I love to read and happen to be going through a great leadership book right now. It dawned on me though that there are no leadership books (that I’m aware of) specific to success in business for people with mental illness. There are great books for coping with mental illness, and great books on success in business. Why haven’t the two been merged?
Of course I mentioned this to my therapist who said “you don’t have to read everything in a book” YES I DO. Well ok, I guess I can succeed without it, point to you Mrs Therapist. However, I’m likely not the only one looking for this, so point to me too.
Of course I made the mistake of google searching BPD and office type keywords to see if maybe there was something. Boy was that a mistake. I found articles and blog posts galore about “dealing with the borderlines in your office”. Every single one mentioned borderlines as narcissistic, most called borderlines “bullies”. One even went so far as to use Borderline Personality Disorder and Psychopath interchangeably.
I think what upset me more than anything was that it wasn’t just random opinions and blog posts, but some of these were on well respected sites. Here’s one from psych central talking about a book that groups anyone with a personality disorder together and calls them vampires https://psychcentral.com/lib/emotional-vampires-at-work-dealing-with-bosses-coworkers-who-drain-you-dry/ notice the constant lack of the word “some”. Apparently we’re all the same.
Here’s one from Forbes, one of my go to websites for business information https://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecomaford/2016/04/02/bullies-borderline-bosses-and-narcissists-how-to-thrive/2/#390559bc18fd this is actually part 2, there’s a part one that is almost as sickening.
What gets me is that these articles classify people with BPD as “Borderlines”. I did the same throughout this post because that is what I was reading. But the truth is, the disorder does not define you. There is also a consistent lack of “some” throughout. Sorry I didn’t realize all us “borderlines” are the same. And then of course the constant misconceptions of the disorder dripping from all sides.
So in the style of Forbes contributor Christine Comaford, there will be a part 2 to this. And I will speak to the misconceptions that I continue to see and hear.