THE IMPORTANCE OF LISTENING – PART TWO –

Imagine, having something very important to tell someone, but you’re not listened to.

There are nine symptoms that determine whether or not a person has BPD (borderline personality disorder). I had only three, but still received the diagnosis. It was official—put in my chart. And I believed my psychiatrist.

In 2020 or so, I tried to tell him that he had made a mistake in my diagnosis. I showed him the results of research I had done proving that the diagnosis of BPD that he  had given me in 2015 could not have been correct. BPD does not include the flash backs I had suffered from for years, memories causing suicidal depression. Besides, I had a very good personality that had never stopped focusing on bettering the lives of people with mental health challenges.

He would not even look at the research I had done. Refused to listen to me. Insisted that his diagnosis was correct.

Would he have listened if I did not have a mental illness? It has been my experience that people like me are seldom listened to in the way others are, especially in cases where it really matters. Don’t people realize that having a mental illness doesn’t mean we lack intelligence? Or is it simply that we are not respected enough to be given the voice we deserve?

Eventually, I changed psychiatrists and the new one agreed with me. In October 2021, I published the results of his findings (much too late). The condition I was suffering from was complex PTSD, the result of ongoing emotional abuse, resulting in bad memories in the form of flash backs. But it was too late, I had lost what was at one time a stellar reputation. The effects on my life have been tragic.

BPD is more stigmatized than almost any other mental health condition. In their book Beyond BorderlineTrue Stories of Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder, John G. Gunderson MD, and Perry D. Hoffman PhD, explain:

“Seldom does an illness, medical or psychiatric, carry such intense stigma and deep shame that its name is whispered, or a euphemism coined, and its sufferers despised and even feared. Perhaps leprosy or syphilis or AIDS fits this category.”

At church, I made the mistake of telling a couple of people I had thought I could trust. As a result, I became the victim of a huge amount of stigma, even from family members close to me. I believe that I’ve never been looked at with the same respect as I once was. My life became a tragedy.

How I wish I had found all this out earlier!! I can’t tell you how much I’ve suffered!

My blogpost, Misdiagnosis tears my life asunder, explains much more. I hope you will have a look.

At the subsequent church I attended, I was treated with compassion—listened to as I told my story of pain. Prayed over. I grew to be well respected as a mental health advocate. And I minister to many in the congregation through my writings.

I found healing.

marja