Mother warns of borderline personality disorder threat

A LOCAL mother has urged for more to be done to highlight the dangers of borderline personality disorder (BPD) after the tragic death of her daughter.

Erin Donnelly’s 18-year-old daughter Katie had been suffering from the disorder when she died suddenly at the Fermanagh and Tyrone Hospital in Omagh last September.

Lack of treatment and understanding of this mental illness are two of the biggest issues vulnerable teenagers are experiencing today.


“There is not enough being done. There’s a two-year waiting list for proper treatment in Northern Ireland,” Ms Donnelly from Ederney said.

“Lack of treatment in the community is making the situation worse.

“It’s not being taken seriously enough, and when it is, there is nothing in place to help with treatment for those struggling with the disorder.

“Hospital admissions without some form of meaningful therapy or treatment is futile to those suffering from the disorder. They need BPD treatment in the community.

“We are losing too many wonderful people as they cannot access this treatment.” ?????

BPD is also known as emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD) and affects one in every 100 people in the UK.

It is characterised by intense emotions that can change very quickly, fear of abandonment, deep feelings of insecurity, paranoia and difficulty building and maintaining stable relationships.


Those with the condition may act impulsively or engage in behaviours that can harm them such as drug and alcohol abuse, binge eating, or risk-taking.

Using self-harm to manage their feelings is also common among people with BPD.

However, if sufferers are acting out in ways that may seem attention-seeking, it is due to a desperate attempt to be heard, and part of a survival strategy, in which the person with BPD uses self-injuring coping strategies to get them through the period of distress.

To break the stigma of mental illness connected with the disorder, Ms Donnelly believes people must educate themselves, not only on what BPD is, but the myths surrounding it.

“Whilst this mental health condition is severe and life-altering, there is still an incredible amount of misinformation out there,” Ms Donnelly said. “With misinformation come untrue stereotypes and negative stigmatisation, making someone living with BDP’s life even harder.

“We must talk and educate ourselves, not only on what BDP is but what myths are still widely believed today.

“From there, we can begin to correct others and from a personal point of view alleviate the burdens misinformation can bring to someone living with BPD.”

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