What is your first name ? Morgan
What city/state do you live in? Concord, New Hampshire
What is your diagnosis? Borderline Personality Disorder (I also have secondary diagnoses of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder-mostly to help with insurance coverage since most companies don't cover you for BPD).
How long have you had a mental illness or became aware of it?
I believe I started developing BPD as early as 5 or 6 years old. I got short term treatment for an "Adjustment Disorder" (now I can attribute it to BPD) at age 9. Around age 14 I knew I had a mental illness of some sort. After much researching on my part, I self diagnosed with BPD at age 17. I did not get a formal diagnosis until age 21. (I'm 23 now for comparison)
Have you tried therapy? What kind? Was it helpful?
I've tried many different therapies including CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and DBT (dialectical behavior therapy), and medications. CBT did not prove to be helpful. DBT was helpful but I need a longer term treatment plan for it to really sink in.
What are some coping skills you use when your symptoms are happening?
Depends how far in a crisis I am. After it gets really bad, I am unable to use skills and usually resort to self harming or other self destructive behaviors. I am sometimes able to use skills. They include coloring, taking my sleep meds to sleep it off, and working in my DBT binder.
Do you have a support system? Family? Friends? Both?
My support system is pretty weak. My parents are around but they are contributing factors to my illness and they are very oblivious of their role in things so are not good support. Most of my support comes from friends/significant others but they come and go so nothing super stable.
Do you think your family understand your diagnosis/mental illness?
They definitely dont, even though my mother shows many symptoms of BPD and other personality disorders herself. They are not very self aware.
How has your mental illness/diagnosis affeted your life?
Quite honestly, it has ruined my life. There are so many things I could have done if my symptoms hadn't flared up just in time to stop me from doing them. I have the intelligence and passion to do so much but my illness keeps getting in the way.
Where do you see your self in 10 years?
I honestly don't know. I would love to be working as an advocate and resource developer for people with mental illnesses that are below the main stream and don't get as much awareness and funding (such as all personality disorders, psychotic disorders, etc).
I keep thinking about the facts though. That 1/10 people with BPD die from suicide. I know more than 10 people with it and it scares me to think who might not make it through.
I honestly never expected to live past 18.. I have things I want to do but if I'm not going to have the chance to get better than I don't want to live this life.
Do you have anymore questions for me?Nope, just a thank you for bringing awareness.
Thank you Morgan....
--Jenna J M Jones