New film helps people living with emotionally unstable personality disorder

Local mental health services have launched an inspiring and informative film to raise awareness of emotionally unstable personality disorder, also known as emotional intensity disorder, and address frequent misunderstandings of the diagnosis.

Filmed and produced by local videographer, Studio Seager, the film is the outcome of a collaboration of people who live with emotional intensity disorder and clinicians from Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides specialist mental health services to people of all ages across the south east. The film was funded by Heads On, the Trust's charity, following a fund-raising campaign by local clinicians.

The short film shares real stories of people who are diagnosed with the condition and aims to help people understand what emotionally unstable disorder means, how it can affect people's day to day lives, and why it's important to seek help.

Dr Emma Smith, Principal Psychologist, explains: "Emotionally unstable personality disorder, also known as, emotional intensity disorder or borderline personality disorder is a mental health difficulty where people can feel frequently overwhelmed by increased intense emotions.

"This diagnosis is often misunderstood and stigmatised. The film we have produced aims to help people understand and feel more hopeful about this diagnosis and is for service users, carers and professionals." 

The idea for the film came from Padma Dalby, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, who thought about making the film when she was clinical lead of a community mental health service. Padma realised that there wasn't much information available about the disorder, which sometimes left people feeling confused and un-helped.

Padma said, "I became aware that a lot of people receiving a diagnosis of emotionally unstable personality disorder, or emotional intensity disorder, had never heard of it before and didn't know what it meant for them, or the emotional struggles they were having. 

"My observation was that people receiving this diagnosis often found it difficult to take in the information we were giving them during their early mental health consultations, because of the level of distress they were experiencing. I thought it would be great to have a film to  share that could support people's understanding and give a hopeful and constructive message - something they could look  at in their own time to  supplement their meetings with a mental health professional".

The film helps to make sense of the diagnosis through describing the life experience of real people, moving from a description of the distress and confusion of living with emotional unstable disorder personality disorder, through to gaining an understanding of the disorder and how to work with it, to what it is like to live positively and hopefully with this mental health condition.

Padma added: I've watched the film a number of times and I still get goose bumps at a couple of points as Juliet and Nick share so openly their experiences of life and themselves in the present day. I hope that other people with emotional intensity disorder will also gain hope from this."

You can watch the film here.

People who are affected personally by the issues in the film are encouraged to speak to their GP.