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I won the psychiatric lottery

– I need help!

– Nah, I’m gonna kill myself

– Oooh, where’s that razor?

– But, it’s sunny outside

– Think positive thoughts…

– New phone? That will fix it all!

– Shit, I’ve gained weight again

– Fucking loser.

– Fuck it, where that pill bottle?!?!

– Hang in there! You know better than this!

 

I, my thoughts and feelings were in a swirl, locked tight on a roller coaster with a blindfold. I had no idea where I´d end up next. In a free fall, dancing with the devil. Myself. Without evidence-based treatment, I was headed to the grave. At my worst, I cost the Norwegian government about one to two teslas a year. Today I am a taxpayer, a student, and I run two businesses. I´ve been diagnosis free since 2012.

The battle against myself could never be won if no one dared to take my personality issues seriously and supported me through my worst days.

«Look out for these personality disorders.»

It still flourishes quite a few thoughts and beliefs that people with personality disorders are particularly demanding, without future hope or can be placed in one box. This is just nonsense! The diagnosis only provides direction for problems a person can struggle with to a greater or lesser extent.

We all have our «disturbed» sides that appear on a regular basis. This should never be confused with how life with a personality disorder manifests itself.

Place your «normal» on the TV, turn the volume to max, set «fast forward,» «repeat» and then crush the remote control. Now, scream «get a grip» to the telly. You´ll soon figure out that it doesn’t work so well. Normalization and over pathologizing personality disorder are two unfortunate pitfalls, with severe consequences.

It’s about time to put an end to existing delusions. The healthcare system has meet people with personality problems with updated knowledge about the disorder.

Personality disorder is a treatable diagnosis

When inner experiences and behaviors related to how we interpret ourselves and others, persistently and severely affect the level of how we function, it may be a personality disorder. Treated early and in the right way – the diagnosis can be seen as something passing by.

Therefore, it concerns me that the disorder is so stigmatized that therapists are afraid to set the diagnosis. The fear of stigmatization is unfortunately not unfounded. It is, however, also a self-fulfilling prophecy.

– Difficult patients easily get the «PD-label».

It shivered down my spine as my friend quotes her fellow employees where she works, they were talking about the disorder that used to affect me. The unpalatable patients. No one screams or ignores a patient as the cancer spreads.

It’s not enough to fight for your life, as a patient, the stigma and the fear of the diagnosis become an additional monster you have to tackle.

If healthcare professionals find it especially demanding to treat borderline patients, this should work as a heads up for the need of gaining further knowledge.

What makes all this especially ignorant, is that there is an evidence-based treatment optimism associated with personality disorders. I love that word: evidence-based. Perhaps it is what might give someone a wakeup call from today’s practice?

Fortunately, someone dared to diagnose me. Without it, I´d never received the treatment to find my way out of the personality disorder. I was seen, treated and recovered. The people who helped me understood that my constant need for attention was partly based on early my development. It was never an active choice to be «difficult». They also managed to understand when I needed extra care and when it was time to give me a little push up the next step.

The diagnosis saved me

The psychiatrist sat still and stared at me. Takes a deep breath, sits up and tilt his head. – Really? He asked wonderingly and apparently blankly about my statement that I was sick.

In doctor’s statements, it was correctly stated as «severely mentally ill», but in the therapy room, I was a human being with resources and some additional challenges.

If I dared to work on my own destructive patterns and misconceptions about myself and others, I could recover from Borderline personality disorder.

The experience was a strong contrast to how I experienced myself. Ever since childhood I was a mistake. A tumor that should be removed.

In true Trumpism, I was always looking to confirm my own view. Fortunately, I was met by people who chose to challenge and support me – even at my very worst.

 

Survival

I was a wandering destructive contradiction. Little did I understand that these were coping strategies for my survival. In my upbringing, I never felt any room for crying or “healthy” ways of responding.

Self-destructiveness became a needed escape from what I perceived as an uncontrollable situation. I was unable to understand the mechanisms that led to my own abnormal behavior. From the outside, it could be interpreted as manipulative and attention-seeking behavior. In reality, it was a normal reaction to disorganized attachment.

 

Thank you! To those who saw the girl behind the diagnosis

My doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, my nutritionist and staff at a relief facility in Oslo, all gathered to assist me in the fight against my inner devil.

My diagnoses became nothing more than ink on paper and served as simple explanatory models for with I struggled with. The diagnosis personality disorder got me into an evidence-based treatment program. These people and quality treatment saved my life. That I was treated as a human from A to Z and it led to society receiving a proud and resourceful taxpayer in return.

Personality disorder does not mean attention-seeking, treatment-resistant or manipulative. Recovery requires hard work and it is for many impossible without help.

The people who helped me saw the girl behind the diagnosis. Thus, I became one of psychiatry’s success stories. With better help, less stigma and the right treatment, society can enjoy more stories like mine.

About Author

Hei! Jeg heter Åse-Line. Selvmordstanker, depresjon og spiseforstyrrelser var allerede fra barndommen en stor, men hemmelig del av hverdagen. Alt ble holdt i sjakk med den ene destruktive forsvarsmekanismen etter den andre. Takket være noen som så at mitt underliggende problem var emosjonelt ustabil personlighetsforstyrrelse, var jeg blant de få heldige som fikk fantastisk hjelp. Etter mye terapi og jobbing – har jeg lykkes med å få det bra med meg selv :)

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