Have you ever watched the movie Shutter Island? Or perhaps heard The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll? These stories share the same twist – The Protagonist has a mental illness and they’re also the Antagonist. Shutter Island is an American psychological thriller film starring Leonardo DiCaprio who’s a U.S. Marshall named Edward Daniels, investigating the psychiatric facility on the titular island and later finds out that the insane patient he was looking for is actually him. The story of Jekyll and Hyde is another type of mental illness called Dissociative Identity Disorder which is very rare. It is a story of a London lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend Dr. Jekyll and his split personality Mr. Hyde. A patient with DID has two or more distinct personality and alternately take control of an individual.
Why am I telling you these? That’s because like them, I have a mental illness too. 2 years ago, I visited my friend psychiatrist who lives in Manila to ask about my mood unstableness issues. After a series of friendly interview and temper triggering interrogation, he told me that I actually have a BPD. He said that it came out when I was in high school. He also pointed things that might trigger my BPD and how to avoid it if possible. At first I wasn’t shocked on what I’ve heard until I slowly realized what I can unconsciously do to myself and to my friends when my BPD is triggered.
BPD stands for Borderline Personality Disorder. It is a cluster B personality disorder wherein a person with this type of mental illness may have an impulsive and risky behavior, risky driving, unsafe sex, gambling sprees or illegal drug use. We could also behave destructive actions, self-injury, and sometimes we’re feeling unable to change it. We usually have mood swings, short but intense episodes of anxiety or depression, inappropriate anger and antagonistic behavior which bring us to trouble, suicidal behavior, alone and hopeless, feeling neglected and we could feel self-loathing.
After understanding what BPD really is, I became aware of what I’m capable of. My perfectionism and goal-oriented personality triggers my BPD by being disappointed on what I’m expecting to happen. I became really irritated and if I didn’t calm down, I could behave antagonistically. My mood swing can be seen distinctively. My normal self is boring, calm and doesn’t often talk but when my BPD triggers, everything will turn upside down which make others think that I have a split personality (DID).
Of all the symptoms that I have gathered, I possess ten of them. These make me positive in Borderline Personality Disorder. Despite these circumstances, people find me a normal person with strange habits. I don’t know how to gamble and I don’t use drugs. I hate self-injury but when my adventurous characteristic gives me a pair of wings, I always remember that Adventure is boring without danger which makes me a risky biker and unafraid to get hurt. I hate suicidal minded persons because it makes me think that they are quitters. Sometimes I’m feeling alone but not hopeless. And as for self-hatred, I hate myself for having this illness.
Every time this psychological disorder attacks me, it reminds me what the psychiatrist once told me: “whenever it dominates your mind, try to deny it like it never existed”. I know denial will not entirely work but it is the only thing that keeps me attached in this sane world.