Day 21: How many people know about your diagnosis?

31 Days of BPD

I’m an open book. I’ve never been good at keeping secrets and keeping things private. I’m not ashamed of who I am or what I’ve done in life.

When I was first diagnosed with BPD and Cyclothymia, BPD awareness month was just starting – so I shared some quotes on my Facebook page for everyone to see and also told them that this is what I had. And as for the anxiety, I couldn’t hide that from people even if I wanted to. It’s there for the world to see because it stops me from doing so many normal things. Why not educate people on why I can’t sit in a crowded cinema? It’s unusual so explain.

mental-health

Most of my friends know that I’ve suffered a lot over the years, so why not give them the reason why. There’s also a link to my blog on my Instagram; so my friends can click on it if they wish and see more in depth what it’s like to me.

If anything, my diagnosis was a relief rather than a burden. I liked the idea that there was a name for something that was causing me so much pain – and when there’s a name, there’s often a resolution. That was exciting to me.

I have this disorder and so sometimes life is harder than I wish it was. Sometimes I completely and utterly hate my life. Sometimes I love it. The brain is a fucked up thing – but that’s all it is. A diseased brain that isn’t functioning the same as everyone elses.

People wouldn’t judge you if you had any other illness with your brain would they? If you had a tumour or epilepsy or you had a stroke. And they won’t for this either.

This isn’t a choice. I do not choose to be this way. It’s an illness. Don’t be ashamed. It kills just as many people as those other life-threatening illnesses.

So my point is, if you haven’t told anyone. Tell someone. One person that you trust. Give them a little credit – their reaction won’t be anywhere near as bad as you anticipate. There’s so much focus on the stigmas associated with mental health (and don’t get me wrong, they’re there and we need to get rid of them), but if someone loves you they won’t judge you; so don’t let that put you off speaking about it.

The relief you’ll feel is incredible – and it gives you someone to talk to in your darkest hours. I wouldn’t give up my mum, boyfriend and best friends being there for me in those times for the world. It makes the world an easier place to be in.

lovelauren

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27 thoughts on “Day 21: How many people know about your diagnosis?

  1. prideinmadness says:

    I am an open book as well. I have never been ashamed of my experiences but other people have been ashamed about me.

    I’m interested in your cyclothymia diagnosis. I don’t believe in these labels but if it means I get the help I need then I go with the flow. I have wondered that diagnosis for myself but I don’t even think it occurs to doctors and since I have never heard of someone with the label I don’t really know what it looks like.

    Liked by 1 person

    • bylaurenhayley says:

      It’s basically a lower level version of bipolar. So the highs and the lows aren’t quite as extreme. It’s for people that think Bipolar is a possibility, but wait a minute – I’m not that bad. Don’t get me wrong – it’s awful. When you try and research it many experts call it ‘mild’, but my guess is that they’ve never experienced it, because it’s far from mild. There’s a little more info on this page: https://bylaurenhayley.wordpress.com/bpd-cyclothymia/, But if you ever want to ask me any questions or have a chat about anything, my email’s on my contact page. I’d ask the doctors about it, there’s no harm with them looking into it. I’m actually currently undergoing more appointments with the doctors looking into actual Bipolar at the moment because sometimes it seems I can fit into the full criteria, but we’ll see!

      Liked by 2 people

      • prideinmadness says:

        Great! Thank you so much! I do actually have the DSM 5 so I can do some research in there as well.

        A few of my friends experience Bipolar, both types, and it seems like an adventure that’s for sure. One uses medication very successfully and the other uses a lot of personal skills to keep himself where he wants to be. I admire both very much.

        Like

  2. kbailey374 says:

    It’s such a toughy. When I was working as a nurse, I told very few about my bipolar bec. I was afraid it would affect my credibility. I would out myself as having depression or being a recovering alcoholic but the BiP, no no no… Same with church, I work in the nursery, and again, I did not want to affect my credibility. Meanwhile that decreases the number of people who have BiP whom I could help, which is more important to me… But I haven’t quite convinced myself to make that step.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jafarley says:

    Thanks for the encouragement! I still have lots of trouble with this issue. Even though you know you can’t help it, it’s much easier to ignore people or avoid them so you don’t have to explain. In a really sick way I’d rather be thought as “cold, hard, or aloof” than “sick, ill, or suffering”. Anxiety makes it very hard to have self-confidence, especially as a man. So thanks for the encouragement!

    Liked by 1 person

    • bylaurenhayley says:

      It is incredibly difficult and I do understand that different people find it harder than others – we all have different personalities. And although i’ve never hid my disorders from people, I have hid other things, and I definitely felt better about those things once they were out in the open. Our lives are exhausting enough without the added pressure of keeping secrets and preventing people from knowing the real you!

      Like

      • jafarley says:

        Agreed. Being transparent and being the real me is something I’m really working on. Agoraphobia makes it hard enough to get out of the house… adding social anxiety into the mix is a disaster lol. Looking forward to your other posts 🙂

        Like

  4. the Prodigal Orphan says:

    I’m pretty much an audio book one needs not read but just listen to, hopefully paying attention.
    Shouldn’t be too difficult. I turn up the volume pretty substantially at times.
    There are my behaviors and my moods and mindsets, and I don’t offer the insight to others as a reason or excuse or explanation, but more as a point of reference.
    “You have Depression? I didn’t know that. You always seem like you’re in a good mood!”
    “You have Anxiety? I didn’t know that. You always seem so mellow!”
    “You have ADD? I didn’t know that. You always seem so laid back!”
    Well, sorry to break the mold, boys and girls, but those beasts can be much more subtle than the stereotypes would make it seem, and I don’t seem to be so giddy and relaxed from where I’m sitting. I will talk about things as a means of enlightening those I care about, the ones who actually have some level of genuine concern for me. Let them know that I can function on a day-to-day basis easily enough, but moment-by-moment…
    it could be a crap shoot, but it’s not necessarily any reason to hide the sharp objects or walk around on tip-toes.
    And I’ll even joke about it. I will when I’m the subject at hand, not others, and not even the illnesses. Just about me and my challenges. I’m the punchline.
    That tends to take the wind out of the sails of those who might not understand, who have no intention to increase their shallow comprehension of such matters…
    and to let them know I’m not about ready to shoulder the stigma and / or shame they might feel I deserve. And their unfamiliarity with these afflictions, or their outright ignorance of what it all means isn’t my problem.
    It’s theirs.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. mschrysalis says:

    I have a psychiatric service dog so I guess you could say I wear my diagnosis on my sleeve. I’m not shy about telling anyone who will listen about why I have the dog … but the reality is that most people don’t ask and assume that I’m training it.

    Like

  6. lifeofmiblog says:

    Good post. I lived with depression for more than forty years before I got a name for how I felt. It really does make a difference when others know, like you I am very open about my condition and how it affects me day to day. Keep up the good work.

    Like

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