The Media and Borderline Personality Disorder [Possible Triggers]

I was working out in my basement today, listening to my music playlist while reading the Closed Captioning on CNN. I usually avoid news media as I find it extremely biased no matter what network you get it from, but Robin Meade is by far the most tolerable choice in the morning. As every day for the past months, they were talking about Jodi Arias’ trial, which I along with everyone else, am completely over and glad it’s coming to an end. But what was said this morning nearly made me fall off my treadmill.

I had seen a few days ago that they were now claiming Jodi Arias has Borderline Personality Disorder, which made me roll my eyes. Then today, they said that her ability to lie easily and change who she was definitely pointed to BPD.

Enraged I breathed deep and kept walking, powered by anger, fuming at this “reporting” by CNN and the claims being made in the courtroom. An article in Psychology Today covered the subject, and pointed out how the media blames everyone with odd behavior who commits an atrocity with Borderline Personality Disorder, a disorder where harm is directed at the self and patients are not considered homicidal.

Borderline Personality Disorder is not a joke; the millions of people who live with the disorder are faced with blows in all directions from stigmas of mental illness. As a disorder of emotional instability, it only makes it worse that courtroom psychologists and reporters stamp people who have been accused of terrible crimes with the disorder, making those who actually have the disorder become extremely distressed and question – “Am I capable of this?”

In CNN’s mock-jury, one “juror” when asked to describe how they felt after all the posturing answered “suicidal.” This has aired at least twice in the past hour. The stigma of mental illness is so common that someone who could say “exhausted” or “bored” on a major news network will say they feel “suicidal” commenting on the length of the trial of someone who is now labeled as a Borderline Personality.

All of this disgusts me. This year after challenging work and difficulty in learning to handle my emotions, I had Borderline Personality Disorder removed from my diagnoses as I do not meet enough of the criteria to be considered BPD – I am now in recovery, although I still fight through every day with the same issues I’ve battled over half my life. Borderline Personalities are assaulted with negativity online, in media, and in the real world, which only adds to their own low views of themselves [10% of deaths with those having a BPD diagnosis are due to suicide, as self-harm and suicidal thoughts are very common among patients and many times a daily battle]. It is sad that mainstream media would comment on a disorder that they obviously did no research on, and that a serious mental disorder is being used as a tool, as an excuse, in a murder trial. Whether Jodi Arias is innocent or guilty, I have no opinion on; but her alleged PTSD does not equal Borderline Personality Disorder, and what is being presented is not representative of us.

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