Sarah's Carer

Sarahs Mum's story

My daughter Sarah was diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder when she was 18 years old.  

However, I began to be extremely worried about Sarah a couple of years earlier.She was such a beautiful girl, inside and out. She was good at school, and loved playing netball. But it was a few months after her 16th birthday that she became extremely depressed. Despite my best attempts to talk her out of it, she quit her netball team. I began getting reports from her school that she was skipping classes, and that her performance at school had seriously declined. Sarah started coming home late on weeknights and even later on weekends.

I was so worried about Sarah. We had always had a pretty good relationship but now she was being secretive and difficult. I just didn’t know what to do to help her, and stop her from ruining her life. Sarah became more and more hostile. I just never knew what mood she would be in, as it would change so rapidly. We were fighting all the time, and Sarah was fighting with her boyfriend all the time too. She had no friends left at school. I tried to get Sarah to see a doctor on several occasions, but she would just refuse. She seemed to be slipping further and further away.

The problems Sarah was having really impacted on her two sisters. They were worried about Sarah nearly as much as I was, and she was always taking out her moods on them as well as on me. I felt like I was a failure as a mother, and became quite depressed myself. I felt so guilty, not only that I had somehow contributed to Sarah’s problems, but also that I wasn’t being a good enough mother to my other two girls.

One night I got a call from Sarah’s boyfriend. He was crying. He and Sarah had a bad fight, and Sarah had attempted suicide. He had called an ambulance. Sarah was admitted to hospital, and a treatment plan was set up for her. I got some help and support for me to deal with Sarah too. It was from this time that things slowly started getting better. Things weren’t easy, and Sarah sometimes found it hard to stick to her treatment appointments. Sarah’s sisters and I tried to remain really supportive during this period, and Sarah did slowly make some big improvements in her life.

I think that sometimes when a family member is having problems, all the focus is on helping them to get better. But it is important to remember that it is really hard on the other family members too. I just want other parents and families out there in my situation to know that dwelling on whether it is or isn’t your fault doesn't help and muddles your mind. I learnt that it is better to face what is happening, and would encourage others to know that there is help out there for you as well as your family.

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Last reviewed: 5 April, 2016