On The Borderline/ Mental Health

The Discriminating Doc: My Experience With Stigma And A Mental Health Professional

I have previously added a post relating to the Stigma towards BPD (Common Misconceptions And Myths Attached To BPD, Lets Get a Few Things Straight!. )

I’m going to share with you something that has made my blood boil for the past 2 days…

So I was talking to this guy recently, just general chit chat.  He is a mental health worker in a Crisis Unit in a Hospital. We got onto the subject of me studying mental health and completing my course and I mentioned that I would like to concentrate on some specialised learning in Personality Disorders because it really interests me.

See, I would like to do some charity work as when I was diagnosed, leading up to it and after the diagnosis,  I wasn’t happy with the care I received from the NHS and I  felt fobbed off. I know a LOT of people who feel the same way.I feel that the charities I received help from helped me so much more and actually cared for me as a person.

His response to learning about PD was…
‘ooh no, you wouldn’t like it. One thing I don’t like is PD, you can’t really treat them in our places you just have to not feed into them’

When I asked why he replied
‘It’s just attention seeking and manipulation, you get some really clever ones..so don’t fall for their shit. They will self harm and attempt suicide but not enough to kill themselves, just enough to make a scene and then they get off on it’

I told him that surely that would mean that they need the most help then. He then said
“‘Nope, they can only help themselves, there is no medication for them’

I was really upset and appalled that someone in that line of work could react like that, I am disgusted at the negative attitude of this ‘professional’. The stereotypical views and the discrimination against any mental health issue; let alone PD can cause great harm to a person. If this is the mind-set of someone working in a mental health emergency room then what hope is there for the rest of us?

At first it made me question everything I have learnt so far, I actually doubted myself for a minute and became a little angry and upset by it. I felt like a monster again, like the first day I got diagnosed and I Googled Borderline Personality Disorder and seen the negative blogs, websites and forums and seen the terrible things that people had to say about this type of disorder.

But then I gathered my thoughts and realised that actually, I have been treated. I have attended therapy for years and once I was taken seriously and finally given the right coping strategies and tools to work with,  I slowly learnt how to better regulate my emotions and manage my reactions and moods.

I certainly don’t feel like I did back then and have a better understanding of BPD,  meaning that I know the triggers and how to handle them. I haven’t had a breakdown for over a year, I don’t attempt suicide, in the past when I felt suicidal I don’t think it was for attention as I was genuinely debating whether to go through with it or not.

I don’t get angry like I used to, I don’t cut, I live as normal a life as possible and function well and I am part of the community like everyone else.  I wouldn’t have been able to do so without the therapy or treatment I received and all the hard work I have put in.

So I think this guy, the ‘Mental Health Worker’  shouldn’t be in this job, maybe its time for a career change.

BPD  CAN be treat and in time our episodes  become fewer and further apart.

I am the proof.  I am not that stereotype, though maybe I would have been if I hadn’t had treatment. I’m still ME.

5 thoughts on “The Discriminating Doc: My Experience With Stigma And A Mental Health Professional

  1. Hi Bridget,
    Perhaps you should be thanking him… After you bang his head against a wall for a while to (a) knock some sense into it and (b) relieve your stress. After all, he caused you to reflect deeply, and to realise the positive progress you have made, assess the validity of your path and your vocation, and finally, realise that YOU ARE OK and that he is the only one with the issue!

    Messages and lessons come in interesting and sometimes challenging ways and you just had a doozy! However, take the message and discard the wrapping and realise that you’re doing fine, and just keep doing it!

    Best wishes,

    1. Hi Ray,

      Thank you for taking the time to write to me. I think your right, even though for a short while I did question myself, I realise that for one of the first times in my life I am certain about something- I have achieved a lot when it comes to recovering and I am on the right track. I know that there is things we can do to help us manage our pd. I have no time in my life for narrow minded people like this guy. Maybe he is the one that needs the help, I know exactly what is wrong with me, I doubt he will realise that he clearly has the issues.

      Your message was really lovely and it was just what I needed to hear, a real ‘light bulb moment’

      Again thank you.

      X X X

      1. Thanks Bridget,
        You just need to remember that the world needs you, for all the wonderful things you are doing in your ‘vocation’ right now, leading by example. There will be distractions (as above) but your focus is vital, as is your contribution. Just know you are where you are meant to be, doing things only YOU can do, right now. That’s what the signposts and billboards of your life are telling you, so go with it, and know that more will come, to light the way and guide you!
        Life Change 90

  2. Reblogged this on Bridget Of The North and commented:

    I feel I need to reblog this post after I received some discrimination today by a GP at my own surgery. I am absolutely mortified to think these people exist in the mental health profession. I was told the physical pain I have been living with the past few months was all psychological ( I never mentioned any mental health issues, he’d read my file and he mentioned to me that he had)
    I was patronised and he didn’t believe a word I said, his parting words to me were ‘The best thing you can do is keep taking your meds and see a psychologist’

    Wow thanks, great advice, I wonder why these things have never crossed my mind! It’s all so clear now. *sarcasm*,

    It makes me wonder what these people say when you leave the room, or how many other people believe this nonsense because the ‘GP knows best’.

    I was already disliked before I walked into the room, this doctor had no empathy for what I was going through and if anything, triggered my mental health issues. with his derogatory attitude and belittling comments .

    If only his perception of BPD acknowledged the caring, intelligence and sensitivity of many who are pushed into this diagnosis group.

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