shocked that he would leave, regardless of the consequences. So, I jumped on the hood of his car and laid there for 2 hours to get him to not leave. How it did not escalate to the police being called…I will never know.
I admit, that story makes me cringe every time I tell it. I am embarrassed that I acted that way, and it wasn’t the last time I did. When losing someone I “need” whether for a long time or short, I get into this pit of despair and an odd fight or flight scenario. The attachment rage I speak of is usually a product of this loss. I have jumped on cars, threatened harm to myself, done drugs, been reckless and more that I would prefer to not discuss.
Borderline personality disorder just doesn’t explain the diagnosis properly in my opinion. What do you think? Should BPD stay the same or should the name be changed?
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Last reviewed: 15 Jul 2014