Feeling like an imposter in the mental health community

How many of you have felt like an imposter in your own life? When you’re out with friends? At work? In doing something you love? I understand this so well. One of the things that can come with BPD is Imposter Syndrome. It happens frequently. It’s happening now. I feel like an imposter writing a mental health blog even though I have lived experience and have something to say.

Comparing myself to other MH writers

This is SUCH a biggie. I look for mental health blogs, news articles and books that help and inspire me. I read them, I take them in and then I get this overwhelming sense of failure and jealousy that the article/book wasn’t written by me. It makes me doubt my capabilities as a writer and potential author. I followed so many inspiring people on social media but all I kept thinking was ‘they’re better than me’, ‘ they really are experts’ and ‘what I’m saying isn’t as valuable’. I was having real anxiety about it so had to unfollow everyone.

Comparing my experience of BPD to others

Getting diagnosed took a really long time and when I was told that I had BPD/EUPD, I went looking for information. All I found was info telling me that you had to have been abused as a child or that you had to have been hospitalised in order to have the condition. I felt like a fake because I’d had neither of those things happen to me. Whenever I hear someone else’s experience, I always think ‘Mine’s not that bad, what was I making a fuss about?’. I always feel like my story isn’t a good one. It’s not extreme enough. I feel like an imposter being diagnosed with BPD!

Comparing my social media presence

There are so many debates around whether social media can help, hinder or both. For me, it definitely hinders me and my self esteem. Just because there are so many people out there doing what I wish I was doing. The simple answer is that I need to work harder on my social media presence, post things of use and of interest and probably, stop comparing myself to others. I do envy those people who are writing for a living, creating change and engaging with so many people and their stories. I definitely feel like an imposter on social media and feel like I don’t fit into the ‘community’ that resides there.

Dealing with the imposter in me

Feeling like you don’t fit in and that you are out on a limb is really hard. I totally get the ’embrace your differences’ thing but I just can’t get to embracing it yet. Despite the mental health community being a supportive and educational space, it’s also a hard place to be when you have Imposter Syndrome. The constant reminder that your experiences aren’t almost as bad as other people’s. The ‘community’ feel really threatens me rather than inspires me. It’s awful to say as everyone is shouting from the same song sheet and doing amazing things to change the attitudes to mental health.

I feel like this blog is highlighting the Imposter Syndrome so please don’t take offence if you’re one of those awesome people changing attitudes. I’m just jealous of what you’re achieving.

8 thoughts on “Feeling like an imposter in the mental health community

  1. I think there’s an underlying sort of cascade of dominos. I might feel like I’m not good enough when it comes to X as someone else, but then they actually feel like they’re not as good at Y as someone else, and on and on, yet no one feels comfortable actually speaking up about it. It’s good that you wrote about this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Beth,

    First, I’m very grateful to you for getting your perspective out there and being open about your struggles with anxiety and BPD/EUPD.

    I suffer from both too, as well as bouts of major depression. I’m also a graduate of English Lit (and graduated in the aftermath of the 2008 recession) and my mental health rapidly deteriorated due to scarcity of job opportunities and being backed into a Call Centre corner (and temp, agency jobs at that).

    I wonder if you could advise me: I’m based in Glasgow and was hospitalised a couple of times for injurious/suicidal behaviour (please don’t compare yourself to me), and haven’t held steady jobs due to panic attacks or simply not being selected for interview. I live on benefits. Should I be open with employers about my issues? I don’t want to be on the sick for the rest of my life. I fear I won’t be understood, or will simply be rejected for perceived unreliability.


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