By Nancy Virden (c)2022
At first, I was told I was depressed.
Counseling that followed stayed along that line until a psychiatrist, who had never met me, said I had Borderline Personality Disorder (which I do not, by the way.) Immediately, there was a shift in the way professionals acted toward me and my care.
Based solely on this incorrect diagnosis, one counselor accused me of being dramatic and manipulative. Another assumed my suicide attempt was for a show (it was not). Yet another rolled her eyes and said “whew” and shook her head. She had known me for 15 minutes.
I believed the diagnosis because without more information there was no way to understand it. As time passed I realized it did not fit. Or did it? Confusion took over because of my ignorance. My now ex-husband, who needed more rationalizations for his negative treatment of me, bought the Borderline (BPD) idea and tried to make himself the victim.
It was simply not true.
While I sympathize with anyone with BPD, I discovered that a wrong diagnosis can wreak havoc on a person’s life. Professionals can make mistakes and accepting a diagnosis as a label is self-defeating. As for the major depression diagnosis, I believed it to the point I thought that was all I am, and all I would ever be.
Eventually, a psychologist who knew me well, said he did not see evidence of BPD and repeated it a couple years later after he knew me even better. What a relief! From this experience, I learned it is wise to be careful what to say until one has at least a second opinion from doctors who know their client.
I was blessed with good providers when I lived in Pennsylvania. Having returned to my home state of Ohio, it is good to be armed with the truth. Major Depression is an illness that has happened to me. I am not majorly depressed, or depressed at all for that matter. For the past five years, joy has been my companion. It is never far from reach. Through chronic anemia, cancer, my ex’s remarriage, one son moving farther away, both anemia and Covid isolation, twice having Covid 19, selling my home and boarding, amid other losses and adjustments, joy has not left! I am not mentally ill anymore.
Does this guarantee anything about the future? No, of course not. People who say “I will never let myself get depressed” are prideful and ignorant. They do not know. However, after spending five years in therapy relearning how to think, I have the tools to face almost anything.
I would be remiss to ignore the greatest factor in my mental health. His name is Jesus. He is the Difference-Maker, the One who has never left me to fend for myself. Finally able to fully believe in the biblical matters of the grace and love of God, everything has changed. Insecurities cannot lead me when I am loved so profoundly. Fear does not own me when I am so permanently forgiven.
My Hope is not only for this life…
Faith is enough proof…
and the greatest of all, God’s Love, is unending.
Today’s Helpful Word
… Though I have fallen, I will rise.
Though I sit in darkness,
the Lord will be my light.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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