How My Borderline Personality Disorder Affects My Life as a Student Mental Health Nurse


Being a student with borderline personality disorder (BPD) is the biggest challenge I’ve faced so far. It’s a challenge that is totally worth my time, effort and heartache but nonetheless, it is a struggle.

So, I started my course in April, and for those of you intrigued I’m studying Mental Health Nursing. I love it. I love studying, I love academia, I love to learn and it is that passion which gets me through the day to day life of being a student.

Every night before I’m due to go to university for a lecture or a seminar, I’m full of anxiety. The anxiety is so overwhelming that I can’t sleep because there’s a million thoughts whirling around my head. What if I still don’t make any friends? What if people find out I’m not well and judge me? What if I answer a question wrong? What if we need partners and I don’t have one? Trivial thoughts that consume me completely are soul crushing. I wake up the next morning sleep-deprived, grumpy and anxious.

I make my way to university on public transport (it took a lot of therapy for me to be able to do this and I’m so proud). I always arrive early because the thought of walking into a lecture late sends me into sheer panic. If I were to arrive late, I simply wouldn’t go in. I sit down at the back of the room, hoping nobody will notice me as they come piling in. I would so love to be able to make and maintain friendships but my BPD gets the best of me most of the time and I end up saying or doing the wrong thing, so I decided it would be best for me to just stay on my own. The funny thing about my course is that I thought fellow students studying mental health nursing would understand how difficult university life is for me and for anyone with BPD, but it seems they don’t and it saddens me greatly.

After lectures, I come home and wonder if it’s worth all the emotional stress. Deep down, I know without a doubt that it is. Being a student fills me with pride. I’m a student nurse, I’m determined, I’m resilient and I’m strong. I worked so hard to get where I am today and I will not let my BPD ruin it for me. I have bad days and have missed numerous lectures, but I don’t beat myself up about it. I catch up with my work and move onto the next day. I hope more people with BPD choose to study because it’s so rewarding.

I’m a student nurse and I will not let my BPD take that away from me.

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Thinkstock photo via finwal


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