Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The System is Broken

Perhaps one of the most difficult things about living with Borderline Personality Disorder is the lack of public understanding. There's a responsibility for the sufferer to try and educate people, but it should not fall completely on them. There's also the further issue of people refusing to understand, and then not having sympathy or compassion. Perpetuating stigma does not help, and causes people with mental illness to shut down more. I guess the best thing I can do is lay this out as smoothly as possible.

Problem:
If I am feeling really angry about something, maybe even confused, I will project it onto something else.

How You Can Help:
Privately message me. Do not try to engage or call me out publicly. I can't promise I will respond,  but it's better than shaming me publicly.

Problem:
If I feel I have been wronged I will become very verbally aggressive and vengeful. This is the emotional side of me getting out anger. I will often do this privately with someone.

How You Can Help:
Do NOT take this seriously. I am looking for someone to get angry with me, and validate my feelings. Even if I am in the wrong completely, I still need someone to tell me my *feelings* are valid.

Problem:
When things are getting hard I will seem to give up.

How You Can Help:
When it comes to losing things that affect my livelihood (job, place to live, etc) I'm very resilient. I almost immediately jump into an action plan. Again, pay attention to what I do not what I say. Recognize that I need an outlet to getting out my feelings of frustration.

Problem:
Sometimes I was validation and sympathy; sometimes I want a solution. It's a case by case basis.

How You Can Help:
Best option, just ask me. Because if I want one thing and you do the other, I'm going to get annoyed.

And now the big one, suicide threats. This is the best way I can sum it up;

"Suicidal ideation, also known as suicidal thoughts, concerns thoughts about or an unusual preoccupation with suicide. The range of suicidal ideation varies greatly from fleeting thoughts, to extensive thoughts, to detailed planning, role playing (e.g., standing on a chair with a noose), and incomplete attempts, which may be deliberately constructed to not complete or to be discovered, or may be fully intended to result in death, but the individual survives (e.g., in the case of a hanging in which the cord breaks)."
Here's where I fit in this:
-Fleeting to extensive thoughts
-Detailed planning
-WHICH MAY BE DELIBERATELY CONSTRUCTED TO NOT COMPLETE OR BE DISCOVERED.
Furthermore when I'm going through a rough period I do not need to be reminded of it. What I need is to be reminded of how well I am doing, and how much progress I have made. It's really important to remind me that a rough time does not negate progress I've made (remember I think in black and white). 
Moving on to yesterday. I had a therapy appointment, and thinking that I could be open and honest in my therapy session I told her about my suicidal ideation; as well as how I took a picture of myself holding pills and sent it to a friend. Now, if she was trained properly she would have known how to handle someone with suicidal ideation (mind you she's an intern). In the past my therapists have worked to implement DBT skills, figure out what was going on, and help me through it. This woman called in the on call person.
They asked me if I have suicidal thoughts. Well, yes I do, it's part of my disorder. However, they didn't elaborate. I told them I had plans for the night, and when they asked what I said that I was going to an event with friends. Somehow this was not good enough. It is my right not to give play by play details of my life. Despite me telling them I had plans to go out, be with friends, and get work done I was forced to go to the emergency room to get evaluated.
I was in the ER for 6 hours, and treated like a criminal. When the psychiatrist spoke to me it was obvious she did not know my history at all. I have been through much worse stuff than I am right now, yet she completely invalidated my experience. On top of this she was very accusatory of me regarding recent situations that have unfolded, almost blaming me for everything. Then when I didn't want to give her details (because they are extremely complicated and full of drama), she even further projected a sense of blame. I was very irritated by her holier than thou attitude. Her information came from a therapist that had known me for 3 weeks, and had no idea the type of stuff I've been through. So she decided to tell them that stuff that happened the past few weeks was "out of character".
I was fired because I was ganged up on. I didn't not assault anyone, I was feeling extremely anxious and the woman on the train triggered me and I simply tried to get away.  Then the incident in group, which keeps getting brought up and made into a bigger thing than it is (I slammed a door after I was treated unfairly). Now people are treating me like I'm a hazard and I'm dangerous and falling apart. 
Finally at 12:30am when they said I could go, I asked for my stuff so I could get dressed while they printed my discharge papers. Someone said they'd get it, and I waited. Ten minutes go by and I go out to check. A nurse snaps at me and is extremely rude to me. Sorry, hard to have respect for nurses when they act like that. I went back and asked the front desk person for her name so I could report her, and she (the nurse) once again snapped and started yelling at me. I felt belittled, humiliated, and like I was treated like a dangerous sociopath. I know the types of people they get in ERs, I am not one of them. I am not an addict, harming myself or others, delusional. I am educated, and far above other people when it comes to understanding mental illness. On top of this my lap top was returned to be broken (one of the hinges and a piece of plastic broke off).
So instead of going out and enjoying my night, being around friends, feeling accomplished by doing work; instead I was forced to sit in an ER even though I told them multiple times (and my therapist) I had no intention of killing myself). When I was in the therapist office I asked my therapist to please say something and she said nothing. The woman she called in was cruel, and neither did anything to actually implement DBT.
They made things worse for me. They severely triggered my anxiety, irritability, messed with my coping skills, set my work back, and ruined something I was looking forward to.
Welcome to the mental health system.

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