Home > Expat Life > Health > My child has BPD: the story of Viktoriya in Japan
BPD in Japan

We already had the pleasure to share the story of Viktoriya, a Russian lady who moved to Japan for love. Today she tells us about a most difficult aspect of her life: her teenager son has been diagnosed with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). In  her search for support from other parents, she has started a Facebook page.

 

Mama, why did you bring me into this world? I don’t want to live!

I heard these words after visiting a psychiatrist with my son. He actually wanted to go to the clinic by himself, and I couldn’t figure out why. My kid felt that something was wrong with him. And it was Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD.

If you read about this disorder, you will see it mostly related to abuse from the parents at a very young age or heavy stress during childhood. But in fact, this is not always the case.

Your child is born with his/her character and unique personality, and has the right to be different. He can be mentally weaker than other kids, he can prefer playing on his own, he can complain a lot about little things… and it all seems to be in tune with his personality.

BPD in JapanSo, what’s wrong with that?

Nothing wrong, actually. We all have dreams and not all of them are connected with reality. We all try something new and it’s OK.

However, when dreams become strange or funny and all new things and hobbies change so fast in your child that you can’t follow them, that’s a red flag.

I thought it was his character, it was adolescence. The hormones. Until one day things started to be overloaded with anger accompanied by self harm. Until drugs filled in the emptiness inside, instead of dreams and hopes. Until the kid begged for help and finally visited a doctor. The line between personality and sickness is very fragile.

When did it start?

Maybe when I copied my own mom and tried to raise a strong and independent individual who was in fact a weak and sensitive kid. Or when I was exhausted killing myself taking care of my family and trying to build a career. Superwoman, aha. Did my best. And broke my son.

I can’t forgive myself for that time when I couldn’t even eat or sleep well and my baby was there with me, quietly hugging me… He tried to make me smile, and tried to talk to me, but finally gave up. Mommy was too tired.

My boy was always quiet.

At home, at school, he was always a perfect child. Too perfect to show his pain to me. “Good children” don’t want to upset their parents.

Now we are living day by day, trying to enjoy little things.

My life is divided now in “before-after” and I am looking for help, support and other people with similar experience. I found a group in my city, but not for BPD patients specifically.

Of course, my son is on medications and I hope that therapy will help. Now we are living day by day, trying to enjoy little things. The smile on my son’s face after the depressive mood, good weather, a cup of tea… All these things matter.

There are not so many parents who accept BPD as a disorder.

So many people deny it and blame the person’s character. One reason is our ignorance, that’s why I started the Facebook page “My child has BPD“. Please visit, comment, share your experiences. Together we can help each other to be stronger for our children.

 

Viktoriya Shirota,
Ibaraki, Japan,
July 2019
Cover photo @Elijah O’Donnell on Unsplash
Photo in the text @Viktoriya Shirota

 

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