• Alexis Sands

Ending the Stigma of BPD One Book at a Time (PART I)

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

A book blogger recently reviewed SLATED, the first book in my series. His comments exemplified how borderline personality disorder is still extremely misunderstood by the general population. My Blurred Borders Series chronicles Sloane’s struggles in dealing with BPD and aims to shred the stereotypes associated with this disorder.

This reviewer claimed the plot ‘bounced from one thing to the next’ and gave him whiplash. The storyline revolves around protagonist Sloane Slate’s misadventures as her life spirals out of control. However, the plot focuses on her inner thoughts and reactions in a logically sequenced manner. His comments show he doesn’t grasp the emotional deregulation core to BPD.

People with BPD can be hypersensitive and exhibit reckless, impulsive, or destructive behaviors. The inability to regulate emotions is integral to this personality disorder. The internal feelings of someone with BPD is comparable to the physical pain of having an exposed nerve ending, grazed. A random remark or the slightest look can trigger intense reactions. Their inability to self-soothe causes turmoil in all aspects of their life.

While my series is fiction, I’m an own voices author with BPD. Thus, I’ve used my personal experiences as well as my degree in psychology to develop an authentic borderline protagonist.

This reviewer also wrote I merely mentioned BPD and ‘didn’t really go into it’. Borderline personality disorder is too complex to accurately unveil, with fidelity, in one novel. I chose to start Sloane’s saga when she’s in denial of her diagnosis, as she’s plummets into the proverbial rabbit hole.

I believe to gain meaningful understanding of any disorder, one needs to start when the symptoms are in a full-on flare up. Book one sets the scene and reveals Sloane’s inner monologue. In SLATED, the reader witnesses the behaviors stemming from her BPD. Book two, Split, unveils the next steps in her personal transformation, as she accepts having a mental illness. It shows how managing isn’t easy. Though, she’s no longer embarrassed or ashamed to tell people.

To truly end the stigma of borderline personality disorder, the complexities and black and white thinking patterns need time to manifest. One can’t apply insight acquired from reading about a symptom that was only described once. I’ve planned a four-book series, as it’s not realistic for someone to receive a diagnosis, accept it, and receive successful treatment within a few months. The continuum of symptoms are too complex to unfold in a neat, cookie-cutter story arc.

This post will have several parts because- again- understanding BPD takes time to grasp.

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