Trigger Warning: The content below contains information on mental illness and suicide which some readers may find triggering. If you need support, please contact the Ontario Shores crisis line: 1-800-263-2679.
At age 28 Andrea was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Without having the proper tools or resources to manage the illness, Andrea began to experience suicidal thoughts and feelings.
After a referral to the Ontario Shores Prompt Care Clinic, Andrea spent one year
receiving Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), where she learned coping,
interpersonal and communication skills that focused on emotional regulation.
“All of these new skills eventually became embedded and allowed me to be
accountable for my feelings and, ultimately, my recovery,” Andrea says about the program.
The years following her treatment, she continued to work toward her goals with the skills learned. Then in early 2020, Andrea noticed her mental health declining again, but this time she recognized the familiar signs of burnout.
“The treatment I received at Ontario Shores emboldened me with the ability to
recognize my mental health symptoms, and I prepared a crisis plan with the help of my clinician,” Andrea says.
Her family doctor referred her back to the Prompt Care Clinic for a DBT skills refresh. “I felt very empowered in my ability to advocate for myself, and validated by the compassion, understanding, and support I received at the Prompt Care Clinic,” Andrea says.
When COVID-19 hit, Andrea’s already heightened anxiety increased with all of the unknowns that came with the pandemic, like job insecurity and isolation.
“I felt as if all my fears, vulnerabilities, and traumas were triggered
simultaneously,” Andrea says. “I knew from previous treatment that my symptoms would not always be at their current intensity, and that I was capable of the challenges ahead of me.”
She participated in a DBT skills group online once a week.
“The ability to connect, engage and get to know others with similar difficulties was invaluable throughout extended periods of isolation in which I experienced deep loneliness,” Andrea says.
She is prioritizing her health while working towards her goals, and she’s
hopeful about her future. “I went from not wanting to live, to receiving incredible treatment, recovering, and enjoying life to the fullest.”