People with Borderline Personality Disorder, going untreated can work both ways. Yes, some of them refuse treatment. However, it also can be difficult to find a therapist willing to treat them.
From day one in therapy, many patients with BPD teach their therapists to feel hopeless about them. They use words and veiled threats such as “You can’t help me!” or “If I don’t get better I will kill myself. Just you wait.” These words can and will emotionally drain your average therapist. Meanwhile, even your most experienced therapist has trouble dealing with patients who self harm or make suicide attempts. They are indeed, only human with feelings. And working with people they can become emotionally involved whether they like it or not. They do care if a patient has a good or bad week. And they will hurt if the patient hurts themselves. Even worse, a successful suicide leaves them second guessing could they have done more? A self doubt only magnified by any and all possible litigation over the death. For no matter how well a therapist has done their job, the suicide will bring about legal questions.
On the other hand there is the BPD refusing treatment. The number one reason is denial. With this illness comes long periods of stability which can leave the patient feeling like they are just fine and no longer need any help. They may have rages, but along with these rages come altered memory. These memories can leave them convinced they were really the victim. With denial comes the refusal to take meds and the vicious cycle that follows. In denial they go off meds causing a relapse with them needing to go back on them. Then after a time they are able to slip back into denial and end the meds again, just causing another relapse. When the meds do their job, it’s as if there is no illness, which can cause the belief that it is cured verses just being well treated. Another reason for denial is the stigma that comes with Borderline Personality Disorder. With the limited information about it, many don’t know what it actually is. They hear the phrase and assume the worst about the patient. This gets worse in the work environment. It can be hard, though sometimes necessary to admit the illness to coworkers and bosses. One must remember, one has a cold, but you are BPD or bi-polar.
While there is limited need to go into depth about this, one might also consider the cost of weekly therapy and daily meds. The medical bills can rack up quickly. And with it being difficult to hold a steady job with this illness, the insurance isn’t always there.
So there are many reasons BPD can and does go untreated and as for now, while the general population goes uneducated, the general population is to blame.
Want to help?
Donate money to a local cause dealing with treatment and research for BPD.
Go to your local library and suggest books for them to purchase. It’s free to you and could change lives. The right column holds ideas for books to suggest.