BIGSPD considers itself to be a ‘broad church’ of perspective around the diagnosis of personality disorder and aims to encompass all views while holding an organisational position of neutrality. We accept that people want the best for those who receive the diagnosis of personality disorder and appreciate that there will be different, even conflicting views as to how this can come about.
BIGSPD acknowledges the contentious nature of the diagnosis and diagnostic construct and acknowledges the real harm that may come to those as a result of having this label. BIGSPD also acknowledges that this is a diagnosis that some do identify with and find useful. To ensure we maintain our neutrality, our conference consists of a range of perspectives and voices from both the traditionally trained and people with lived experience. This is also reflected in our co-produced executive committee where our members hold positions of being pro, anti, and ambivalent about the construct.
In 2022 we held a vote at our Annual General Meeting where we proposed removing “personality disorder” from the title of our organisation. The members voted by a tiny margin to keep it in the name, reflecting how we are an organisation that can unite while disagreeing, as reflected in our values.
For us as an organisation, we acknowledge that how people choose to identify with their diagnosis is unique to them and we do not believe we should be the organisation that force people into leaning one way or the other. Our primary aim is to ensure that people who receive a diagnosis of personality disorder or have associated difficulties are treated with the care and respect that they deserve. We believe if we cut out large parts of this conversation, we fail to ensure that learning and reflection takes place from any position, and we should never be silencing the voices of those with lived experience from either side of the fence. As stated in our values, we do not think any true co-produced endeavour can take place if voices are actively excluded.