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Why seclusion right now might be the very best thing for you.

Let me start with a confession: I enjoy being a recluse. It’s probably because for most of my life, every experience I’ve ever had, has evoked a feeling of utter dread. It’s not just social situations — in fact like a chameleon I can blend quite easily, but not enjoy it— it’s all situations. This apparent lack of adaptability is at the heart of my personality. For years I fought against it. I’d peruse the world of more ordinary folk, and feel a degree of envy and confusion, “what’s wrong with me?” I’d ask. …


How the world’s worst mental health label came into existence and why it matters.

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David Mark @ Pixabay

Depression was studied in 1621, OCD in the 1830s, Schizophrenia in the late 19th century, and trauma after the First World War. And yet the infamous Personality Disorder is a mere infant in terms of diagnosis. This is especially true of the ‘Borderline’ type. First identified in 1980, the condition has actually been lurking around for quite some time.

But what is Borderline Personality Disorder? Briefly put BPD, is a severe mental illness marked by emotional, behavioural and cognitive instability, relationship chaos, and chronic self-harm. The statistics are shocking: 10% of those with the condition commit suicide, 70% have attempted…


What the legendary Soviet writer Vassily Grossman had to say about surviving history’s darkest hours.

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Image via Heritage Images

I read Life and Fate, Vassily Grossman’s epic novel in 2010 with tears in my eyes: I was twenty-fives year old, fresh out of university, and buzzing with ideas. I had wanted to change the world, but found the world would not bend to my will —I suddenly found myself lost and despair. I turned to reading to escape the moral maze, and that’s when I stumbled onto a one of the greatest unknown writers who ever lived.

There are some books which change you. Ideas fall raindrops into the wishing well of your own heart eventually yielding treasure, and…


How those with personality disorder see the world as through shattered glass.

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From geralt on Pixabay

Borderline Personality Disorder emerged like a primordial monster out of the swamp of my own adolescence. By the time I hit puberty, I found myself lost in a frightening world of contradictions: Terrified of abandonment, stuck in relationship chaos, emotionally unstable, impulsive, and actively suicidal, I was, in fact, ticking every box of the Borderline checklist.

However, what I felt inside was uniquely unaccounted for.

What does BPD actually feel like? As if I was stuck in a nightmare world of paranoia, rage, guilt, shame, and terror. An internal landscape of angels and demons, who’d just as soon drag me…


And how to minimise their long term impact

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If you have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, you first question might be why me? Stuck in an unrelenting crisis of emotional instability, you may feel like you’re in a nightmare you can’t wake up from. But this illness does in fact have a cause. While the condition begins in adolescence, the roots stretch back into childhood. Just knowing them, means you can begin a process of disentanglement. Here are ten risk factors for acquiring BPD.

  1. Genetics — Contrary to popular belief it’s in the genes; perhaps even the serotonin transporter gene 5HTT, thought to have a role in…

How end-stage Capitalism is dragging us into a Feudalistic nightmare.

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It took just six months. Six months for the world order to collapse. Rising from the ashes, apocalyptic scenes of overpacked hospitals, mass graves and rioting: Exhausted nurses working wards in bin-liner scrubs, gravediggers in hazmat suits, protestors fighting street battles against armed mercenaries in the shells of a burnout municipalities. All this, is taking place, on a wider tapestry of global unrest. It’s forecast in the next two years, 35 countries will experience armed conflict — an increase of 56%. Meanwhile, 71 million people will be pushed into poverty.

We are now entering a new Dark Age, complete with…


It’s like being a rose that grew from concrete

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Photo by Edward Howell from Unsplash

One day in 2007, at a clinic in north London I was diagnosed with BPD.

My first feeling was gratitude: Finally, finally, after all this time, I had a name for this soul-devouring sickness which had eaten away the last decade of my life.

Thirteen years later, I have regrets.

Psychiatrists are doing all of us a disservice, providing a label without an explanation. We don’t just want a name, we also need a cause. What went wrong? How did your personality get so damaged?

The answer of course lies in childhood.

You are the rose

People with BPD are biologically vulnerable strong emotions…


And the heroic struggle to love life in spite of mental illness

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On Christmas Eve 1888, a extraordinary scene was taking place. In a dilapidated yellow house in Arles, Vincent Van Gogh, an as of yet unknown painter, was about to spectacularly fall-out with his best friend. As result, he was also about to experience the worst crisis of his life.

Shacked up with man about town, Post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin, what was a two month experiment in the South of France, instigated by Vincent’s brother Theo, was now imploding.

Creative differences aside, Vincent revered Gaugin, but found him arrogant and domineering. Gaugin on the other hand found Vincent needy and erratic…


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A letter to my readers, the real heroes of this story.

It’s always a pleasure to see the inconspicuous green dot next to the Medium bell signalling another notification. Whether it’s a single clap or almighty applause, a highlighter across a few words, a comment or question, it means my words have travelled across the digital ether and found you.

Since 2015, I’ve been writing about Borderline Personality Disorder, trying to share my knowledge so you, my readers, still struggling, will find the skills you need to be your own healer.

Thank you for being on this journey with me; the lived experience of crisis and recovery, and how having once…


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and how emerging from emergency has everything to do with learning how to trust.

In 1938 Austrian-American psychoanalyst Adolph Stern discovered Borderline Personality Disorder — or rather named it. Perplexed by a very sick group of patients, he found their symptoms so extreme that he considered them half-mad: On the “border line” between sanity and insanity. Their chronic instability, in his words, were the result of ‘not being or having been sufficiently loved in childhood.’ Nearly 100 years it turns out Stern was wrong about prognosis but right about the cause.

What’s love got to do with it?

New research spearheaded by British Psychologist Dr Peter Fonagy has revealed Borderline Personality Disorder has its roots in insecure attachment. A failure of…

KevinRedmayne

Freelance journalist writing on mental health and disability. Words have the power to shine a light on realities otherwise missed.

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