My intro in this week’s BPD Newsletter in The Mighty

Community Announcement:

Hey BPD fam!

Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month is in May and this year we want to make an extra effort to humanize and “put a face” to the condition. We will be creating graphics that feature real people from our BPD community, so we need your photos!

If you’d like to participate in our photo campaign, please email a photo of yourself to mentalhealth@themighty.com. I’ve included some guidelines below for submitting photos. We will email you if your photo has been selected!

Photo Submission Guidelines:

  • High quality photo of you (by yourself) from the waist up
  • At least 1280 x 640 pixels
  • Needs to be submitted by April 24!

Thanks so much for being in our community,

Juliette

Associate Mental Health Editor

Sarah

I’m Keith Gottschalk and I started contributing to The Mighty last year because I felt the issues facing middle age people who receive the BPD diagnosis later in life need to be addressed.

I was 54 when my psychiatrist, finally putting the puzzle pieces together, took down her DSM-V, turned it to the diagnoses of BPD and asked me, “Of these nine attributes, how many do you believe you exhibit?” And that’s how I received my diagnosis.

I’m not alone in taking the long and winding road to this diagnosis. There were times I remember saying, “I’m through with therapy – it never did me any good.” But I urge you to stick with it. Now that I have the correct diagnosis, it’s time for me to enter a new stage of therapy – to address BPD head on and get a game plan for the rest of my life.

I looked for a therapist who specialized in BPD and I would suggest you try to find one if you can. But even if you consult with a BPD specialist, understand that even though they have training in your condition, every one of us presents differently. Often I find myself asking my therapist, “Does this make sense to you?” This may seem akin to over-apologizing, but don’t be afraid to ask. Validation for people with BPD is critical.

Above all, be patient with your therapist and yourself. You may have to unpack the experiences of a lifetime before your therapist can suggest therapy strategies. This is what my therapist and I are doing now, and it is liberating. You are the sum of all your major life experiences, especially those of your formative years. These must be dealt with.

There is no quick fix for BPD in therapy. I’m glad I didn’t give up. I hope you don’t either.

Best,

Keith

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