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Black and Asian BPD

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WhySoSerious

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I came to the realisation that there is a massive gap in BPD people that come from Black and Minority Ethnic communities in the US and UK. This led me to look at why this is the case.

I found that there are no less numbers of BPD in African and Asian (non-white majority) countries! The rates are the same as for white people in western countries yet in groups I have been involved with (in the UK) there were absolutely no black or Asian people in any of those groups!

Has anyone else noticed this? I know the rates of BAME people in MH services is lower than you would expect anyway but with BPD it seems really noticeable and the stats seem to prove it.

Any thoughts?
 
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bpd2020

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That is an interesting question. I did an introduction to group therapy and there was a black woman in the group but she is the only black person I have known with BPD. You pose a good question. I wonder if in some cultures they see mental illness as shame so they do not reach out for support.
 
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WhySoSerious

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There could be that and there is a likelihood that mild to moderate symptoms are managed "in community" compared to white counterparts.

That said there are the same levels of BPD in other countries that aren't predominantly white. So in black African states there are the exact same levels of BPD as whites in the UK or USA. Therefore it doesn't make sense.

There is also the issue of diagnosis. White women are more likely to self-harm whereas black women are more likely to have anger impulse control problems (this is based on data of self-reported studies, NOT assumptions about anger in BAME communities, just to make that clear!) If one of the primary indicators of BPD is self harm and black women tend not to exhibit that as much there may be less diagnosis based on that.

I've also read that there is a stronger relational (community) protective factor in BAME cultures. In the White Western culture it is a positive to be independent and strong and less focus (or negativity) toward dependent or social coping. It may account for how white women may struggle wit self-identity which is a strong component of BPD.

Definitely interesting and little data or research on it.

As an aside there are little differences in the diagnostic processes for BPD in white and non-white dominant countries.
 
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bpd2020

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That is a good point. I think often BAME communities are supported by their family and neighbours. I did not realise black and white women displayed different symptoms. It would make sense they may not have a diagnosis as self harm is one of the things psychiatrists look for in making a diagnosis.

That is so true. My ex is black and he could not understand how I had no 'family'. He was very close to his family despite is being dysfunctional. It does make sense how being independent from our families may cause us to have a lack of identity.
 
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Bilbo

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Why should BPD be less common anywhere in the world is what has passed through my mind. Kids get messed up everywhere.

Ethnic communities definitely conceal mental health problems more as well as stigmatize them. I should know because I’m from one.

My ethnicity has also made my BPD even more complex in terms of identity and fear of vulnerability to racism and ill treatment simply by virtue of color. I’m starting mentalisation treatment in Boston, although i’m from wimbledon in the UK. I don’t expect to seen any or many black or asian people but I could be wrong. They don’t tend to access services as readily and when they do are usually in very bad shape when they do as problems have been left to fester and get out of control.

Being from the community I am has definitely exacerbated my BPD and prevented me from getting the help I desperately needed all my life. I am still angry about this and want it to pass because it does me no good whatsoever.
 
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bpd2020

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Why should BPD be less common anywhere in the world is what has passed through my mind. Kids get messed up everywhere.

Ethnic communities definitely conceal mental health problems more as well as stigmatize them. I should know because I’m from one.

My ethnicity has also made my BPD even more complex in terms of identity and fear of vulnerability to racism and ill treatment simply by virtue of color. I’m starting mentalisation treatment in Boston, although i’m from wimbledon in the UK. I don’t expect to seen any or many black or asian people but I could be wrong. They don’t tend to access services as readily and when they do are usually in very bad shape when they do as problems have been left to fester and get out of control.

Being from the community I am has definitely exacerbated my BPD and prevented me from getting the help I desperately needed all my life. I am still angry about this and want it to pass because it does me no good whatsoever.
I am so sorry your community has prevented you from getting support. I can fully understand why you feel angry. I am so pleased you are able to get support now.
 
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WhySoSerious

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 16, 2019
Messages
267
Location
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Why should BPD be less common anywhere in the world is what has passed through my mind. Kids get messed up everywhere.

Ethnic communities definitely conceal mental health problems more as well as stigmatize them. I should know because I’m from one.

My ethnicity has also made my BPD even more complex in terms of identity and fear of vulnerability to racism and ill treatment simply by virtue of color. I’m starting mentalisation treatment in Boston, although i’m from wimbledon in the UK. I don’t expect to seen any or many black or asian people but I could be wrong. They don’t tend to access services as readily and when they do are usually in very bad shape when they do as problems have been left to fester and get out of control.

Being from the community I am has definitely exacerbated my BPD and prevented me from getting the help I desperately needed all my life. I am still angry about this and want it to pass because it does me no good whatsoever.
So sorry tto hear about your difficulties.
Why not get MBT in the UK? My trust does it.

It's funny because in terms of identity the evidence is paradoxical. Black people tend to have less ID disturbance than white women. Possibly because the west has a fixation on individualism that is toxic.
 
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Bilbo

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All I know is my personal experience of identity and BPD. I'm not sure you can make many generalisations about BPD and ethnicity as the individuals personal experience and story is so different in how their BPD has developed and exhibited itself.

I live in Boston, USA now and am working with McLean Hospital who are really good with MBT from what I hear. I never managed to access help in the UK but it looks very. Ery difficult indeed unless you are in a pretty bad place.
 
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WhySoSerious

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That's def true. You have to be pretty impaired for UK help.
 
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