A MENTAL health campaigner has spoken out over borderline personality disorder (BPD) in the hope of raising more awareness and understanding of the condition.
Rachael Johnston, from Latchford, was diagnosed aged 20 but says stigma attached to BPD lead to many asking if she is ‘dangerous’.
The 22-year-old now hopes to launch a campaign over the taboo subject first in Warrington and then nationally making residents aware people with mental health problems are ‘not all murderers and rapists’.
The former Great Sankey High pupil, who has previously battled anorexia, added: “There’s a massive stigma attached to BPD and I’ve read a statistic that people are more likely to get a job with a criminal record than declaring a mental health problem.
“I’ve been doing a foundation degree in college for the last year but unfortunately it now looks like I won’t be allowed to go on placement as the perception is as I have a mental health problem I might be a danger to clients.
“When I explain to people about my anorexia that seems to be accepted but once I say about BPD people don’t understand what it means.”
For Rachael, the condition means her mood can fluctuate, she can be awkward in social situations, suffers extreme highs and lows and says suicidal thoughts are quite normal for her.
But she says it was a relief to be diagnosed as it provided a lot of answers.
After coming to terms with the diagnosis, Rachael now hopes to start the campaign with her social enterprise Journey Back to Life and said she was stunned by the feedback she has had so far.
She added: “It’s been shared already on a few support groups on Facebook and I couldn’t get over how many people were saying ‘This is what’s needed’ because of the stigma attached to it.
“I think it’s something that needs to be talked about more but also people need the right information as it’s just as important to look after your mental health as your physical health.”