Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month

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May saw Mental Health Awareness Week but did you know that this coincides with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Awareness Month? BPD is also known as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD) and it was not until 1980 that it was officially recognized in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III). For this month, our VP Welfare and Community spoke to a student who has BPD, and heard their experiences of it.

According to the NHS, BPD is ‘a disorder of mood and how a person interacts with others. […] In general, someone with a personality disorder will differ significantly from an average person in terms of how [they] think, perceive, feel or relate to others.’ Of course, BPD affects people in different ways which makes it hard to diagnose, and is often misdiagnosed at first because the disorder is similar to other mental illnesses or may coexist with other mental health illnesses.

“It is difficult when you have BPD because there is a constant fear that those you love are sick of you or hate you. There could be a slight change in tone and immediately you assume the worst which may complicate your relationship with the other person more. We feel guilty and are often manipulated by others because they play on that ease of guilt but through the different support I have received this year, I have been able to work on myself. In doing so, my immediate reaction is not that they hate me but that they might have something going on and that it is okay to give them space.” (3rd year student with BPD)

Like many mental illnesses, there is unfortunately no cure but there are many ways to help sufferers adapt to life with a diagnosis. As medicine and therapies progress, BPD sufferers have a wide range of avenues to help support their everyday life. Whether that be a range of medication, talking therapy, brief interventions or Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), these treatments offer people a way to cope with and develop skills to cope with the strong emotions that sufferers have in a positive way.

Regrettably, BPD is still stigmatised like many other mental health illnesses and problems due to media portrayal and misunderstanding of those who have these conditions. However, talking about this and raising awareness is a step in the right direction. As with anyone with mental health problems, you would not know someone had it so please be kind to everyone out there as you never know what people may be going through.

To find out more visit:
NHS – Borderline Personality Disorder
Mind – About BPD
Rethink Mental Illness – Borderline Personality Disorder

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