Diagnosis Shaming from Mental Health Professionals – (collaboration with PsychAssist)

Good evening! Long time no see! I have been experiencing a long depressive episode since coming down off the hypo-mania I experienced with my med change a few months ago. I am super sorry for my absence.

However, here we have an article I’ve written in collaboration with PsychAssist. PsychAssist is careers service for psychology graduates to help them get their foot in the door. They have worked with qualified psychologists to bring you tips and tricks to increase your employability within the profession.

If you’d like to learn more about PsychAssist you can find them on Twitter @Psych_Assist and Instagram @PsychAssist.

Now, for the content…

 


 

For the last ten years, I have lived knowing that I have a mental illness. Living with an invisible illness has meant I experience stigma from all corners of life. From friends and family. From teachers and bullies. People who don’t understand. However, the last place I thought I’d be discriminated against was in therapy, by the mental health professionals who were paid to support me.

Three years ago, I was referred to my local community mental health team (CMHT.) This is known as a “secondary care service.” This is where you’re referred to if you need more long-term care than “primary care services” (counselling) offer, which typically offers 6-8 sessions. Sometimes your GP might refer you straight to secondary care services, but not as often.

During my time with the CMHT, I was thrown into treatment with no explanation of what they were actually treating. They were talking about me buying a workbook for dialectical behaviour therapy and attending weekly group therapy sessions. Were they not taking my social anxiety seriously at all? I could barely speak to my community psychiatric nurse (CPN) one to one, let alone to a group of strangers.

My GP had put me on antidepressants, so I took a wild guess they thought I had depression, although it was never formally diagnosed. I have never understood how you can medicate someone without a diagnosis. How can you give a person therapy without naming the issue you need to resolve?

So, naturally, I decided to ask my CPN what they were treating me for.

My memory of her response is hazy, but I do remember she would pass on the responsibility, so to speak. I’d ask her why I hadn’t been diagnosed with anything, and she would say she wasn’t responsible for diagnosing people. Which is of course true. CPNs do not diagnose people, only doctors can do that. So why was she treating me then if there was nothing wrong with me? Her responses were always defiant and accusatory. Why was a diagnosis so important to me? She’d say there was nothing diagnosably wrong with me. But if she wasn’t qualified to diagnose me, why was she qualified to make that judgement? Eventually she referred me to a psychologist and, finally, a psychiatrist.

One of the worst cases of diagnosis shaming I have experienced is from the psychologist she referred me to.

Let me clarify what I mean by “diagnosis shaming.” I mean someone who is insistent that diagnoses of mental illnesses are not important, do not exist, or should not be considered during your therapy sessions.  Someone who makes you feel ashamed for having a diagnosis, talking about it, or wanting one so you can better understand yourself.

Now, back to this psychologist. We’ll call her Lyn.

Lyn and I did not see eye to eye to say the least. From the get go, she would pick apart my body language. Instead of trying to use conversation to have me loosen up and trust her, she told me to take my coat off, take deep breaths, stop shaking my legs, and uncross my arms. Granted, this is all good advice. But this is not appropriate advice to give to someone who is clearly in distress and doesn’t trust you.

If she had read my notes, or even had any concept of how to start up a conversation, she could have asked me things like, “What music do you like?” or, “What’s your favourite movie?” Small questions that don’t feel like an attack on you as a human being. Questions to warm up the conversation rather than an someone taking jabs at your personality.

One session, Lyn decided to ask me about my friends. I explained to her that I am very lucky because most of my friends have mental health issues and disabilities. This makes them incredibly understanding if we have to cancel plans because of our mental health.

This is when Lyn asked, “what’s wrong with your friends?”

Okay, Lyn. Weird phrasing, but okay.

“I’d say more than half of my friends have autism, and most of my friends have anxiety disorders. Then a couple of my friends have personality or mood disorders.”

Her response?

“Have you tried finding friends who don’t have problems?”

My face fell. “No,” I told her.

“Why do you think you surround yourself with people with autism or anxious people?”

“…”

“Well I think you should start to look for friends who don’t have autism, or these other ‘diagnoses.’ It would be good for you to go out and look for normal friends where you don’t have to talk about all your problems and you can just talk about other things.”

At this point in the “conversation” I stopped responding. I’m fairly sure this is one of the sessions she decided to video record. I have never felt so much anger as I did in that session. After that, I made the decision to stop seeing her. Each time I left her appointments I felt more invalidated. More like the problem was with me as a human being, rather than an illness caused by trauma making biological and chemical changes in my brain.

Eventually, after going through several other CPNs and several psychiatrists, I was finally diagnosed with emotionally unstable personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and recurrent depressive disorder.

Finally. I cried when the letter came through. They believed me. I was taken seriously.

It was as if all these years I’d had a broken leg that wasn’t healing properly because I’d continuously been told by professionals that it wasn’t broken. At last, they’d decided to set the break and I could begin to heal.

Then they discharged me.

Apparently there was nothing more they could do for me. This is in spite of the fact that the psychiatrist had only just diagnosed me and made changes to my medication.

Although I had had dialectical behaviour therapy, I had had no treatment to help me cope with my flashbacks. I hadn’t even finished my sessions on coping with panic attacks. (And that’s not even getting into how I told my CPN my problems were with anger management and not panic. But no. She was an expert in me. It must be panic attacks that are the problem because that’s what it is with most people.)

Since May this year I have been discharged from the community mental health team, attempting to cope on my own.

Yesterday I returned to therapy. This time it wasn’t with the NHS, but a family friend doing my relative a favour. From hereon in I will be referring to the psychologist I saw as “Therapist.”

Therapist is a fully trained and qualified psychologist, counsellor, and hypnotherapist. Okay, I thought. Hypnotherapy is the only one of those I haven’t approached before and might help me cope with trauma. Sort of like EMDR therapy or something.

The session was in Therapist’s home, and my relative drove me there. I’ve been struggling through a deep depressive episode lately, but with EUPD that doesn’t always mean I’m depressed.

She asked me to sit down, went through the formalities and asked me to talk about myself. I explained my diagnoses, and this is what she said.

Her words were that these “labels” have only been about and used for the past 100 years or so. By that logic, any advances in medicine and medical understanding are redundant?

Therapist believes that labels make people worse, causing the person to only see the world through this lense of depression, or anxiety. Labels put you in a box.

I explained to her that I am not my diagnosis. I am not emotionally unstable, I have emotionally unstable personality disorder. I have accepted that I may never be without my illness, and I will likely have cycles of depression my whole life. This does not mean that I am powerless to the illness, as she is suggesting.

Diagnoses are not fences around you, they are a starting point on your recovery map. They are acknowledgement that, “okay, these are your symptoms and these are the most common treatments that are successful for that, but if they don’t work we can try something else.”

Now, I have decided that if I am offered the opportunity to see a psychologist again, I could only work with someone who acknowledges my belief in diagnoses. I wouldn’t even need them to believe in diagnoses themselves. I just need to know I am being taken seriously. That my illnesses are acknowledged as just that, rather than seen as character flaws.

If this experience sounds like something you have faced in the past, please know that you are within your rights to ask to be seen by a different mental health professional. There is plenty of research to say that patient-therapist relationship is a key element of recovery. If you feel you need to file a complaint against a healthcare professional, you can do that through PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service).

 

Stay safe, stay well, stay alive.

Rowan.

Living the Dream: what it’s like to dissociate

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(Image: Me, when I’m dissociating)

Do you remember those games you’d play in primary school?

Where you’d cup your hands in a ball shape and your friend would place their hands around yours, pushing your hands with their palms, and you’d push back against them?

Then after a while, they’d take their hands away and you felt like there was an invisible ball between your hands that you could stretch and manipulate?

Weird feeling, wasn’t it?

For me, that’s what derealising feels like around my entire body.

Derealising is a form of dissociation that, in short, makes you feel like the world around you is not real.

This past week I’ve been experiencing some intense dissociation. Chances are, if you’re here reading this you have some idea of what ‘dissociation’ is, or maybe you’ve heard of it before.

If not, a generalised summary of dissociation is the feeling of disconnect from the world around you. To varying degrees of severity, it affects your cognitive function (so, like, your memory, concentration, feeling of identity) and is generally thought to be caused by significant stress, trauma, or as a side effect from medication. That’s dissociation in brief, anyway. It presents itself in a lot of different forms which you can read more about on the Mind website.

You don’t have to have been diagnosed with a specific dissociative disorder to experience dissociation, though. Personally, I experience it as a side effect of my PTSD and social anxiety disorder.

It isn’t until later in life I realised I’d been dealing with derealisation and something else called depersonalisation for the majority of my teenage years. Depersonalisation is, pretty much, the feeling that you are not real, and feeling disconnected from your own self.

I’d walk around school feeling as if I’d left my body. I looked at my hands, and they felt unreal. I looked at my friends and my surroundings and felt like I was looking through dream fog. As if my alarm clock was about to ring and I’d wake up somewhere else sweating, with a massive sleep headache from being dead to the world.

It always terrified me, and now it makes me exhausted all the time.

What prompted me to write about this is that yesterday I had one of the most severe episodes of dissociation I’ve had since my ~Official Breakdown~ in 2015/2016 when I was having total blackouts and psychosis but that’s another story for another time.

So I was walking around town on the hunt for a specific item of clothing and saw GAP, a place I have never set foot in in my life.

I wandered in, a conspiracy podcast soothing my little ears through headphones, and immediately I was over-sensitised. The bright LED lights, the walls and walls of clothing and unclear layout. I closed my eyes for a second, then tried to focus on the things I could see. Typically, a good grounding technique if you’re dissociating is to list five things for each sensation you’re experiencing.

It was the simultaneous experience of seeing everything so vividly whilst also feeling like I’d been knocked outside my own head and the door back inside had been locked.

Okay, I thought. Let’s just have a quick look around and see what we can find.

Walking further into the store, I felt like I’d been winded by sensory overload. I started to black out.

It felt as if I were looking out from a glass box that someone was drawing the curtains over.

Usually I catch the dissociation before it gets that far, but this time I honestly couldn’t see from the anxiety and the overwhelming sense of being unreal.

So I left and decided to get to a place I recognised. I walked into another store I know and love but the same thing happened. Once again, my vision started to fade and I couldn’t make sense of the words my podcast was saying.

It was at this point I left the shopping centre and went to wait outside for my friend as we’d planned to spend the day together. She eventually turned up and was amazing at drawing me out of that glass box I was looking through. We went for milkshakes and some retail therapy which I found manageable with her. Yet for some reason my broken brain couldn’t handle it on my own, when usually I love shopping alone. Weird!

If you guys are interested in learning more about dissociation, I’ve listed some links below to documentaries or films that have informed my understanding of myself.

‘Diaries of a Broken Mind’ – A BBC Three documentary about Dissociative Identity Disorder

‘Numb’ – A 2007 film with Matthew Perry, about a man who experiences dissociation as a side effect of smoking weed. I honestly don’t know how often this happens to people but the representation of how some people cope with dissociative disorders and how difficult they can be to diagnose is pretty great.

Dodie is a singer and musician who lives with derealisation and she explains how she experiences dissociation concisely in the video I’ve linked.

I do hope you’re all doing well. I’d be interested to hear how you guys experience dissociation in the comments. It’s always useful to help me further my understanding of how other people experience the world.

Love and hugs,

Rowan.

Films About Mental Illness

Hello my lovely human followers*

At the start of this month, a quote of mine was featured in the Metro – thank you, Erica Crompton!

Erica was looking to write an article on the best films that explore mental illness, and having recently written an essay on Benny & Joon as part of my final year coursework, I thought this would be a great chance to share my thoughts.

Now, let me preface this next part by saying I hate when literature and film imply that if you find the right romantic partner all your problems will be solved. In real life, sometimes that perfect love doesn’t quite work out…

However, unlike some films about mental illness, Benny & Joon combines subtle and common symptoms of schizophrenia to provide a positive portrayal of one way that the illness could manifest. Even though the writers never name her mental health condition – choosing instead to refer to her as ‘sick’ – she exhibits distorted speech, auditory hallucinations, and outbursts of anger which would likely mean a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Though I don’t have schizophrenia myself, I have experienced psychosis. After some seriously intense research for my assignment, I believe the film is a helpful representation of the disorder.

It demonstrates that not all people with schizophrenia are violent, scary, and unable to be integrated in the community. It casts light onto the strain that schizophrenic episodes can have on close friends and relatives of the individual.

Benny & Joon sends the message that not all people with schizophrenia will have the condition chronically. Through medication, therapy, and a positive support network, people who have schizophrenia can live an independent, fulfilling life.

Soon I’ll be doing a blog post on my favourite films that represent mental illness in a helpful way. Let me know your suggestions, I’m always looking to see how writers and filmmakers portray any mental disorder through fiction.

Check out the rest of the article here.

Hugs to all of you who need it,

Rowan.

*(Side note, when I was five I watched Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, during the part where Hagrid tells Harry about the night his mother died, for the longest time I thought he said, “Voldemort had started to gather some flowers” and I couldn’t understand why that was scary or relevant. True story.)


Links to GIFs:
Valencia

Too Loud

Joon in the car

Making toasties

Disordered Driving – passing your test when you have mental health issues

Hello all, and sorry for the hiatus.

These past couple of weeks have been hectic; I passed my driving test, got a car, became officially discharged from outpatient. It’s been a wild ride to be honest.

But now, let’s get down to business to defeat the Huns! (Had to, sorry.)

When I was 18, I started having driving lessons. I wasn’t on any meds at this point, and I would have panic attacks before every lesson. Shaking. Crying. Unable to breathe. After about two months, I gave up because I didn’t need to drive. Why put myself through something that was such an ordeal every week?

In an attempt at self-encouragement, I passed my theory test. I had pressure from all sides of my family, who mostly all had driving licenses (including some who can drive HGVs and tractors.) That plan didn’t really work out and I ended up not driving again at all until I was 20, at the start of last year. By this time my theory test was running out – they only last for two years.

During my time away from driving, I had an emotional breakdown. I don’t use this term lightly. I literally had to quit my job, I barely made it in to lectures at uni, my relationship ended because this was the worst my BPD has ever been. In hindsight, I should have been hospitalised, however the person I was living with at the time insisted that that wasn’t the right thing for me.

Back then the idea of ever passing my driving test was laughable. Even my little brother had surpassed me, when he got his license in February 2017, after learning for just five months. One day as I was traveling to an appointment with my CPN, I thought, Now my brother could drive me to my appointments. Almost instantly, a voice I hadn’t heard for a long time spoke up in my head: or you could drive yourself.

I sat with this thought for a while. It made me feel sick. The fact that I was thinking about learning to drive again by choice was terrifying to me, because it meant I might actually be ready to try. Although this seems like a positive thing, it was disconcerting. When you’re ill enough for long enough, it feels like there is no personality inside you beyond your disorder. This was a sign that there was a part of my identity growing. I was becoming stronger. In turn, this meant there was likely to be a retaliation from my illness.

I’m sure this will upset some people, but for me personally there is something about being ill that is easy. It is easy to sink back into this, because my illness is severe. It’s my natural, organic state. It is who I am at my core. But I don’t want it to be. Fighting to get out of that, to become a person who doesn’t just survive but functions was something I longed for.

So I decided to give driving another go. It was horrible. Before every session, pretty much, I had a panic attack. I’d stim and shout noises that were akin to a screaming goat. However, after a while of witnessing my white knuckles gripping the steering wheel and grabbing the gear stick so hard I’d ram it into reverse instead of first, my instructor asked me if I have anxiety.

I laughed. How had he only just noticed?

But wait. He thought I was neurotypical. He thought I was a person who can function.

I told him I had depression and anxiety (I hadn’t been fully diagnosed with EUPD and PTSD at the time.) This meant he adapted our lessons. He took the time to drive around country lanes, on scenic routes so we could look out over views of the hills. He was pagan, and he told me after he did this in part because green is such a calming colour.

After he did this, I became so much more relaxed. Well, apart from when I had a panic attack and cried during my first mock test, but hey we all have ups and downs.

And then, on 23rd May, I passed my driving test. First time. Eight minors but it doesn’t say that on the certificate so who cares?!

I got my brother’s old car, which I love. My favourite thing now is to drive down the stretch of road when I’m on my way home with the anthems of my teenage years playing loudly as a ‘screw you’ to the mental illness that took my adolescence away.’

 

As always, thank you so much for reading.

All the best,

Rowan

Terminal Mental Illness

My heart is breaking.

Today I learnt of the death of Claire Greaves, who passed away in late February. She was a mental health activist, a recovery warrior, and the world is a sorrier place for her passing.

I feel as if I have no right to be sad about this, though. I never met her.

Through the mental health community on Instagram, I found Claire. My anxiety prevented me from reaching out to her, as it did to Sophie before BPD took her life too. I have deep regret about that. Perhaps there is nothing I could have done for either of them, but to have shown them that one more stranger saw them. One more stranger cared. One more person found their strength to fight inspiring. Watching their lives unfold through their updates made me root for them. I dreamed that I could know these beautiful souls, but was too terrified to speak to them.

Being on the other side of suicide does not take away your own suicidal thoughts.

Seeing and feeling the effects of losing others does not automatically shock you into recovery.

What it has done is encourage me to reach out to people. To tell people when they give me good vibes, when I love their clothing, when I feel inspired by them.

A moment wondered is a moment lost.

Let the words have their moment.

I love your nails.

That dress is beautiful.

You have such a calming energy.

The worst you can be is weird.

The best you could be is the distraction that puts a smile on their face, takes their mind away from the blackness, and saves their life that day.

 

Stay safe, friends.

There will be a day when you can say you’re okay and you mean it.

Rowan.

The Road to Diagnosis

Hello lovelies.

Over the years, I’ve met a lot of people who have been afraid of taking the first step to go and see the doctor about mental health.

I like to call it brain health.

Your brain is a physical thing. It’s producing these feelings, these behaviours. It’s important to look after your brain, as you would your lungs if you had breathing problems, or your heart if you had chest pains.

People come up with lots of reasons to be afraid of going to the doctor. Some examples I’ve heard are:

“What if they don’t believe me?”

“I don’t want medication, what if they make me take it?”

“It’s not that bad yet. I’m not suicidal so it can wait.”

I’m just going to be brutally honest here.

In recent years, understanding of brain health has lost so much stigma. Don’t get me wrong, the stigma still exists, but if you go to your GP because you can’t sleep, can’t eat, and feel empty/overly emotional all the time, your GP will almost definitely not tell you to “man up” or “just deal with it.” They will not expect you to simply get it together.

And if they do? You can put in a formal complaint to PALS.

It is true that many GPs don’t have a lot of psychiatric experience, particularly older GPs I’ve found. However, they will be able to offer you medication based on your presenting problem (typically first line medications are SSRI antidepressants, like sertraline, fluoxetine, and citalopram).

If you have anxiety, they may offer you beta blockers (such as propranolol) to take when your anxiety is heightened.

Remember though: just because they offer you medication, it does not mean you have to have it! You can refuse treatment unless you are detained under certain sections.

Some counties in the UK have self-referral websites which you can go on and fill out an application for counselling. In other counties, your GP has to refer you.

Also – this is something that a lot of people forget:

It doesn’t matter if you aren’t suicidal.

It doesn’t matter if you are still able to work, or can mask your feelings well to the people around you. It is better to go earlier, before you become suicidal, so that you can get on the waiting list and start learning coping mechanisms as soon as possible. If you found a lump on your body that you thought could be cancer, most people wouldn’t wait until it grows into a giant third head growing out of your shoulder to get it checked out.

If you are younger (under 18) there are confidentiality issues if you go to your GP for things like suicidal behaviour or self-harm. If the doctor thinks you are a risk to yourself they have a legal obligation to involve your parents. For some people, having supportive parents is helpful towards getting early intervention for your mental health.

My experience, however, was that my parents did not believe I was struggling. My grades were good. In their mind, I was acting up. Attention seeking. They couldn’t see anything wrong. As a result, I had to wait until I was 18 to get the help I needed.

In my experience, my GP started me on citalopram and I was referred to a psychotherapist at the practice for help managing depression and anxiety. Psychotherapists are not trained to prescribe medications, but in therapeutic methods to manage your emotions. I was offered six sessions, which is fairly standard for counselling. At the end of those sessions I was referred on to the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT), because I was displaying dissociative and (at the time) psychotic symptoms indicative of a more complex, long-term problem.

A few weeks after my referral, I got an appointment with the CMHT for a month or so later. In my initial assessment they took my history and gathered information about my current brain health situation. They also got me to identify five or six of the main problems I was experiencing at the time.

Next, I was assigned a community psychiatric nurse (CPN). I’ll tell you all about her in another blog post. Anyway, my CPN also referred me to a *cough* useless *cough* psychologist. Said useless psychologist told me that I should consider getting new friends, because a lot of the people I spent time with had mental health problems too, and quite a few of my friends had autism. She asked me why I thought I gravitated to these people, instead of finding more normal friends. Safe to say I refused any more sessions with her after that.

I was 19 around the time I had intervention from the crisis team. I stopped working, I couldn’t cope with the environment. The combination of meds, alcohol, and severe dissociation I experienced at that time means I have little memory of that period in my life. Because of the crisis team, I was bumped up the list to see a psychiatrist. At some point around this time my meds were changed to venlafaxine. A joyous affair. One day I’ll do a post about different medications.

Anyway, that psychiatrist was amazing. She’d seen two of my favourite bands live when she was younger (The Dresden Dolls and Bowling for Soup). She took me seriously. Most importantly, she didn’t tell my to get new friends.

The second time I met her she changed me onto mirtazapine (WONDER DRUG …besides the weight gain). My useless CPN left and I was switched to one of the most wonderful nurses I’ve ever met. He did DBT and distress tolerance with me and it honestly changed my life. I had a final appointment with the psychiatrist and she told me I was too young (around 20 at this time) for her to diagnose me with BPD because my personality was still going through major changes having just come out of adolescence. She did diagnose me with EUPD traits and social anxiety disorder, though.

Over the past year, that psychiatrist left and I was put on vortioxetine by a different psychiatrist (who had never met me before and seemed like she was a representative from Brintellix come to sell me vortioxetine.) My CPN changed twice more, and I went back to see a different (far more impartial and professional) psychologist.

Following some major nausea from the vortioxetine, I had one more appointment with a DIFFERENT psychiatrist, who had actually read all my notes (which is insane – at this point I’ve been there about three years). He put me onto sertraline because of my PTSD, and finally diagnosed me with emotionally unstable personality disorder.

He understood that not all people with BPD explode.

Some of us implode.

And that’s where I’m at now.

I’m sorry this was a long post… If there’s anything you should take from this, it’s that the road to diagnosis is a long one. You will meet shitty mental health “professionals” who make your life harder at times, but once you find a therapist who engages with you and works with you, therapy will get easier.

Also, I understand that not everyone wants a diagnosis. Some people don’t find labels helpful, and that’s okay. For me, the diagnosis named the illness. It’s like the story of Rumplestiltskin – once she named him, she defeated him. Yeah, brain health is not that simple, but if I know what I’m dealing with, it’s easier for me to understand and compartmentalise it.

Personally, therapy felt like it was an antibiotic sent to kill off my identity. I’d been ill for so long I was my illness.

The biggest thing I’ve learnt these past few years is that there’s a person inside me. There’s a person beyond borderline personality disorder. And there is a person inside you too. I promise.

 

Thanks so much for reading!

Until next time,

Rowan.

‘But you don’t look disabled!’

Social Anxiety Disorder diagnosis (2)31676718_2121441974757249_5764936947025838080_n (2)

Okay. Here’s the thing.

 

I’m disabled.

 

I do not have cerebral palsy, or multiple sclerosis. I am not in a wheelchair, nor do I need an assistance dog.

 

That does not mean I’m not disabled.

 

Unfortunately, many people do not understand that not all disabilities can be seen. Some people have invisible disabilities.

 

Initially, in 2016, I was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder. This diagnosis allowed me to get access to disabled student allowance at uni. I could have extended deadlines, library loan extensions due to my decreased concentration, and a specialist mentor to support me through my studies

 

The next year, I was told I had recurrent depressive disorder. Both of these diagnoses were correct. There’s no denying I’m a depressed hermit with an intense fear of new people and authority figures. I knew there was something more, though. Flashbacks, volatile emotions, and an intense fear of abandonment were coming from somewhere, and it wasn’t the depression or anxiety.

 

Finally, in 2018, I was diagnosed with what I’d known I had all along:

Emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

 

For those of you who don’t know, borderline personality disorder was renamed as emotionally unstable personality disorder in recent years. The ICD-10 (a book on diagnosing mental and behavioural disorders) states that emotionally unstable personality disorder falls into two types: impulsive, and borderline. I am the borderline type.

 

Though you can’t see my emotional dysregulation, my flashbacks, or when I’m dissociating, these symptoms are as valid as any other disability.

 

Until next time!

Rowan.