Courtney Cook Is Living Her Life With BPD

Available with English captions and subtitles in Spanish.

Courtney Cook showed every classic symptom of borderline personality disorder as a child—but wasn’t diagnosed until years later because many believed she’d “grow out of it.” She’s not alone in this experience—many other people in the United States with BPD feel as if their experience with the condition is misunderstood, which can impact and influence the way that people with BPD are treated.

When it felt like there was a whirlwind of hospitalizations, treatments, therapies, and moments of comfort in Courtney’s life, she put pen to paper. From this she coined her illustrated memoir, “The Way She Feels: My Life on the Borderline in Pictures and Pieces,” where she shares highs, lows, triumphs, and challenges of navigating BPD, as well as how to speak candidly about the condition with those around her.

Audience Questions

Courtney discusses her memoir as she shares her experiences navigating the condition both in and out of doctor’s offices, provides insights into how to face difficult moments before and after treatment, and answers audience questions about her life with BPD.

  • Can you tell us a little about yourself as well as your journey of getting diagnosed with BPD?
  • What can we all expect to learn from “The Way She Feels”?
  • How does your story serve as a contrast to the existing material that, unintentionally or otherwise, lends itself to “demonizing” members of the borderline community?
  • Can you talk a little about the parallels you’ve experienced between disclosure and discomfort, and how they’ve helped shape your future goals/endeavors?
  • As a writer with BPD, I find my inner critic and emotional dysregulation gets in the way of my writing. Have you dealt with this, and if so, do you have any suggestions?
  • Do you think that there’s any relationship between your difficulty expressing your feelings of emptiness and “being different,” and growing up in a town that had such a perfectly groomed exterior?
  • Do you have any words of wisdom for others to embrace their diagnoses and difficulties?
  • How did you cope with the thoughts that your emotions are not valid? Do you have advice for dealing with self-doubt and emotional validation?
  • Do you have examples of things your family members have done to support you that have been impactful and helpful?
  • What advice do you have for parents of a young person with BPD in motivating them to ask for help?
  • Have you found that your symptoms have improved with age?
  • Can you speak to the value of writing to gain a deeper level of personal insight?
  • Do you have advice for folks listening about how they can discover their own degree of feeling unstoppable?

The information discussed is intended to be educational and should not be used as a substitute for guidance provided by your health care provider. Please consult with your treatment team before making any changes to your care plan.


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About Courtney Cook, MFA

Courtney Cook is author and illustrator of the Kirkus starred graphic memoir “The Way She Feels: My Life on the Borderline in Pictures and Pieces,” which debuted as an Amazon #1 New Release and was selected as a July 2021 Indie Next Pick. Courtney received her BA from the University of Michigan and MFA from the University of California, Riverside. Her writing has been published by outlets such as TIME, The Guardian, The Rumpus, Hobart, Lunch Ticket, and Split Lip Magazine.

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