Getting my BPD diagnosis

Updated: Jun 20

 

[TW This post mentions suicide and self-harm]

 

I was diagnosed in February 2014 when I was 23 years old. It was very hard to get my diagnosis of BPD. 

 

I was in contact with professionals about my mental health for many years before I got my diagnosis of BPD.

 

Looking back, I had mental health problems from the age of around nine, but it was never recognised. I received a diagnosis of depression at the age of nineteen, but it didn't feel fully right to me. My mood would swing from suicidal to joyful in a matter of hours.

 

I worried secretly for many years that I had bipolar. I was too scared to tell anyone.

 

Then, when I was 22, a GP suggested to me that I might have BPD. My counsellor at the time also mentioned that she thought I might fit this diagnoses. I was having mental health crises at the time which saw me in and out of A&E and in contact with Crisis Teams.

 

After lots of confusion and waiting, I managed to see a psychiatrist via my university mental health service. She assessed me and diagnosed me with BPD. I left the appointment with no no follow-up from her or any specific support.

 

I felt very alone with my BPD for several years.

 

Illustration of a girl falling through space saying 'listen to me'

 

That Christmas, I had probably the worst mental health crisis of my life. I ended up going to A&E where I was traumatised by nurses and was treated inhumanely and left without support in an incredibly vulnerable state.

 

I lost faith in mental health services and in professionals. I managed to graduate university and I moved to London.

 

I was too scared to reveal my diagnosis to my new GP for fear of being discriminated against and shamed. I didn't ask for any help from medical professionals. After a year or two, I got a private therapist. She worked psychoanalytically.

 

I didn't dare tell her I had a diagnosis of BPD for around four months when I felt I could trust that she wouldn't shame me or make me feel less of a human with real needs.

 

Two years later, after a mental health crisis that left me chronically suicidal, self-harming and signed off work, I was referred by my GP to a crisis team with psychiatrists and specialist mental health teams who assessed me and, again, diagnosed me with BPD.

 

After around a nine month wait after being diagnosed for the second time, I began Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). This is therapy programme is an eighteen months minimum course. I am around seven months in now. It is helping immensely.