Borderline Personality Disorder,  Manipulation,  Treatment

Borderline Personality Disorder: Open Letter to Emergency Department and Hospital Based Staff

 Invalidating our feelings is like throwing petrol onto an already fierce raging fire.

Bon: I think the same could be said of emotionally dysregulated moments with loved ones…

Borderline Personality Disorder: Open Letter to Emergency Department and Hospital Based Staff

~ 4 min read

People with a diagnosis of BPD are often accused of manipulation and splitting in psychiatric settings. A quick Google search reveals that manipulation is the action of manipulating someone in a clever or unscrupulous way, the skilful handling, controlling or using of something or someone, to manage or influence skilfully, especially in an unfair manner, to manipulate people’s feelings. I have never felt skilful, clever, influential or in control in an emergency department or hospital setting yet I have been accused of manipulation and splitting.

What I do feel is shame, shame, shame and more shame, along with confusion and fear. I feel physically sick and unsafe. My body is burning internally. Shame causes the amygdala in our brain to produce a cocktail of poisonous chemicals. We are burning from the inside out. Invalidating our feelings is like throwing petrol onto an already fierce raging fire.

Imagine a grizzly bear bounding into emergency and bailing you up against a wall and someone in charge expects, no demands, that you sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” How many of you would be able to do that with adrenaline and cortisol screaming around your brain and body?


One Comment

  • Bansh7

    I feel for you on a couple levels. I’m not BPD, but I had hurt myself once in a panic. Somehow I was able to stand my ground when all was said and done and deflect all “professional” accusations of “feeling good about the attention” i received by stating something very similar to what you just did. The “attention” was more horrifying than the giant gash, which caught them off guard to hear me say; then they backed down, after preaching to me that they “turned their life around” and took a two year course and became an ER counselor shaming me into deliberately displacing my energy when I too could’ve bought my way into a position I had not the understanding to be upholding.
    I’m not BPD, I learned my lesson and never did that again, but I certainly have imploded harder than that day.

    On the other side, my significant other most likely IS bpd, and she was in a similar situation as I was above (aside from the fact it wasn’t isolated, and was always a response to ME – trust me, that DOES feel manipulated, intent or not. If that’s the incorrect word, replace it to feeling extremely creep/horrified/trapped where I stand/etc. That said, it isn’t without empathy (extreme). When I was there watching the medical staff sew her up, I could SEE the man gritting his teeth, dead silent and cold, just DYING to say some of the reactionary “logical” berating things you’d expect (and that you described). I could even sense the anger and disgust but he soldiered through the sew job like a disgruntled factory worker blocking out the clock til it’s time to punch out. This angered me and stuck with me in a profound way after all these years. The only good thing about it was they didn’t care enough to threaten.

    Unlike a lot of non BPDs who are in a BPD relationship, I have been on both sides of the fence. I commend you on your write up and hope you are able to exercise different outlets over time. Please take care of you.

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