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May is Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month!

Marsha Linehan (Left) Rachel Gill (right) at mindfulness training in Vancouver, Wa. April 2013

I may have Borderline Personality Disorder, but Borderline Personality Disorder does not have me. When Marsha Linehan came out about her struggles with mental health problems recently, I was inspired and decided to follow her lead by vowing to become a dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) therapist so that I may help others build lives worth living as Marsha helped me by creating DBT. A few years later, I am now in phase 3 of DBT, coaching my peers online in DBT skills, am a junior in college with honors, have attended a training with Marsha Linehan, and am already well into planning for graduate school.

Why is BPD awareness important? Consider this. It took ten years of misdiagnoses before I became aware of and properly diagnosed with BPD, which ultimately led me to DBT , saved my life, and taught me how to manage the turbulent emotions that are a hallmark of BPD. To make it more clear how profoundly awareness has affected my life consider this. In the years since being properly diagnosed with BPD and becoming involved in dialectical behavior therapy, I went from being chronically suicidal, homeless, and estranged from family and friends to becoming a college student with honors, secretary of a board of directors for a non-profit that provides peer support services to persons with mental health problems, and a dedicated mental health activist who single-handed sued the state of Oregon for denying Medicaid recipients access to DBT, as well as engaging the public as a member of various mental health advocacy organizations. 

Some may think that having the label of borderline personality disorder is a mark of shame, disparaging those who bear the diagnosis by the implicative nature of the term borderline personality itself, but I can honestly say that the day I received the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder was one of the best days of my lives. The reason is that in giving my problems a definite term that before was simply referred to by likewise unaware friends and family as me being a drama queen gave me the information I needed to find dialectical behavior therapy that taught me the skills I needed to stay alive, act effectively, think without unnecessarily judging myself or others and ultimately gave me the power to change my life. For this reason, I want everyone to know that I have borderline personality disorder, and I am not ashamed. Please show your support of May being Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month by sharing my or your own personal story of BPD with friends, family, co-workers, any and all. Where there is an awareness there is hope.

-Rachel Gill (aka Pinki Tuscaderro)

  BPD Survivor



  1. LOVE this post. I also recovered from BPD through DBT and like to help others online. Since recovering I have also been able to re-enter the world of higher education and obtain a job that I can be proud of. Keep up the amazing work. I’m sure you will go on to help a lot of people

  2. Reblogged this on MAKE BPD STIGMA-FREE!.

  3. That’s a great post. I especially enjoy that someone as young as yourself is taking such empowered steps forward toward continuing your recovery by helping others. I have a hunch that you have a good head on your shoulders, a very bright mind. I am glad for you that you are so determined. It helps the cause.

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  2. By Me | The Broken Pages on 30 Jun 2013 at 5:41 am

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