Nyssa is 30 years old, lives in NSW and identifies as a person living with BPD.
What was your experience of receiving a diagnosis of BPD?
At the time of diagnosis it felt very negative. I had never heard of BPD before, I was given very little information about it or ways to manage my mental health other than medication. I was left feeling awful and confused.
What would you like people newly experienced with BPD to know?
You live with BPD, You’re not BPD. Never forget that you are a person before any label. The label just helps you get the right therapy to rediscover yourself, to live your life happy and healthy.
What did clinicians and mental health professionals do well to support you?
After some negative experience, I now have an AMAZING personal psychologist, she is supportive, and knew what therapies I needed to get through the black periods of my life.
What could clinicians and mental health professionals have done better to help you?
My experience in hospital and community mental health systems were horrible and I felt I did not have the support or compassion I needed. I needed people to speak to me like I was a human, how in the way they would want to be spoken to.
What kind of psychological treatments worked well for you?
DBT and EMDR
What other things have supported you to live well?
An understanding work place, “the Mighty” website, painting and visiting friends.
Do you have any tips or tricks for managing distress or strong emotions you would like to share?
Get them out of your system, draw them, paint them, write them, sing them. No matter what it looks like. Try journaling, keeping track of your highs and lows… All these things you can take to your therapist to explore more in a safe space.
What advice would you give to friends/family supporting someone with a diagnosis of BPD?
Give space but give love. Ask us how you can support us. Try and be patient with us. Research what BPD is! Get support for yourself as well.
What are a few things you thought you might not have been able to do but you did anyway?!
Get on the road to recovery; I thought I was going to be lost in that dark hole forever. Forever making poor unhealthy choices. I thought I would never be able to stop self-harming, but I have. It’s been almost 3 years.