Singer Odette's New Album Is All About Her Experience With Borderline Personality Disorder
Singer Odette’s latest album, titled “Herald,” serves as a peek inside the world of her life with borderline personality disorder (BPD). It’s a diagnosis, the singer shared, that helped her finally understand her life.
In an interview with The Guardian, the 23-year-old Australian artist shared that she was diagnosed with BPD after her first album was finished. That album, “To a Stranger,” featured songs that described tumultuous relationships and intense emotions. Her second album, originally titled “Dwell,” was set to feature similar songs with a focus on her “obsessive” relationship with emotions.
After looking at her the music on her second album through the lens of BPD, however, Odette wanted to shift the tone of her second album. BPD is a mental health condition that leads to symptoms such as intense mood swings and relationships, angry outbursts, impulsive behaviors, and black-and-white thinking, among others. For Odette, getting a BPD diagnosis helped her finally make sense of her experiences.
“When I got diagnosed, and I listened back to this body of work, it almost felt like I was looking at things with clarity,” Odette said. “It felt weird because I was able to empathize with myself, which is something that I find quite difficult.”
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Odette said she attributes her pre-BPD diagnosis world view and reactionary behaviors in part to the abuse she experienced as a child. Though she labels her own interactions with others in the past as “abusive,” it’s common for people with BPD to react in ways that may be hurtful to others. With BPD, this often isn’t intentional — it’s a product of trying to protect yourself from being hurt. Odette wanted other people understand that this context matters when we look at behaviors associated with BPD.
“I grew up in a quite abusive household,” Odette told The Guardian. “Once you’re given the script, I think — even without wanting to — you fulfill it, because that’s all you know. It’s the only language you’ve been taught.”
With her BPD diagnosis in hand, Odette decided to use her second album, now titled “Herald,” to help her understand her world with less judgement. She described getting that BPD diagnosis as being able to see herself more clearly — and to start her healing journey.
“It probably took about a year — and I think it took COVID especially — for me to be able to sort of separate myself from my illness, which is something that is really difficult to do, especially because BPD latches on to your core values,” Odette said.
In addition to speaking openly about her borderline personality disorder diagnosis, Odette also wants to raise awareness to help others get a correct diagnosis too. She started working with the Australian mental health organization Sane.org as well as researchers. Getting that BPD diagnosis earlier, she said, could have made a world of difference.
“If I was [diagnosed] as a kid, my life would have been entirely different,” she said. “Things would have been much more stable.”
Header image via YouTube