Reading up on your disorder – more harm than good?

I’ve only ever actually bought one book relating to mental health – The Borderline Personality Disorder Survival Guide which I bought straight after my diagnosis. I also have Cyclothymia and anxiety, but BPD was the diagnosis I found hardest to understand and get a hold of what it actually is.

Obviously it goes without saying though that I have constant access to Google – and I do research my other conditions sometimes as well.

20150125_221637But what I want to know is, is it a good idea? Is it a good idea to gain clarity on what’s ‘wrong’ with you, or does it become a self-fulfilling prophecy? Is it better to just get a diagnosis and allow the doctor or psychiatrist to decide what they feel is best for you, and you continue only knowing as much as they think you need to know?

Do I for example read:

It simply means that you have a pattern of thinking, feeling, and behaving that may be hindering your ability to have a high quality of life, keep your relationships going strong, or reach your goals.

…and make that a reality for myself? Do I read that clear defining statement of what BPD is and begin to automatically think that I can’t be in a strong relationship and therefore push my boyfriend further away until the relationship breaks down? Or do I read that I can’t reach my goals and therefore decide to leave university early because it’s been said that it may be too difficult for my personality type to handle?

Being someone with BPD, I already don’t have a strong sense of identity, so what’s stopping the things I’m reading from becoming apart of my already shaky identity and not necessarily in a positive way?

It’s natural instinct to want to find out more. As humans we are inquisitive and seek answers to our problems. But is it wise? Just because we are programmed to do something doesn’t make it the right thing to do.

I’m not necessarily talking about the world of blogging, because that’s on the whole about sharing personal experiences. It allows for us to have a way of letting our frustrations go and it allows us to feel comfortable in the knowledge that someone will listen and understand.

Blogging is like a world where people are OK with talking about their problems and don’t feel ashamed of it (which is great!), and it should happen in the real world too – but it’s not medical.

Is that where the line needs to be drawn? Is it negative when we start to get medical?

Should we know about the ICD-10 of medical classification unless we’re trained to know this stuff for professional reasons? Should we be able to so easily gain access to lists of symptoms that allow us to become self-fulfilling hypochondriacs?

Is it self-destructive? Does it make us more prone to fitting into these black and white labels because we become what we’re told we are?

I don’t know.