Female. 21. Londoner. Psychology and research student. Volunteer. Big sister. Dog-lover. Recovering Borderline & mental health advocate.
It’s been a long ride, to say the least. During my adolescent years I carried around with me a number of mental health diagnoses and labels. Amongst them were Depression, Cyclothymia, Body-Focused Repetitive Disorder, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge-Eating Disorder, Addiction, Self-Harm, C-PTSD, OCD… you name it!
I spent many months and years in both NHS and private hospitals, rehabs and other residential institutions for my various difficulties, and was exposed to pretty much every medication, therapy and treatment model out there. With each new approach I would improve for a time, but inevitably relapse after just a few months of being back in ‘reality’. I was the typical ‘revolving door patient’. Few professionals seemed to be able to help me in the way I needed to be helped for a sustained period of time, and I wasn’t very good at helping myself, either. I thought I was a hopeless case destined to a life of loneliness, emotional distress, fear, self-destruction and shame.
It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) at the age of 19, that I was finally able to look into specialised treatment options for a condition that is far too often so unfortunately misunderstood and mistreated. Although the diagnosis carries with it enough stigma to kill an entire army, for me it also carried a sense of relief and closure. Putting a name to my pain meant I could develop an understanding of the condition by trawling through every morsel of data out there. And developing an understanding helped reassure both myself and my family that perhaps there was still hope for me.
After days and weeks of researching and interviewing with treatment centres around the world, I was finally flown and admitted to a unit in America: a specialised and intensive DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy) program for adolescent girls based in a hospital in Boston.
Although I had dipped my toes into the realm of DBT previously, this unit’s approach was unlike anything I had experienced before. The staff were fully trained in it, all therapy was based on it, we had daily classes in it: we lived, felt and breathed it! Whatever challenges came up for me both personally and inter-personally, behaviourally and emotionally, I was guaranteed that through DBT, there could be an effective solution.
It was a difficult, at times gruelling journey… and it was also the most invaluable few months of my life.
Since going through DBT treatment and learning to manage my life (for the most part) in a different way, my current therapist and I are starting the next phase of my recovery: trauma work. Whilst DBT helped save my life from the outside-in, through the trauma therapy known as EMDR (Eye-Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing), I am hopeful to begin the ultimate healing process – from the inside-out.
I have also recently found out that I most likely have a dissociative disorder alongside my BPD.
This blog is therefore dedicated to documenting my recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder, Complex PTSD and Depersonalisation Disorder through the means of Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, EMDR and generally as I go about my life.
For more information on BPD please click onto the “What is BPD?” page of my Borderline Babbles blog. To learn more about DBT please refer to the “About DBT” section. You can contact me by clicking here.