Hi, my name is Christopher Perreira and this is the story of my life with Borderline Personality Disorder.
My mental health journey started at very young age. My parents, brother and sister emigrated from Guyana in 1972 and settled in Scarborough, Ontario. Two years later I was born and my parents to move to Brampton, Ontario. School was my first interaction with peers, and I can remember from a very young age feeling different, like I did not fit in and I became hypersensitive when interacting with them. These feelings continued through elementary school and into high school. While at school I was bullied, accosted, abused physically (not sexually) and psychologically teased as I was small in stature and very quiet. At this time, I had lost hope in life, I did not know where I belonged and had only 1 or 2 friends in Brampton with no other social interaction. It was during this time that I accepted Christ in my life and felt the peace of God despite the persecutions.
In 1994, I took a break from school and after OAC (gr13) I stayed home for half a year. I then went to Seneca College and did a semester of electronic engineering courses. I had no interest in these course but wanted to follow my dad's engineering background to try and fit in but this didn't happen. After the semester I begged my father to support me on a trip to Guyana which he did. However, even in Guyana the rejection and bullying continued. The idea that my culture could fulfil me quickly fizzled out, and I still felt intense emptiness and the pain of loneliness even when I was not alone.
In 1996 my parents moved to Pickering. As most of my family, on both sides, dwell in and around this area we thought being closer in proximity to family would help. Nonetheless hospitalizations for suicide attempt calls began around this time and I was put-on medications. When I got my first car I tried to work but still found holding down a job difficult. As I approached my late 20's and early to mid-thirties the hospitalizations continued and the sting of loneliness continued.
At age 33, due to all the suicidal attempts I qualified for ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) and decided it was best to move out of my parent's home. However, I was still depressed and feelings of extreme loneliness and emptiness continued. I then reach out to my father almost daily for moral support and the Lord to help for strength and comfort.
In 2016, I was diagnosed with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). It is first recognized in adolescence and is thought of as bipolar disorder or just anxiety and depression but takes about 20 years to be diagnosed. The cause of BPD is bio-social. The bio-social theory states that "a predisposition to interpersonal sensitivity (not Gene's but something called endophenotypes) coupled with an invalidating social environment leads to a disruption in normal thinking patterns." DBT Skills Training Manual by Dr. Marsha Linehan (Second Edition)
Over these years God has been working in my life, I was always a peacemaker and always wanted to tell people about Jesus Christ. I was teased for this a lot but was never ashamed of God. I've had the opportunity to preach and teach in the remotest parts of southern Guyana (the interior) with our aboriginal people, and God has been leading me from truth to truth the whole way. God used the Covid pandemic to lead me to Living Hope Community Church, Pastor Mark Jallim has been very encouraging and supportive of me. He has a fair grip on mental illness, health, wellbeing and outreach and has given me a platform to speak, for which I am thankful. The pain is still daily but has morphed and changed into something more manageable than in my twenties and early thirties. Suicidal ideation (playing with thoughts of not being around) is still an everyday challenge but I've come this far and God is Good and thus I will continue to serve him and with the love and support of friends, family and my church family to press on towards the goal to which God has called me heavenward.
Hi my name is Melanie Roopanram and this is the story of my life with clinical depression.
I did not realize that my mental health journey started from a young age. Growing up was very hard for me because I was constantly bullied in school. During my high school years, I had lost all hope in life. I became friends with the wrong type of people. I was skipping class, causing and getting into all kinds of trouble because my self-esteem was very low. I often isolated myself and was very secretive about everything which made things worse. It got to the point that I was constantly thinking about suicide and self-harm.
During 2014, things got worse for me. Even though it seemed on the surface that I was putting it together, I was still battling inner demons. I was going to school and working at the same time and I tried to maintain this balance. Yet, after a few months, I was kicked out of school and lost my job because my depression swallowed me whole. I continued to be in denial and not get help even though my mom had consulted our family doctor and recommended I do therapy. Since my mom insisted, I do this, I started to go to therapy and this helped me for some time. However, after my therapy sessions ended, things again went downhill. I did, temporarily, turn to religion and God and it did provide me some comfort despite what was going on. But I was not ready to fully embark on a religious journey at that time.
In 2016 I got very sick with depression. I isolated myself and I spent long hours in my room. The feelings I had were very dangerous to my mental well-being. Nothing phased me outside the house and even at home I showed almost no sign of reaction to anything. I was put on medication to help with my depression. But that was not enough. My mom then scheduled an appointment for me with a psychiatrist at a hospital. I went once but did not go back because I was not interested. So, she took me to another hospital to see another psychiatrist. She went with me to the first appointment. I kept seeing the psychiatrist for over a year and was diagnosed with clinical depression.
As the years went by, family members kept telling me that I needed God in my life. He was the only one who could help change me. I would listen to them but had no intention of following through with their suggestions. I had no motivation, but I did know deep down that they were right. I needed to build a closer relationship with God. I knew that God had brought me this far for a reason. Someone had taught me that in life when you want something you fight for it. So, I started to fight all my negative thoughts. But I still was struggling with how to build a closer relationship with God.
A few months into the pandemic, Pastor Mark Jallim introduced me to his Bible study. I joined because I knew it was a start to building a closer relationship with God. Since I have been attending it, I have been learning new things every week. He has been very encouraging and supportive in helping me grow spiritually. Even though suicidal thoughts are still a struggle, I am learning to not dwell on those thoughts and remember God during my times of need.
We are the hands and feet of Jesus, join us to help those in need by sharing your mental health story and how God has been working in your life.
Mental health is an ever-increasing concern for people in the postmodern era in which we find ourselves existing. With the advent of digital technology, moral relativism, secular humanism, drug use, bullying, sexual/physical abuse and a general departure from God we find ourselves isolated from one another and alone in a world that is difficult to navigate and where it's difficult to connect to people we share things in common, people of like mind to have as friends who can uplift us.
Four out of five people will deal with mental disease, mainly depression and anxiety, three will deal with mental illness at some point in life and one to two people will have received a full-blown diagnosis of a mental illness by the time they reach adolescence. This is sad but it's true and we need to be reading up on mental illness, its causes, course, and prognosis so that we can help those who are suffering. This is particularly true in the church body as God has called us to love one another first and foremost and then under his grace, spread this love abroad. This can only be done by the power of the Holy Spirit and a little effort on our part.
There are many classifications of mental illness/cognitively related disease. There are mood disorders like dysthymia, major depressive disorder, cyclothymia, bipolar, generalized depression disorder and so forth. There are anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, PTSD, agoraphobia, social anxiety/phobic disorder, and OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). There are sexual disorders, like male erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculatory disorder and orgasm disorder, desire dysfunction disorder, sexual pain disorder, and sexual arousal disorders. There are eating disorders like bullimia, anorexia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. There are impulse control disorders such as kleptomania, pyromania, substance abuse disorder and intermittent explosive disorder. There are schizophrenic disorders like schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and brief psychotic disorder (formerly nervous breakdown). There are also personality disorders namely, narcissistic personality disorder, BPD (borderline personality disorder) histrionic personality disorder, avoidant and paranoid personality disorders, and dependent personality disorder. There are dissociative disorders where one feels disconnected from oneself, like dissociative amnesia, DID(dissociative identity disorder) where a person can have from two to one hundred individual personalities each with a life of their own. Then there are the dementias, including Louis body, and Alzheimer's (early late-onset). The list goes on. This is only brief overview. Imagine what a strain this puts on the economy and medical community, and the individual sufferer. If the church stays true and faithful to God. I feel we can have an impact on the mandate to love one another as God has loved us.
Our prayers are with you throughout this journey. If you need help contact your local crisis number or go to your local emergency. And, please contact us here at Living Hope Community to pray for you. This is of utmost importance. May God keep those who suffer from mental illness and may he encourage those who do not, to pray for those who do. May he give all the strength to do so.
To Learn More - Check out the following links below.
Durham resident: https://dmhs.ca/
World Health Org: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-disorders
Mental Health Meters
If you are looking for help and need someone to pray for you. Please do not hesitate to contact us. We would love to pray with you and to support you along this journey.