Lived Experiences

Michelle’s Story

I am a woman in my early 20’s, and I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder roughly a year ago.

I have suffered for a long time with distress, insecurity, impulsiveness, confusion, and black & white thinking. I have ruined many relationships along the way due to the significant distress I experience in my life.

Receiving a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder has come with both positive and negative effects. The diagnosis gave me something concrete to hold onto, and explained some of the struggles I was experiencing in my life. The less desirable consequences came from the negative image, or stigma, associated with the label, not only among the general population but also among clinicians. I have had clinicians refuse to work with me on the basis of my diagnosis. This is quite disheartening but I have remained determined to get better and access any help I can.

I have taken part in a 10 week Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, or DBT, program where I learnt many skills to manage my distress. DBT is a really beneficial program for people with Borderline Personality Disorder and I would love to one day complete the full 12 month program. I know that I have a long way to go but I also know I have taken significant steps to better myself and to break down the walls that surround me. I know I have the potential to have a strong and healthy relationship.

In the midst of the challenges I face in life, I have achieved some great things. I have completed my undergraduate degree at University, and I am now in the last semester of my Master’s degree, where I have received an award for academic excellence placing me in the top 5% of students. I have also just been accepted to complete my PhD.

The struggles I face due to my Borderline Personality Disorder make university a challenge. However, studying has given me something to hold on to in the chaos. I have a number of issues to still overcome, but at the same time, I have beaten the odds and achieved some great things. I have a goal to complete my PhD and become an academic at a University, and I will work hard to achieve this, despite my disorder. I hope that my story may provide inspiration for others who suffer, and provide hope for clinicians that people with Borderline Personality Disorder can achieve their goals.


Last reviewed: 24 September, 2015