I’m a teacher with borderline personality disorder – TES

Don’t assume that people with borderline personality disorder are all obsessive and volatile – there’s more to us, says this teacher.

When I tell people that I have borderline personality disorder, I anticipate one of two reactions. The first is that people have never heard of it; the second is that they have, and they think you’re a murderer.

Occasionally, I may encounter the rare third reaction: “Really? But you’re so…nice?”

When I tell people that I have borderline personality disorder, I anticipate one of two reactions. The first is that people have never heard of it; the second is that they have, and they think you’re a murderer.

Occasionally, I may encounter the rare third reaction: “Really? But you’re so…nice?”

Much of the last reaction is to do with the media portrayal of people with BPD as obsessive, manipulative and volatile. In fact, when I typed “borderlines are” into Google, the top search suggestion was “borderlines are horrible”, closely followed by “borderlines are evil”, which gives some insight into how we are perceived.

Teachers’ fear of being stigmatised in the workplace

I began to wonder if there were other borderlines working in education and took to online forums. I was inundated with messages.

All the people I spoke to were keeping their BPD a secret out of fear of being stigmatised in the workplace, which meant they couldn’t access the reasonable adjustments they are legally entitled to.

And it’s not just existing employees who are at a disadvantage. I heard from several borderlines who disclosed their disability on job applications and, despite meeting or exceeding the minimum requirements, were not shortlisted for interview. Yet when they applied for similar positions and didn’t disclose having BPD, they were offered interviews and often employment. It’s therefore no wonder that most choose to keep their diagnosis quiet.

It is a huge shame that, by immediately discounting employees with BPD, employers are missing out on a pool of talent with a unique set of skills. Teaching gives me an overwhelming sense of purpose and fulfilment, and goes a long way towards filling the chronic emptiness that borderlines experience.

Read the full article on the TES website here

 

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