Claudia Boleyn discussed living with Borderline Personality Disorder on Channel 5’s Me and My Mental Health.
Following the success of last years award-winning film Me and My Mental Illness, Channel 5 returned this Mental Health Awareness week with the film Me and My Mental Health.
It is described as an unflinching film featuring people battling mental illness. The cast include BAFTA-winning actor Adam Deacon, model Lily Bailey, and comedian Iain Lee.
BPD, also known as emotional dysregulation disorder in the UK, is “a mental illness marked by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, self-image, and behavior. These symptoms often result in impulsive actions and problems in relationships,” according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
People with borderline personality disorder may experience intense episodes of anger, depression and anxiety that can last multiple days.
“When your emotions are so intense for such a long period of time that your brain doesn’t really know what to do with it and it’s like you’re in a constant panic attack, that’s how I can describe it,” Claudia stated. “I used to scratch my… my thumb or my hand with a safety pin I had by my bed.
“I didn’t know what self-harm was and I wouldn’t even have specified what I was doing as self-harm, I was just feeling so much and I was so upset that the only way I felt I could get any sort of relief from it was by scratching my hand until it bled with this safety pin.”
People with BPD may experience mood swings and display uncertainty about how they see themselves. As a result of this, their interests and values can change quickly.
They additionally tend to view things in extremities and their opinions of other people can also change quickly. An individual who is seen as a friend one day may be considered an enemy the next, or vice versa.
These shifting feelings can sometimes lead to intense and unstable relationships.
Speaking from her own experience, Claudia said: “People with Borderline Personality Disorder have this reputation of…of not having a fixed identity. It’s not that I don’t have a personality, it’s that how on earth do I begin to explain what my personality is when it changes all the time?”
She continued: “You go through 100 different emotions and it’s absolutely exhausting and that’s every single day. Sometimes I think that life is the most beautiful thing ever and I love it and I feel so lucky to be alive.”
In 2016, Claudia said that she hadn’t talked about her mental health because of the stigma surrounding it. However, after Me and My Mental Illness aired, she became more open about her experiences.
She stated that she hopes that in sharing her experiences she will help others suffering from BDP.