Navigating My Mental Health With Borderline Personality Disorder

February 26, 2024

Gabrielle is a second-year Psychology major at NYU, facing life with resilience and courage despite Borderline Personality Disorder. Embracing my identity as a lesbian, my journey involves a love for dancing, musical theater, and the joy of caring for my two adorable baby siblings. Encountering a mental health challenge in the summer of 2021 ignited my aspiration to become a psychologist, now volunteering at crisis hotlines and interning at a mental health clinic. Join me in ending the stigma surrounding mental health as we spread kindness and bravery together.

This story took place in United States

Pledge to Take Action

Trigger Warning: This story contains discussion of suicidal ideation. If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

I would love to tell you that I am an extroverted, funny, charismatic, patient, sympathetic, social, generous, determined, ambitious, and responsible young human being all the time. However, I have Borderline Personality Disorder. According to the DSM-5, Borderline Personality Disorder is a mental health disorder in which one struggles with mood stability and self-image due to rejection and trauma. 

Every day is a constant struggle with my sexuality, gender, and eating habits, because of the unstable self-image aspect of Borderline Personality Disorder. I was in the closet for 15 years and came out in my freshman year of high school, as a bisexual. After getting to know myself more, I realized that I am a lesbian. I wake up every morning and look at my body in the mirror, and I either love it or cry about it. I have struggled with disordered eating habits since my freshman year of high school. While it has improved over time, I still grapple with an unstable sense of self.

Although Borderline Personality Disorder causes me to act irrationally and do things that I will regret later on, I am more than Borderline Personality Disorder. I have been in therapy since 4th grade, trying to get better. Over summer break in 2021, I ended up in the hospital for suicidal threats, ideation, and an attempt, and then got sent to a partial hospital and intensive outpatient program, where I got help 5 days a week for 6 hours a day. 

Although it can be scary to receive help for mental health problems, treatment was life-changing for me. I learned healthy coping and communication skills such as thinking before doing or saying something, writing down my thoughts rather than acting on them, and expressing to loved ones what I want or need, rather than playing games and assuming that they are mind readers. I also learned the importance of a balanced and healthy diet. When eating a small amount every day, I was very irritable, emotional, dizzy, and more likely to overreact to something minuscule. While I was receiving intense care, I was able to go to work, attend summer programs at colleges such as Harvard and Tufts University, take a college summer course, attend school, and socialize with my close friends. Now, I am at my dream university, New York University.

After years of denial and presenting myself as straight to my friends just to crush on the same people they liked, I am now comfortable in my own body, and not ashamed to love who I want to love.

To overcome my disordered eating habits, I started doing meal prep, eating consistently, maintaining my vegan diet of 8 years, which makes me feel healthy, and going on daily walks with my dog.

As I have developed a greater sense of self-worth, I have cut out all the negative people in my life who make me feel bad about myself. Although I have lost many friends, I feel better about myself, and my self-worth has gone up. I still have my closest friends, and they are all I need.

I have strong goals for my future and am extremely determined. I have become a stronger and better person. I have learned and applied coping skills to my everyday life, which has made me function better. 

I have grown as a human and have been better than ever. I am currently a second-year Psychology major, I volunteer for crisis hotlines at The Trevor Project and Crisis Text Line, and am interning as a research assistant at a depression and anxiety clinic. 

Although it is not easy sharing my mental health and identity struggles, I think it is crucial because we live in a world that stigmatizes these issues. I also want to be the voice to tell you that even though you may feel like it doesn’t get better, it truly does. You are not alone.

Pledge to Take Action