CARISSA is 30 years old, lives in WA and identifies as a person WITH LIVED EXPERIENCE OF BPD.
What was your experience of receiving a diagnosis of BPD?
It was a bit overwhelming to begin with in terms of the delivery. It would be great to see in the future the diagnosis become combined with the positive attributes you have and building on your strengths as well as focusing on the wellness part.
What would you like people newly experienced with BPD to know?
That it’s a journey. It’s an experience and you can shift away from the labels placed upon you.
What did clinicians and mental health professionals do well to support you?
They had a humane, compassionate and patient approach. They were trauma-informed and focused on the things that I had to offer and didn't define me by my BPD diagnosis.
What could clinicians and mental health professionals have done better to help you?
They could have had BPD specific information, education and resources available and introduced peer support earlier in my journey.
What kind of psychological treatments worked well for you?
DBT was a huge part of why I can self-manage today.
What other things have supported you to live well?
Peer support, healthy friends, sport, music, laughing and healthy intimate relationships and having a community of lived experience peers.
Do you have any tips or tricks for managing distress or strong emotions you would like to share?
Feelings are meant to be felt and so feel it for the wholeness that it is- if you ignore the feeling it can eat away at you so listen to your body if you can.
What advice would you give to friends/family supporting someone with a diagnosis of BPD?
We are a human being first and foremost. Ask open-minded questions and be open to being challenged as that is where you will grow and learn.
What are a few things you thought you might not have been able to do but you did anyway?!
Get married! Which I am on October the 3rd. I firmly believed I wouldn't experience a healthy relationship and three years later I am thriving in one.