With a diagnosis of BPD, depression, anxiety and complex trauma, Danika has been through her darkest time.
It was with medication and cognitive behavioral therapy that she started to see the light – however, she wasn’t fully healed. A conversation with a friend mentioning BPD brought answers and led her on the right path to healing.
Preaching a message that it’s okay to struggle, read how Danika’s journey taught her to search for kindness and patience within.
Name: Danika Alice Ransome
Explain the origin of your mental health issues i.e., what is your mental health issue, how did you realize what was happening, how was it affecting your everyday life at the time?
My diagnosis’ are borderline personality disorder, depression, anxiety and complex trauma.
I realized in my teenage years that the feelings and moods I was experiencing – and had been experiencing from such a young age – had to be more than just teenage hormones. I just knew that I felt differently from the people I was surrounded by and I felt incredibly lonely. It affected my relationships with just about everyone so as a result of that I became even more lonely.
It was affecting my desires for life, I pretty much took no pleasure in the things that I used to enjoy and I felt incredibly numb, empty and angry.
What was the resounding moment when you decided to get help? What made you do it?
I started having seizures when I was 16 years old, so I went to the doctors and whilst investigating the seizures, my doctor began to ask me about my mental health. That’s when I opened up about how I had been feeling and at that time, I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and my seizures were diagnosed as non epileptic attack disorder, also known as psychogenic seizures.
I was prescribed medication and put on a waiting list for cognitive behavioral therapy. I had regular check ups with GP in relation to my mental health along side the CBT, my GP was lovely and I couldn’t fault her, but I still continued to feel exactly how I had in the beginning. At this point, I still didn’t know how to even begin to describe it or explain it fully.
Years passed and I was talking to a friend about mental illness. She brought up Borderline Personality Disorder – something I had actually never heard of! It was like she was describing exactly how I had felt my entire life.
I didn’t want to just assume that’s what I had, so I went to a doctor, which was really hard. I was finally able to describe my moods and behaviors properly and not too long after, I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.
How does it affect your everyday life now? Challenges? What skills have you learned to cope?
My day to day is unpredictable along with my moods. I am in recovery, but it’s not linear and I still face bad days and the challenges that come with it.
Recovery is a full time job. It’s a massive challenge to put everything I learn in therapy into practice for my every day life and sometimes it’s just too much. I don’t feel like I can do it, but one skill I have learned is to be kind and patient with myself, as I would be with another human being.
I’ve found that allowing that kindness and patience is taking away a lot of the pressures I put on myself, along with the feelings of guilt and shame.
How has living with this mental illness benefited your life? What has it given you?
Living with mental illness is not glamorous, it’s debilitating, it’s hard work, it’s full time.
I will say that it’s definitely given me insight into other people, I’m very intuitive and understanding. I’ve gained knowledge and a kindness and compassion within me that I think is very rare.
What is one piece of advice you would give yourself when you were struggling the most with your mental illness?
It’s okay to struggle. Not every day will be a good day and while I’ve encountered bad days – I am super proud of myself for holding on.
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