Flowers and a house in the village of Guane.


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental illness with these specific characteristics:

  • Intense fear of abandonment
  • Extreme black and white thinking
  • Intense emotional surges
  • Uncertain or rapidly changing attitude to identity
  • Impulsive behaviour
  • Self harm and suicidal behaviour
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Paranoia and dissociation

BPD is the most difficult mental illness that I live with, because it has strengthened over time since my early teen years, is highly stigmatised even in the mental health profession, and is still unknown by many people. It is a highly misunderstood and often hated disorder, which is incredibly distressing to live with if you are not receiving the proper therapy and support.


I have been living with chronic clinical depression since around the age of 15. I constantly cycle through depression, with depressive periods lasting anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. During these times, I struggle to stay awake for longer than a few hours, have little motivation to do anything, and feel despondent about my entire life. I struggle with these depressive periods several times a year, and while the symptoms have been lessened by antidepressants, they have not gone away.

Most people have periods of depression in their lives, but mine often happen from little to no external stimuli. I have typical depressive periods after times when I have been extremely stressed, like university semesters, but also become depressive at times when I have no irregular stressors in my life.


Poor mental health is an issue that is affecting increasingly higher numbers of young people. Stress and anxiety in particular are on the rise, and many young people suffer from low self esteem and poor self-image. Body image issues are even more prevalent from a much younger age, and affect both men and women. Society as a whole is struggling to maintain good mental health, and important changes need to be made in how we acknowledge and talk about mental illness.