General Articles

3 Years After Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnosis: “I don’t recognize that girl.”

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

bpd recovery

The other day as I was looking through files on my computer, I came across a vlog that I recorded in 2010, about a month after being officially diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. I was stunned. As I watched my “former self,” I compassionately remembered how awkward it felt to be her. I watched my physical mannerisms, my insecurities, and my then desperate attempt to present myself as someone who I thought others would think was “cute” or “cool.”

I had no real sense of identity. I was constantly morphing, like a chameleon, to adapt to the company that I kept. That’s the girl I saw in the video. Not only that, but in the vlog I spoke of a time when something that is so simple for many who do not suffer from personality disorders – the transition from weekdays to the weekend and vice-versa – was quite emotionally dysregulating for me.

Perhaps the thing that impacted me the most was how at the opening of the video, I said, “My name is Debbie, and I have Borderline Personality Disorder.” I don’t start my videos or blog posts that way anymore, because as I recently announced to the world via Healing From BPD, I no longer meet the criteria for a BPD diagnosis and am now in recovery.

Here’s that video. Compare it with other, more current videos I’ve done on my website and YouTube, and you’ll likely notice major differences, too.


An awful lot can change in three years. I hope you will be encouraged by my story if you or a loved one is currently suffering from BPD. Help is out there. There are tools and resources available to help you heal. I talk about many of them on my blog and invite you to check that out, as well as my books, Healing From Borderline Personality Disorder: My Journey Out of Hell Through Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Stop Sabotaging: A 31-Day DBT Challenge to Change Your Life

I will also be one of the subjects in …

Video: Crisis Intervention Resource for Dysregulated Emotions

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Crisis Intervention Resource

As part of my recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder, I have begun DBT coaching sessions on a weekly basis with Teresa Lynne of Essence Happens. You don’t have to be in recovery to benefit from the services she offers, and you’ll probably be very surprised to find out what these are for you and your family.

When you are coping with learning to be more skillful and to reduce self-sabotaging and self-destructive behaviors, I’m of the opinion that it’s a good idea to get all of the support you can get. It’s important that your loved ones (family members, partner) also have access to support.

Check out this video for more information and to take the next step in getting the additional support that you need at this time in your life.

You can find me at
You can find Teresa at

Mental Health Awareness Month Video PSA

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

be the changeMental Health Awareness Month is here! Mental health impacts us all. Mental illness impacts about 1 in 4 people at some point in their lifetimes. The stigma that surrounds mental illness impacts not only individuals, but our society as a whole.

To learn more you can visit the following websites and of course this one,

Thank you for watching. Feel free to leave a comment, share this video via social media and be a part of the discussion. You can also connect with me via the links below.




Dangers of Assigning Meaning To Thoughts

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
laura's thinking

Paolo Margari via Compfight

Thoughts pass through our heads all day long: “I wonder what I should wear today….Same old breakfast again….I look fat…He hasn’t called, he must not love me…The driver in front of me right now is deliberately being an idiot!”

The thing about thoughts is that they are not always facts, but we often give them undue power by responding to them as if they are.  In this video, Debbie from discusses thoughts and the potential dangers of assigning meaning to them when we don’t have facts to support our assumptions.  Also discussed are skillful strategies for effectively coping with thoughts — especially the more troublesome variety.

Can you relate to getting caught up in assigning meaning to your thoughts?

Thanks for reading and watching.  I’ll be alternating weeks here at Psych Central with Dani Z.  In the meantime, you can connect with me in the following ways:

Blog:  Healing From Borderline Personality Disorder
Facebook: Healing from BPD
Twitter: @HealingFromBPD and @DailyDBT

Read my hopeful books on Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): Books by Debbie Corso

Introducing Debbie Corso from “Healing from BPD”

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

I’m happy to introduce a new contributor to the “Be the Change” video blog on, Debbie Corso. She is a fellow mental health advocate and friend of mine. She blogs on her website about her experiences and how she has overcome mental health issues with a focus on borderline personality disorder and dialectical behavioral therapy.

Debbie truly embodies the “Be the Change” philosophy. She lives her life in a way that makes a difference. She speaks openly about her mental health issues and the things she has been through, she supports others and makes her own mental health and wellness a top priority in her life. I am excited to be working with her!

Please Leave a comment to welcome Debbie. You can also connect with her on her website

You can connect with me (Dani Z) here and on my website:

Are your perceptions of yourself holding you back?

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

I’m realizing more and more lately how negative perceptions of myself that I have carried my whole life hold me back. This is particularly troublesome in recovery from mental health issues and addiction. When I get caught up in a fixed idea of myself it impacts my all or nothing thinking and causes me to feel discouraged. Now that I am becoming more aware of these old perceptions I can start letting them go and feel free.

Are you holing onto old negative perceptions of yourself? Do they hold you back and keep you from making changes? Do they keep you from appreciating who you are today?

Please leave a comment to share your thoughts. You can also connect with me through the links below.


“Crazy, Nuts, Insane”: Speech and Stigma

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Language and thought go hand in hand. Language shapes the way we interpret the world. Our speech is a reflection of our perspective. That being said how do you feel about the use of terms like ‘crazy’, ‘nuts’ or ‘insane’? Do you feel that they influence stigma towards those living with mental illness?

Below are the links I mention in the video:
BringChange2Mind resources
Us and Them: Understanding Your Tribal Mind by David Berreby
Link to Berreby’s website ( where he talks more about the book

More links to articles on the consequences of mental illness stereotyping in the media:
Crazy Talk by Vaughan Bell
You Are Not Adam Lanza’s Mother


Examining Our Beliefs about Our Destructive Behaviors

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

In the past I thought that that everything in life was better if I was drunk or high. I believed every experience could be improved if I altered it in some way. girl-before-a-mirror

‘I’m going on a date… we will have more fun if we are drinking.’
‘I have to clean the house… this will be much more pleasant with some wine.’

Eventually things got to the point that I felt, ‘I woke up this morning… this entire day will be better with alcohol.’

Completing My Education while Managing Mental Illness

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

college stressI have not posted in a while because I have been having difficulties managing my time and stress levels effectively since school started. I know that I am not the only one that struggles to find balance as a person living with mental health issues. A recent study published by the National Alliance on Mental Illness revealed that up to 64% of college students living with mental illness ultimately drop out of school due to difficulties with their illness. Although this is an alarming statistic, I must say I am not that surprised.

Pain, Awareness, Mindfulness and Change

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

This is the second video in my series on “change”. You can check out the first video here. In this video I discuss the importance of self awareness and why it is a necessary first step in making changes in our lives.

Feel free to leave a comment to share your experience. You can also connect with me through the links below.

For more info on the topics I mention in the video please check out the following links

Recommended viewing and reading:
TEDTalksxBlue: Dr. Daniel Siegel explores the neural mechanisms beneath social and emotional intelligence and how these can be cultivated through reflective practices that focus on the inner nature of the mind.

Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation with Daniel J. Siegel –

Books by Daniel J. Siegal -

Function of emotions & benefits of painful emotions:
How Accepting Emotions Can Improve Your Emotional Health –
The Function of Emotions –

More information on change and the therapy process:
American Psychological Associaltion –
Dr. Katherine Nordal on How Therapy Helps Treat Mental Health Disorders –
APA phamplet on depresston and treatment -
Mindfulness Based CBT-

More information on family of origin therapy:

DBT Resources:


Subscribe to this Blog: Feed

Recent Comments
  • Laura: Tiara, Only you can stop yourself from succeeding. If you really want it, go for it. Look into school air s....
  • Tiara Anderson: Im a 45yr old mother of 4 I dropped out of shool maybe 8th grade I am also schizophrenic Im a...
  • Alyssa: I am glad to have read this. It was within my first search results of “finishing education and mental...
  • Dani Z & Debbie Corso: You are so welcome, Joyce. Thank you for your kind words! — Debbie
  • Joyce: Thank you, Debbie, for this look at your past. It was really interesting to see your progress from where you...
Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code

Users Online: 12240
Join Us Now!