Storying Sheffield

Should you share your mental health story?

We’re very grateful to Debbie Corso for writing this guest blog post.  Debbie is the author of Healing From Borderline Personality Disorder: My Journey Out of Hell Through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and she blogs at See below for more information.

From pretty much the beginning of time, human beings have been storytellers. From the paintings on cavemen walls to the verbal passing down of stories in Native American cultures to the blog posts of today, we continue to find good reasons and ways to share our stories.
What is your story? Are you willing to share it?  What might be some of the pros and cons of sharing your story versus keeping it to yourself?
I’ve chosen to share my story, specifically around my struggles and triumphs with mental illness and my treatment path.  Some goals that came along with the decision to share were:
     > To let others who are suffering with emotion regulation issues know that they are not alone
     > To erase the shameful stigma that is often associated with Borderline Personality Disorder
     > To heal therapeutically through writing
The rewards of this decision have been endless. I’ve had the opportunity to connect with people from all walks of life from around the globe and have gained insight into how others effectively (and not so effectively) cope.  I’ve been challenged on a personal level through many of my interactions with others who are seeking hope and a chance to show that they are way more than their diagnosis.
I’ve also suffered some.  Others’ stories can be triggering, and there have been times when others have been triggered by my story. Although this can be distressing, I still feel that the benefits of sharing far outweigh the negatives.
To share your story, especially around health matters, is a very personal decision. What are your thoughts on this issue?
If you decide to share your story, the next decision is what medium you will use.  Do you want to broadcast your story to the world on a blog?  Will you reveal or conceal your identity?  How will you handle feedback and questions from others, or will you not allow for that possibility (by restricting how readers can interact with you)?
Will your writing be a confessional? A tell all?  Or will you only share glimpses and parts of your story so as to retain a sense of privacy or sacredness around your larger story?
These are all things to consider.  Putting ourselves out there, especially on the internet or through a book (I’ve done both) can make one feel very vulnerable.  Suddenly, your story is on display for the world to see and anyone – and I do mean anyone – can access it and form their own opinion.  They may share it with you.  Are you prepared for this?
In kindness,
Debbie Corso

Debbie blogs at
Follow Debbie on Twitter at: @HealingFromBPD
Information about Debbie’s book Healing From Borderline Personality Disorder: My Journey Out of Hell Through Dialectical Behavior Therapy is here: