If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I sometimes take a break from writing about specific workouts or food favorites to touch on the importance of doing things that help maintain or improve our mental health. While eating well and working out are crucial components in maintaining a sound body and mind, sometimes people need more than a good diet and steady exercise regimen to find mental wellness.
May happens to be Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness month. If you’ve never heard of BPD, you’re not alone. However, that’s a problem in itself since experts estimate as many as 18 million Americans are affected by this complex psychiatric condition. The word often used to characterize BPD is “instability,” but its symptoms are often similar to those for which many people seek psychiatric help including:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Mood swings
- Eating disorders
- Addictive behaviors and
- Low self-esteem
The only reason I learned about BPD was because one of my oldest childhood friends, Paula Tusiani-Eng, and her family have first-hand knowledge of this heartbreaking condition. Paula’s younger sister, Pamela Tusiani, suffered from BPD before her untimely death at the age of 23. Pamela’s mother, Bea Tusiani recently co-published Remnants of a Life on Paper: A Mother and Daughter’s Struggle with Borderline Personality Disorder which includes excerpts from Pamela’s diaries and provides a side-by-side account of how her whole family coped with Pamela’s condition and struggled to find treatment for her.
I recently interviewed Bea Tusiani along with Dr. Frank Yeomans, who is director of training at the Personality Disorders Institute at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and who also wrote a teaching manual for clinicians to accompany the book. I hope you’ll take the time to listen to the interview and listen for cues for that someone in your own life who may need help for BPD. I also encourage everyone to read the book, which can be purchased at Amazon.com It is a raw and eye-opening account from a very courageous family who put the spotlight on an untold story that morepeople need to hear.
In 2003, the Tusiani family established the Borderline Personality Resource Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Pamela’s memory. The Center offers countless resources and information, all of which can be found at bpdresourcecenter.org You’ll find more information about the book at remnantsofalife.com
Again, I know this post is a break from the ordinary, but I believe important stories need to be shared in different venues to make sure more people have access to information that can help each of us achieve well-being in our body, mind and spirit.