Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is one of the most misunderstood, wrongly-diagnosed mental illnesses.
It affects an estimated 14 million Americans, or 5.9 percent of all adults.That means more people suffer from BPD than Alzheimer’s. One out of five psychiatric hospital patients has BPD, as do 10 percent of people in outpatient mental health treatment centers.
Despite all of this, BPD is rarely discussed in public forums. This is in part due to the fact that very few people know what it is or how to identify it.
Your Role in Identifying BPD
When it comes to BPD, few people have more experience treating and studying the illness than Carol W. Berman, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the NYU Medical Center. In an article published by the Huffington Post, Berman tells a story about one of her personal interactions with a patient she’d been treating for 20 years.
Despite knowing the patient for more than two decades, Berman was shocked to discover just how little trust existed between the two of them. This realization came one day when she decided she would go with her patient to a followup doctor appointment that was set to give her test results after the removal of her uterine cancer.
When the doctor told her patient that she was cancer-free, Berman smiled and felt relief. However, after the doctor left, the patient started screaming. “You colluded with her! I can’t believe how you doctors were so self-satisfied,” she vigorously proclaimed. “You didn’t even consider me. You and that doctor talked down to me like I was a moron!”