I’m all for awareness and understanding but I can’t help but feel like this comes off as playing victim and painting the afflicted as weak and helpless – but that may be the denial in me. However, I would like to see it as my determination to retain responsibility and hence control – by being consciously aware and confident of my ability to influence my actions and thoughts I am refusing to bow down to be a shell of an illness.

I have borderline personality disorder, not I am.

I do not mean to belittle or derogate the struggles that result from the mental illness, I myself struggle profoundly with the memory gap, time loss and dissociative symptoms in addition to many other “maladaptive personality traits” such as splitting that are attributed to a diagnosis of Bpd.

I’m not saying that it is not a real struggle – what I’m saying is that I wish the message was more focused on how to cope and manage with the illness or consequential interpersonal conflicts rather than how difficult everything is: nothing is worse than portraying an illness in an all too relatable mannerism of symptoms and struggles – and allowing it to become an “explanation” for undesirable behaviour or thoughts.

This results in worse connotations and interpretations of the illness.. Which ultimately defies the original purpose of spreading awareness for the sake of reducing stigma, does it not?

Yes, raise awareness – but beware the thin line that separates destigmatisation from trivialisation. We are all aware of the Placebo effect, Nocebo effect and the notorious roles of cyberchondria and confirmation bias that play into the steadfast increase in self diagnosed mental illnesses.. are we not? Perhaps, then – this is the information that should be broadcasted – not articles that trivialise serious illnesses as a result of explaining conditions in layman’s terms that become all too relatable. What do you think? #ihavenotiam


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