The purpose of this article is to use poetic analysis to present evocative accounts of the lived experiences of individuals who have recovered from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Individuals with BPD suffer from a complex set of clinical issues that may be worsened by stigmatization encountered in their general lives as well as from health care providers. I argue that one method of enhancing clinical service provision to individuals with BPD is to view their behavior within the context that it originally developed. Viewing behavior in context may enhance healthcare providers’ abilities to respond empathically and/or to assist clients in generating meaningful solutions to problems associated with BPD. The poems offered here represent six individual stories of the experience of BPD. These poems may serve as a reminder of the painful and often tragic circumstances in which “borderline” behaviors can develop. They may also be useful as tools to assist trainees in developing better understanding of how to work with individuals with BPD effectively and compassionately.


Lived Experience, Mental Health and Illness, Borderline Personality Disorder, Recovery

Author Bio(s)

Carla D. Chugani is a doctoral student in Counselor Education at the University of South Florida and licensed mental health counselor specializing in the practice of Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Treatment of Borderline personality disorder. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: carla.chugani@gmail.com.


I am indebted to Jennifer Wolgemuth for her mentorship in the development of this research project.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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