Salem Orion

Personality, Identity, and Pathology

Figuring out how to write this has been incredibly difficult for me. I felt like I was on the cusp of a breakthrough but sorting through how to talk about this requires sifting through mountains of traumatic experiences and mistakes I have made. 

See, I’m someone who is active in neurodivergent activist communities but I have severe trauma related to the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. As in the concept of it is a trigger for me. I get sent into a panic when the idea of its diagnosis gets brought up. If someone even insinuated I have it I would have a meltdown. I obsessed over it to the point of it damaging my relationships as well as my own functioning. Every time I would see someone talk about the symptoms I would find myself picking it apart trying to understand how I could have been diagnosed with it. Because it doesn’t fit. 

On “Behavior”

If I could pick any phrase in the English language and set it on fire it would definitely be “behavioral health”. To people who haven’t been pushed into the Psych System it sounds so innocuous. It’s there to help people develop “coping skills” and “protective factors”. Please excuse the scar-quotes, it’s just that these concepts have historically been used to deny me care that I was requesting from the very system people kept claiming would help me.

The Horror of Madness: Bandersnatch

There’s a lot of talk going on about the role of mental illness in the horror genre. There’s probably even more than usual since Netflix released Bandersnatch and Bird Box over the holidays.

I am a big horror fan. I love being scared and creeped out. I even love cheesy horror movies that are so bad they are fun to watch. But as someone who has struggled with various mental health issues and faced the trauma of the psychiatric system, my relationship with this genre is volatile.