Hi everybody. So on Saturday I went to meet a friend and after I met my friend I began to get into a crisis and it escalated quite quickly and I became very upset and very scared. And so I ended up going to A and E. So here, it’s kind of a crow when it happens when those self-harm and suicidal thoughts come over, I thought it was a bit like having a bird come over me and come down on me and kind of like start flapping at me and attacking me and start taking over me and pecking at me. There are lots of good reasons why social media can be extremely dangerous. However, the other side of the story is that social media can change people’s lives and people’s perceptions of themselves. I’m Rosie and I have borderline personality disorder also known as BPD, for short. One moment I can feel really happy, really excited, really good about life and the next minute I can be crying, even crying on the floor. If you are diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, some of the things you might struggle with are intense and overwhelming emotions such as rage or anxiety or sadness. It can give me thoughts of suicide and self-harm. It can be really upsetting to feel so distressed so quickly. Something which is so difficult to convey is just the strength and the force of those intense emotions and in the past I’ve likened it to being electrocuted. It hurts so much that your whole body is just searing with emotions that are so agonising, it’s like being electrocuted. I said to a friend: ‘Oh, I’ve been diagnosed with BPD’. She said: ‘Oh, I’ve heard of it’, and I said: ‘Okay that’s really great you’ve heard of it because I didn’t know anything about it’. And she said to me: ‘Yeah I know about it, it’s like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. And I said: ‘Oh my god, like no it’s not’. Conditions such as BPD and other personality disorders are not talked about much in the media and if they are talked about in the media it’s often in a very inaccurate, misleading light. I don’t want to be perceived as somebody who is not who I am. Initially I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder way back when I was around 18 or 19. Those diagnoses never felt right for me. And it took me a really, really long time to get that diagnosis. It can be really lonely to go through BPD. I didn’t know anybody with this condition when I was first diagnosed with it. Maybe I did know somebody but they just weren’t talking about it. Because it was the same for me, I wasn’t talking about it either. My blog and my social media channels started off really small. And they grew quite slowly over time. But the comments that people gave me were really meaningful, really insightful, really thoughtful really caring comments. I was anonymous talking about it online without my photo, without my name because that was the only way I felt safe enough to do that. It felt at the time that I was using social media as a last resort. I was going online anonymously because I didn’t know what else to do. So talking online anonymously and eventually kind of showing my face and showing my name after getting positive comments and kind of gaining confidence, it was really, really eye-opening and life changing for me. So I have met one person who I met online who became a friend of mine. A really good friend of mine, called Kathryn. Oh, we talk about anything and everything. Initially we talked mostly about our experiences with our mental health conditions because we both really needed somebody to talk to about those things. I think we do have quite a unique friendship, because we both have such similar experiences that we can just say one thing and the other person knows exactly what you mean. We started chatting online initially on Twitter. Did we kind of going privately then, on the DMs then, or something? Probably on the DMs. I was like naive to social media before I joined but there are such supportive communities out there. And especially, I think, people sharing with each other advice and support and tips. Which I think is such a great aspect as well. Especially with the way services are and stuff, and it’s hard to get that. Definitely, that can be a stopgap between not having any support and services, whilst you’re waiting, or you’re not accessing or you don’t want to access or whatever reason, it can be super useful. But I think of anyone I’ve ever met, you know most closely what the emotional states feel like and what the thought processes feel like. So that when I’m in the moment you know what you can say to me to actually help me. And even if you can’t you know, do anything to stop that or take that away I know that you know what I mean. And that is quite rare because you know, a lot of people in my life, as much as they can care about me they may not know and they’re relating from a different perspective, whereas you’re relating from the insider knowledge of knowing that. I don’t think social media can ever replace going to a doctor or a trained mental health practitioner. One of the key messages coming out from all the policy documents right now is the importance of having a really robust biopsychosocial assessment within the context of your life. It’s really important that it is effectively diagnosed and understood and formulated. Accessing peer support and social media can be really quite helpful for people with these difficulties. Difficult emotions don’t stop after 17:00 so it can be a really helpful place to get that additional support. It was really refreshing for me and actually really life changing for me to talk to people online about my experiences and see that I wasn’t alone. Because I felt completely alone.