It’s time to stop the practice of diagnosing humans with psychiatric labels and allow them to naturally experience distress, trauma and shock when they are abused and violated by another human being.
Borderline Personality Disorder has a pretty (shall we say… inclusive?) set of criteria, meaning that most of us who have ever experienced a period of distress would fill enough criteria for a diagnosis.
In fact, a piece of research by Middleton (2013) showed that people who have experienced a complex trauma such as sexual abuse, neglect, rapes or exploitation, on average, would have enough ‘symptoms’ to be diagnosed with between 10 and 12 disorders at any one time. You read that right.
Instead of saying:
“You are showing symptoms of BPD. That’s why you are feeling like this. Not the abuse. You have a personality disorder. Here are some pills that will mask the feelings.”
Why can’t we simply say:
“You have seen and experienced things that have changed your life. Those people hurt you and they have scared you. They have changed the way you react to certain environments and feelings. They have heightened your senses and your emotions. And you know what? That’s totally normal and totally understandable. You are entitled to respond like this. Is there anything I can do to help you to cope with these feelings and thoughts? What do you need right now? What helps and what hinders you?”