Across the borderline crop

Sonia Neale, recipient of SANE Australia's inaugural 2014 Barbara Hocking FellowshipResearcher and academic Sonia Neale, 45, is the recipient of SANE Australia’s inaugural 2014 Barbara Hocking Fellowship. The fellowship promotes better mental health through public understanding of mental illness.  Sonia recently travelled to the USA, UK and Canada to study and research organisations for the betterment of services and programmes for people suffering from and affected by Borderline Personality Disorder.

Not only is Sonia a leading authority on BPD: she also suffers from it. Here she shares her story with Michael Sheather.

“BPD is a personality disorder of extreme emotions. When you have somebody criticize you or judge you or say something about you, it triggers a response that is simple horrendous and over the top. It might be shouting or anger and resentment in terms of reaction on the outside but the truly horrendous part is what happens inside you.

Innocent remarks are construed as damaging to you. So the people around you tend to walk on eggshells.  When you have this emotional dysregulation, for want of a better description, you tend to overreact. However, it is a catastrophic overreaction. You see everything as a variation of happy or angry but not the thousands of emotional degrees that exist in between those two points. It is black or white or nothing….  – Michael Sheather, Woman’s Weekly, Aug 27, 2015