borderline personality disorder
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Special Gifts for Mental Health Disorders

by Patty E. Fleener M.S.W.

Sometimes we all need to be reminded of how special and important we are. This is especially true if we are undergoing depression or suffer from low self-esteem. I can come up with many reasons why we are special in our own unique ways but one is hitting me now.

This message is especially written for those of you who are particularly feeling worthless, depressed, discouraged, sad, and defeated, etc. as you are reading this. 

Do you have any idea of some of the gifts you have within you? My guess is probably not or you wouldn't be feeling the way you are feeling.


First of all, you have an enormous amount of company. I can guarantee that about the same time that you are reading this, someone feeling much the same way you are feeling is reading the same thing. You are not alone.

Secondly, who in this world would understand exactly what you are feeling and thinking better than someone who has experienced the same thing and the same disorder(s). No one else could possibly understand unless they have experienced it first hand.

Third, who on this earth would you have come to your home and comfort you and speak with you right now? My guess is that it is either your therapist or the person mentioned above. Who else could possibly understand you more than someone who has been through what you are undergoing at this moment? What are the chances that this person would expect too much from you by asking you to "keep your chin up" or "just try harder" etc.? When they say to you that they understand, you will know in your heart that truly they do and feeling understood is a wonderful healing feeling.

You yourself have these gifts - the experiences of life that you can offer to assist others when you are feeling better. It can honestly be said that people with bipolar disorder and borderline personality disdorder do experience life more intensely than most people. 

I have received many wonderful heart warming letters from people saying that the website or my newsletters are helping them or that it is in some way a comfort. Though I feel my educational background and my career in social work has assisted me, 95% of what you read in my articles comes from experiencing my own mental health disorders. If there were no suffering from these disorders, I would not be experiencing the compassion that I have for others who also suffer.

There is meaning in suffering in my opinion. I agree with Viktor Frankl who was able to find it even in the Nazi concentration camps. You can read his book "Man's Search for Meaning."

Think of the great love poets. In my mind, how could they have experienced so much intense emotions had they not experienced so much emotional pain? In fact many poems express this pain and many of the great poets themselves have mental health disorders.

Of course as you know the gift of creativity comes with bipolar disorder and for some reason, my experience with those who have the borderline personality disorder are that they are very intelligent people. 

We come bearing gifts.

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