THE founder of a Huddersfield-based charity has published a harrowing account of his life with a debilitating mental illness.
Joshua Cole, 25, who runs BPD World, penned ‘No-one knows: The true story of a secret survivor’ to document his own battle with borderline personality disorder (BPD).
He said: “It was a difficult and at times emotionally draining experience reliving some of the things I have been through.
“But it was something I felt I had to do.”
The story charts Mr Cole’s experiences of living with BPD, an illness which affects about 2% of people.
It recounts the repeated incidences of sexual, physical and psychological abuse he was allegedly subjected to as a child and reveals the relationship struggles he had as a result.
He recalls the various attempts he made to take his own life.
And he tells of his reasons for setting up the charity and how he has dealt with his own condition.
Mr Cole, who is originally from Buckinghamshire, said: “It looks at what I see as the cause of my illness and goes through how it has affected me until now.
“It also shows how I have coped with it and the work I do now as a result.
“Borderline personality disorder affects an incomprehensible number of people in the world.
“We are labelled as attention seekers, and services offered by the NHS are poor or non-existent in some areas.
“We mostly have to rely on ourselves to get through the intense emotions we feel daily.”
BPD is often the result of a history of child abuse and trauma.
People who have it exhibit a range of symptoms, including a fear of being abandoned, violent mood swings, an inability to maintain stable relationships and suicidal behaviour.
Mr Cole, who also runs a private mental health practice, set up BPD World in 2003 to provide advice, support and counselling to people with the condition.
It has helped thousands of people in the last five years.
The charity has been based at Wood Street in Huddersfield since 2006.
Mr Cole added: “Some may be lucky enough to have family support or few friends but others will continually consider suicide as a way out.
“One in 10 will succeed and end their own lives.
“Hopefully the book will show others who may feel as though there is no way out that there is hope.”
To buy the book, priced £10 including postage and packaging, visit www.secretsurvivor.com.
More information about BPD World at www.bpdworld.org.
The charity is always looking for volunteers. For more information call 0870 0887053.