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The Stigma Attached to EUPD and PTSD

A Personal Experience of Stigma Attached to These Mental Health Problems

By Carol TownendPublished 6 years ago 3 min read
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When I tell people that I have Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, they look at me as if I am crazy and often avoid me like the plague. They assume that I am violent or dangerous to be around. This conception is just two of the stigmas attached to my illness. It also gets mistaken for Emotionally Unstable Borderline Personality Disorder, which is the same thing but a different type of illness.

My own symptoms of this illness are low mood, sometimes impulsiveness, emotional sensitivity, low self-confidence/self-esteem and sometimes disassociation from reality. How I am affected depends on what triggers my reaction or reminds me of a certain trauma. I am not violent, I am a very caring, loving person, who has been through triple the amount of trauma both in childhood and adulthood than I deserved to go through.

In addition to this illness, I also have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) which is an illness that society believes only people from the army get. However, this is not true.

PTSD can be brought on by anything from a house fire, car crash, loss of a loved one. My own PTSD was brought on by the bullying and sexual abuse I suffered at school as a child, and in my early adulthood.

My own symptoms of this are freezing episodes, flash backs, insomnia, fear of crowds, fear of violence and avoidance. When I go into avoidance, it is usually because something (such as a fight) is happening in front of me, and I fear getting hurt, so I freeze for a few moments as the memories from my past play in my mind, then I can't move and start to shake, when that is over I will avoid that place or the people who were fighting in the first place.

When my triggers are activated, I can't sleep and I will often react badly to a situation through fear of getting hurt. I am not violent, I am usually the one who people are violent to because they know that I won't fight back physically.

I have, in the past, had symptoms of overdosing and self-harm, but I have not done this for many years. The one thing I tend to do after or during a flash back is scrub my hands over and over again, though I will not remember this afterward.

I often find it very hard to make friends because there is so much stigma attached to the illness. We are labelled 'crazy' 'violent' 'insane' 'psychopathic' amongst many other names.

While people like myself often behave in ways others do not understand, we are none of those things. And although some people with mental illness can react violently, it is unfair and shameful to attach that label to someone like me who doesn't.

The problem is, stigma often comes from the media. In the papers, they often talk about people who have a more severe level of my problem (EUBPD which is another type of EUPD) as committing crime and getting into fights, but they do not explain why this is happening, and they leave out the fact that not everyone who has the problem is violent.

They also neglect to explain the symptoms in the correct form. Reading these kind of things, leaves me feeling shameful, because the media make it sound like everyone with my illness is violent, and some mental health professionals react the same way, and it is also worded in the DSM5 in a way that makes it sound like everyone with the illness reacts in the same way.

The aim of this article is to explain the mental illness and the stigma attached, within the hope that people will think before they comment about mental illness. Mental illnesses like mine can happen to anyone, even those who have never been ill before. Think about this, if it was you, how would this stigma make you feel?


About the Creator

Carol Townend

Fiction, Horror, Sex, Love, Mental Health, Children's fiction and more. You'll find many stories in my profile. I don't believe in sticking with one Niche! I write, but I also read a lot too.

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