Many years ago I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. When I finally got the diagnosis the relief was instant, like a wave that pushed me under to a place where I no longer had to panic and struggle, I could simply drown amongst the answers. Extreme sufferers of BPD also have dissociation, which I had for so many years that it has changed all of my memories, thoughts and feelings on levels I can't even being to unpick.
I started therapy after my third suicide attempt. My last therapist here in London was the best. Calmly but emotively we worked through so much that cataloging it all would take years to get out. He told me that in his many years of being a psychotherapist, my background was by far the most unstable that he'd ever encountered, that I would no doubt have wound up a statistic, a name in the obituaries of a crumpled up morning newspaper, had I not sought help. I would have spiralled and split so completely that I could never have been whole, because in the end I was not only dissociating when bad things happened, I was dissociating when anything happened which triggered an emotional reaction. BPD sufferers are described as people who are the emotional equivalent of a third degree burn. It's the most perfect description ever.
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Helen is the contributing editor for Depression and Borderline Personality Disorder. She also covers Postpartum Depression. She writes daily at Everyday Stranger where she also chronicles life with her twins, Nick and Nora.