It can be really tricky to find high-quality, non-stigmatising and genuinely thoughtful resources about borderline personality disorder (BPD). At my last psychiatry appointment, my psychiatrist asked me what she could recommend her patients who have been newly diagnosed with BPD. We had a chat about how distressing it can be for people with BPD to google their diagnosis due to the judgmental, inaccurate and frankly downright dangerous things that are written online (and in print) about this condition.
People with BPD have it hard in so many ways. First of all, there is the lack of understanding about personality disorders from the general public. Furthermore, there is a lack of knowledge and training about borderline personality disorder from primary healthcare professionals such as GPs, as well as a shortage of mental health professionals in secondary care who have a specialism in personality disorder. Waiting lists for therapy and access to specialist mental health teams can be very long indeed.
I thought I would share some of my most-loved resources here so if you are in need of some comfort, someone to relate to, something to get you through a period of agonising emotions or want to find some healthy coping skills. This is an eclectic assortment ranging from books, to websites, videos and even helplines. I hope you find something amongst the following that might be of use to you. I would love to know how you get on if you try any of them!
1. Debbie corso's healing from bpd
Healing From BPD is a blog described by Debbie as a 'journey of living with and healing from Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD traits, and thriving as an emotionally sensitive person using DBT skills'. Debbie was my main source of hope and comfort when I was first diagnosed. Her videos on YouTube especially made me feel validated when I felt most isolated.
BPDChat is an Twitter chat which takes place at 9pm (UK time) each Sunday. If you want to take part, you will need a Twitter account and then to search with the hashtag #BPDChat. Each week there is a different topic such as worrying and rumination, fear of abandonment, judgments, learning to say no to others, identity and so on. #BPDChat was started by @bpdffs Sue Sibbald and @Transformental.
#BPDChat is hosted by @CarlDunnJr who asks questions and gently facilitates the conversation. I recommend it if you want to feel less alone and hear from others who you may relate to. It was a huge source of support for me in the first two years of my diagnosis.
3. Mindfulness for Borderline Personality Disorder Book
This video reviews ‘Mindfulness for Borderline Personality Disorder’ by Blaise Aguirre and Gillian Galen. Even if you dislike mindfulness, I would still recommend this book. It's all round non-judgemental, validating and gives helpful coping tips for fear of abandonment, anxious thought, social anxiety and more.
4. This article about Marsha Linehan the founder of dbt
This article tells the story of Marsha Linehan who founded dialectical behaviour therapy. She was in a mental health hospital in the USA as a young woman and went on to help so many others who were going through the same 'hell' as she had previously experienced.
“I was in hell,” she said. “And I made a vow: when I get out, I’m going to come back and get others out of here.” - Marsha Linehan
I love this piece because it shows how things can transform and how innovative people can be with their own difficulties. Marsha Linehan designed what she needed and what wasn't available to her at the time she needed it. As someone who loves to be resourceful and innovative, that, to me, is just utterly fantastic.
Please take care, this article could be upsetting and triggering as it describes being detained, self-harm and being suicidal.
Do you need someone to talk to? Do you want to tell someone how hard it is, how much pain you feel, how tired you feel, how you fear you cannot cope, how you don't know what to do? Are you crying in the street and don't even know how you will make it home? Do you need to problem solve with someone? Is it 3am and no one else is awake and yet you need someone to bring you a sense of comfort? Did you have a frightening flashback and need to talk?
Honestly, give the Samaritans a call. If someone picks up and you don't feel comfortable with that volunteer for whatever reason, you can end the call (just 'thanks, I need to go, or even just press 'end' if you feel really anxious, they volunteers understand). This is your call and your space.
I cannot recommend Samaritans enough. There have been times I want to talk to someone without fear of confidentiality being broken and they have been just *perfect*. I have called hundreds of times and there was a period in my life where I would call every day and even a few times a day. One day I hope to repay them for all they have done for me.
5. My Illustrated Mind
Kathryn is a doctor, researcher and artist who uses illustration to describe her experiences of mental illness and schema therapy. 'my illustrated mind' is her evolving collection of illustrations and they are just gorgeous. She has just launched her website which showcases her gorgeous work which is an incredible resource for people looking to understand their own internal power struggles.
6. DBT skills training Handouts & Worksheets
I absolutely love DBT Skills Training Handouts & Worksheets book by Marsha Linehan. It’s one of my go to books for coping with BPD, so much so that I keep it next to my bed. It is an invaluable resource for me for reminding me about different DBT skills and giving me the steps for following through with them. Lots of the handouts can be found online by googling the title of the book plus 'PDF'.
I would love to know what you think! Do you agree with my list or not? Everyone is different, so what works for me may not work for you. However, I hope these resources could be food for thought as I know life with BPD can be so hard on a daily basis. I would love to know if you have found any useful resources or indeed if you make any of your own!