Photo of Christine Dice by James Phillips
Everybody knows someone they might refer to as “crazy” or “psycho.” That person creates drama and problems for themselves as well as everyone else, and they seem to always be coming to everyone with a small issue that is blown up into a huge crisis. They may be on or off medication, they may make threats to the people that care about them, and they may cry for no reason everyday. It’s easy to label somebody else as “crazy” because it makes us feel sane. It makes us feel normal. At least we aren’t like that person.
However, that person rarely ever gets the chance to have a voice. Nobody ever asks them why they do those kinds of things. Seldom does somebody ask them what is going on inside their life and inside their mind that makes them act the way that they do. Nobody really wants to deal with it. Truth be told, that person doesn’t really want to deal with it either. Unfortunately, they’re stuck with themselves, and forced to deal with it.
How do I know all of this? Because I have been the crazy person. I have been the one that everybody talks about, and that people eventually want nothing to do with. I have felt lonely and friendless at times, because I have subconsciously pushed everybody away that I cared about. I have been stigmatized my entire life.
When I came to college, I made a decision to hide everything away. I didn’t want anybody to find out that anything was wrong with me. I didn’t want anyone to know about the disorders that I struggled with. I wanted to, for once in my life, be normal, happy, and sane. More so, I wanted to be perceived that way. I repressed all of my antagonizing thoughts and emotions. I didn’t want to lose the great friends I had made, so I didn’t tell them that anything was wrong. As far as they knew, I was fine and normal.
Then life happened. One bad thing happened after another, and I became severely depressed. It was a feeling that I was no stranger to. Still, though, I suppressed it in every situation. When I finally felt like I had nothing left going for me, the “craziness” came out. I put all of my friends through hell, and it was even to the point where they were running around campus looking for me because I had run off. Luckily, they found me and stopped me from doing anything too irrational.
I recognized the fact that I needed help. So, I made the decision to go and get it that night. For the week that I was away from campus, I was apprehensive and nervous about going back. I was worried that my friends would want nothing to do with me. Still, though, life was still going on, and time wasn’t waiting, so I went back. The reaction from my friends was more than I could have even hoped for. I received tons of hugs, and everyone was happy that I was back. My friends cared that I was working on getting better, and were wholeheartedly there for me.
I learned something very important from this experience. I learned that support is stronger than stigma. Speaking up is also stronger than stigma. I have the most wonderful and supportive friends in the world, and I wonder if the friends I’ve had in the past would have been just as supportive, had I spoken up about what I was feeling. Repressing emotions doesn’t help anything. It only makes situations worse.
My diagnosis? Borderline Personality Disorder. I’m not ashamed of it anymore. I don’t care if it is stigmatized. I’m okay with speaking up about it. Borderline Personality Disorder is a personality disorder characterized by a pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, emotions, and impulsivity. The good thing? It is one of the few psychological disorders that is completely curable. One of the most important resources in recovery is a strong support system. I can’t even express the gladness that I have the most wonderful support system that I could ever ask for.
A lot of people don’t know about this disorder. In fact, a lot of people don’t even know about the more common psychological disorders, such as depression and anxiety disorders. Any sort of psychological disorders are stigmatized by society, and therefore are immensely misunderstood. This could easily be a reason why people suffering from these problems are afraid to speak up about it.
This needs to change. If you are feeling hopeless and helpless, speak up about it. Chances are, you’ll find out that your friends were even better friends than you thought. Recovery is possible, and hope is there. It just takes a little bit of looking for it sometimes.blog comments powered by Disqus