5 Things You Might Not Know About Borderline Personality Disorder


May is Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month! Stacy Pershall, a member of the Active Minds Speakers Bureau who has a diagnosis of BPD, shares 5 things you should know about this oft-misunderstood disorder. Bring Stacy to your campus to speak today!
url 1. The disorder got its name from psychoanalyst Otto Kernberg, when Freudian therapists observed that people with BPD “came apart on the couch” and theorized that they were on the borderline between neurosis and psychosis. Now that we know more about psychology than we did in the 1960s (thank goodness), therapists have suggested renaming BPD something more accurate and with less stigma attached. Suggested names include “Emotion Dysregulation Disorder” and “Complex PTSD”, as people with the disorder have often experienced early trauma.

2. People with BPD are not intentionally manipulative, even when they do things like threaten suicide if you leave. They might know that such behavior is perceived as manipulative, but that doesn’t help a person with untreated BPD control the impulse to avoid abandonment in the moment. What you perceive as manipulation comes from fear, with anger as a secondary emotion. Continue Reading

Mental Health News Round-Up: May 8


On a Brother’s Suicide: ‘I Wish I Had Never Told Him to Go to School’s Counseling Center’

A sister reflects on how William and Mary’s harsh mental health policies affected her brother’s mental state. She reflects on the difference between how a physical health and mental health problem and the “[trust that] the university at which you’ve chosen to study will support you in your path to adulthood and above all, protect you so that you reach adulthood.”

Yale University Eases Return Policies for Students who Withdraw for Mental Health Reasons

After a great deal of backlash over leave of absence policies that ultimately contributed to the kind of tragedy they intend to avoid, Yale is making comprehensive changes to better support student welfare. Some changes involve the requirement for students to take courses while they are away, the name “readmission,” and the length of time students have to decide about taking time off school.

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Mental Health News Round-Up: May 3


A New Look at Racial/Ethnic Differences in Mental Health Service Use Among Adults

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released statistics about how adults of different ethnicities utilize mental health services.  Those who identified with two or more races were the most likely to seek therapy, while whites were most likely to be taking medication. All groups cited the high cost and lack of insurance coverage in reasons for not seeking treatment.

How a Collegiate Runner Conquered the Growing Dilemma of Male Eating Disorders

Zachary Stepanovich, a runner at Aquinas College, is fighting the intense stigma about men’s eating disorders and athlete’s mental health by sharing his story. He discusses the connection in his mind between athletic success, losing weight, and control. And unfortunately, he is not alone; both men and athletes struggle to talk about their mental health.

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Mental Health News Round-Up: April 17


downloadWorking Through Depression: Many Stay On The Job, Despite Mental Illness

Two people talk about depression and the considerations to take with disclosure at the work place. Another gem from this interview “But it’s important to remember that [external events affecting mood is] not how depression happens for everyone.”

How a Transgender Teen’s Cries for Help on Reddit and Tumblr Powered a Movement Against ‘Conversion Therapy’

Having experienced and decried conversion therapy, Leelah Alcorn begged for the world to “fix society” in her last post on tumblr.  With traction from mounting from an online petition bearing Alcorn’s name, the White House supports the efforts to ban conversion therapy at the state level.

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Mental Health News Round-Up: April 10


urlAddressing Stigma, Disparities in Minority Mental Health: Access to Care among Barriers

In addition to facing the regular stigmas of mental health disorders, minorities have to combat increased stigma and other hurdles to receive treatment.  Barriers to care include the lack of culturally competent providers and the lack of media portrayals of people of color with mental health disorders. Additionally, poverty often compounds mental health pressures.

Students Call for Greater Mental Health Resources

After a tragedy rocked their campus, Brown University students are discussing proposals calling for the university to increase the number of counseling sessions available at CAPS, spread the word about services available to students, and offer great assistance to international students.  Brown Active Minds is working on campus to continue the dialogue.

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Emerging Scholars Fellowship: April Check-in


It’s hard to believe it’s April, and we’re already halfway through the fellowship! My project has definitely been keeping me busy.

I’ve spent most of my project time focusing on coding my data. I planned to buy software to help, but it turns out I don’t qualify for the reduced price student software, so I ended up having to work through it by hand. I don’t know that doesn’t mean much if you haven’t done qualitative coding before, so I’ll try to illustrate it for you, as inspired by our lovely New England winter.

snow 1snow 2 Continue Reading

Chapter of the Month: Active Minds at University of Missouri


1234695_730752400311553_4043076828390218079_nCongratulations, Active Minds at the University of Missouri, for being named Chapter of the Month for March! As of January, the university will be printing the campus counseling center’s new 24-hour crisis hotline number on the back of all student ID cards, thanks to the push of Active Minds Mizzou.

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Mental Health News Round-Up: March 20


imagesClues To Autism, Schizophrenia Emerge From Cerebellum Research

By researching people born without one, scientists are looking at other functions that the cerebellum may have. Although the research is preliminary, researchers see potential for learning more about schizophrenia, autism, and brain plasticity.

Workplace Suicides Are on the Rise

A new study finds that work place suicides rose between 2007-2010.  The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Interactive Screening Program is one tool that police and other employers are using to identify those at risk for suicide. Though some corporations are bucking the trend by placing the priority on mental health.

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Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos: Fighting Stigma through Music


michael-angelakosI’m just working with what I’ve been given

It’s not my fault, I’m happy

Don’t call me crazy, I’m happy

You’ve probably heard of the band Passion Pit. They’ve produced hit songs ‘Take a Walk,’ ‘Sleepyhead’ and ‘Carried Away.’ Their second album Gossamer, released in 2012, reached number one on Billboard’s Top Digital Albums chart. The band has performed at music festivals such as Lollapalooza, Firefly and Coachella.

What you may not know is that Passion Pit’s lead singer struggles every day with mental illness. Michael Angelakos was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 17. After two years of struggling with the disorder, he tried to take his life at the age of 19, while attending Boston’s Emerson College. After his attempt, Michael went on medication for his bipolar disorder.

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Mental Health News Round-Up: March 13


People of Color Deal With Mental Illness, Too

Although visibility of mental illness has increased in the past year, there is still an underlying silence regarding people of color with mental health disorders. In an op-ed critiquing coverage of mental health disorders, Dior Vargas calls for a greater the diversity in the portrayals of mental health disorders in the media.

Cyberbullying in College

A new study from the University of Wisconsin notes that female college students who reported being cyberbullied were three times more likely to meet clinical criteria for depression.

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