August 2nd, 2011, was a momentous day for Borderline Personality Disorder. Someone famous finally stepped up to the plate and announced publicly that they suffered from the disorder.
The mental health profession has known of the existence of Borderline Personality Disorder for over 20 years, yet most of our country -- and the world, for that matter -- is completely ignorant of it. What has been needed is someone (known and admired by the public) to be brave enough to talk about Borderline Personality Disorder and attempt to help other sufferers.
We've needed another Betty Ford (as in the Betty Ford Center for alcohol and drug addiction treatment).
Well, Brandon Marshall isn't Betty Ford, but he's bginning to walk in her foot steps. The Miami Dolphins wide receiver announced at a press conference on August 2nd that he was diagnosed earlier this year with Borderline Personality Disorder.
Marshall said he made the decision to go public with the issue to "raise awareness" and that he plans to eventually lobby Congress for funding to assist research efforts. "The only reason I'm standing here today is to use my story to help others who may suffer from what I suffer from."
Marshall said, "For so long I've beeen just trying to get help. I've been seeking help. I*'ve been talking with doctors since I've been in the NFL. No one has ever helped me."
He said he has spent $60,000 on treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder. He credits McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., where he spent 3 months undergoing intensive evaluation and treatment, for finally identifying his problem.
This is a good start. Now maybe other people we know and respect will begin to come forward with their own stories. Then maybe we can start getting a handle on this terribly painful disorder -- not only for the sufferers, but also for their lovers, family members, friends and employers.
Everyone is confused and hurting around a Borderline.