Borderline personality disorder
‘One GP told me I wasn’t ill, just a bad person’.
This highly stigmatised condition is misunderstood and frequently misdiagnosed.
“I’ve been suicidal every day for two months,” says Ali Strick. “It affects my whole life, every moment of every day, the way I interact with everyone.” Strick, who runs grassroots mental health organisation Arts Sisterhood, has borderline personality disorder (BPD), which is characterised by emotional instability, cognitive distortions, impulsive behaviour and intense, often unstable, relationships with others. Around seven in every 1,000 people in the UK have BPD, according to a 2006 study, but the condition is still stigmatised and often excluded from high-profile awareness-raising campaigns.
Living with BPD can be difficult. Many people with it are terrified of abandonment and may go to extremes to avoid it, or can have intense changes of mood, often swinging from one extreme to the other in a matter of hours. Others take risks or harm themselves, and many have suicidal thoughts. Read the article The Guardian