Sunday, July 24, 2016

Guest Post- Mental Health and Me

I’ve been through a hell of a time with my mental health and still struggle with it on a daily basis. I’m lucky in the fact that I have improved over the years. 

At 14 I was raped, this caused me to try to commit suicide, I ended up in hospital on a children’s ward. After getting discharged things started to become crazy. I was suffering. 

I’m now 20 and I am diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder also known as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder. I’m also diagnosed with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, Anxiety and Insomnia. Over the years I have seen many mental health professionals, took part in various day programmes for people with mental health, have had various therapies, seen the crisis team and had a community mental health social worker. 

Borderline Personality disorder is not talked about enough in my opinion. It needs much more awareness and often people don’t get diagnosed for a long time.  A few symptoms of borderline personality disorder and how they affect me and many other people are:
- Close bonds to people where you would do anything to stop yourself from losing that person even if it’s an unhealthy relationship. This could be relationships with your friends, parents, partner. 
- You feel very worried about people abandoning you and do anything to try and stop this happening.
- You have very strong and intense emotions that can last from a few hours to days and can change really quickly.
- You might struggle with knowing who you are as a person and you might act or behave differently around different sets of people.
- You find it hard to make and keep stable long term relationships with people.
- You act on impulse and might do things that could harm you (promiscuous, binge eating, drugs, alcohol the list could go on).
- Suicidal thoughts or self-harm.
- You feel empty and lonely most of the time.
- You may struggle to control your anger and get very angry sometimes.
- You may have psychotic episodes such as seeing or hearing things other people cannot
- Feeling numb and dissociating (not remembering things that have happened).
- Black and White thinking – somethings either really good or really bad for example.
These are just a few of the symptoms of Borderline Personality disorder. My personal experience of Borderline Personality Disorder is that I have clung to relationships all my life and some were really unhealthy and bad for me. I use to go from relationship to relationship and they were always abusive and I’d be so scared to lose the person even though they treated me awfully. I believed it every time they said "I will change" and in my mind i couldn’t live without that person. This stopped when an ex of mine went too far one day and pushed me in front of van. I couldn’t believe I’d stayed with him so long and it had gone this far. He could have killed me that day. I think that really pushed me to confront the fact that I needed to stop unhealthy and abusive relationships where I was being hit or emotionally abused.  I’ve self-harmed and took overdoses and ended up in intensive care. At times I really wanted to die. I found my mental health overwhelming. I ended up in mental health hospitals and at the age of 18 I was constantly in and out. I have constant mood swings I can go from being really happy to really sad in just a few minutes. I’ve struggled with feelings of emptiness and hopelessness and I really thought I wanted to die. I’ve blanked out at times and lost periods of time before where people tell me I’ve been doing something and I have no memory of doing it.

The problem with mental health is all the stigma surrounding it. I have an invisible illness this does not mean I am crazy nor does it mean I am my illness. Borderline Personality Disorder needs more awareness so that people understand why we are how we are because we can’t help the way we react or respond to situations. Borderline Personality Disorder is not an excuse it is an explanation. The list of personal experiences could go on and on but the fact I’m trying to get across is let’s end the stigma of mental health illnesses and raise awareness of Borderline Personality Disorder and all other mental health illnesses. What I would like to say to anyone suffering with Borderline Personality Disorder is you are not alone! 1 in 100 people have Borderline Personality Disorder and there are many ways of accessing support. If you would like some support or someone to chat to please feel free to contact me through social media. 
You can follow Melissa's blog at or on Facebook via  and there is also a Twitter page at 
I would like to thank Melissa for her story and I hope that it helps shine a light on living with BPD. Anyone who can openly share their story and experiences is amazing for doing so and helping end stigma around mental illness.