Content warning and disclaimer: Contains potentially distressing material, including reference to suicidality. Sanity by Tanmoy is not a therapy platform. Please do not self-diagnose if you experience a mental health concern. Consult a professional.
I usually dread the question with which Anamika, my therapist of three years, starts every session.
"So, what's on your mind?"
On most days, I have no clue what's on my mind. The mind isn't a table. You can't just scan it and say: there's my child's toy aeroplane, and yesterday's leftover sandwich, and aha, there's that broken fridge magnet I've been meaning to fix. The mind is occupied by absurd, shadowy things. It's a pain having to catalogue them in intelligible words at 10 AM on a Tuesday.
But this Tuesday, I was ready. I wanted a specific outcome from the next 60 minutes. So when Anamika asked me, I told her exactly what was on my mind.
“Do you think I have borderline personality disorder?”
You see, I've had this nagging suspicion for a while that the shittiness I feel these days is different from the familiar racket of depression and anxiety with which I have lived my entire (adult) life. Let me try to describe it: a ghastly mix of fear of abandonment; short periods of feeling okay, even good, about myself, followed by abject self-loathing and self-directed anger; extreme highs and lows in how I see other people; spells of intense panic when I stop breathing; unbearable sensitivity to the tiniest of real or imagined slight from people near me, like a toothache that grips my whole being; and a strong urge to dabble in what Anamika calls 'self-annihilation'.