• Alexis Sands

Blurred Borders Series: Ending the Stigma of BPD: One Book at a Time

My debut novel, Slated, is Book One in my Blurred Borders Series. The main character, Sloane, has borderline personality disorder and excoriation (skin-picking). As an own voices author, my struggles with BPD and excoriation inspired me to create the series.

In Slated Sloane plummets into the proverbial rabbit hole as she pretends not to have a mental illness. Her reckless behaviors, black and white thinking patterns, and fear of abandonment are unveiled. Split continues her journey as she learns to accept her diagnosis. The second installment delves deeper into the criteria for BPD, as outlined in the DSM-5 (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Her journey is full of ups and downs, thus, realistic- and like the title, readers will see lots of ‘splitting’ behaviors.

I’ve always been an advocate of all marginalized groups being represented in fiction. My goal is for my series to help eliminate the stigma associated with BPD. Though symptoms vary from person to person, I believe readers will identify with the protagonist, as her inner dialogue reveals the vulnerable, conflicting thoughts of a borderline.

As a young woman, reading a fiction series with a character who was scared of her diagnosis as she struggled to navigate the world would’ve provided me with much needed solace. The literary world needs more books with main characters afflicted with mental illnesses to provide insight into the complexities of their disorder. With BPD specifically, I aim to defy the ‘crazy ex-girlfriend trope’ and break down stereotypes. I believe it’s important for young people to see such characters experience life’s joys, interwoven into the storyline, too. Once own voices books like mine become mainstream, they have the power to reach young people feeling lost and often suicidal.

By the end of the series, I hope to show the masses how someone with BPD can live a full life-and can love and be loved in return. Overall, I’d love my books to instill a sense of hope for those who are feeling hopeless - and to inspire them to keep fighting and surviving.

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