This April, I will be launching an interview podcast called A Real Affliction: BPD, Culture, and Stigma. It will explore how we live with, treat, advocate for, write about, and conceptualize borderline personality disorder, as well as common co-occurring challenges like complex PTSD, eating disorders, and substance use disorder, all of which I’ve experienced. My guests and I will also discuss how literature, film, television, art, philosophy, the history of medicine, feminist and disability studies, nature, and bioethics reflect, illuminate, and impact the experience and cultural perceptions of BPD.

My line-up of fascinating guests includes Jessie Shepherd, author of Millie the Cat Has Borderline Personality Disorder; Professor Sara Masland, a leading researcher of BPD and how stigma creates barriers to care; co-founders of Emotions Matter and the BPD Society of British Columbia, two non-profits supporting people with the disorder; videogame designer and mental health Plushie Dreadfuls creator American McGee; Courtenay Stallings, author of Laura’s Ghost: Women Speak About Twin Peaks; Nina Shope, author of Asylum, a historical novel about 19th-century hysteria; psychotherapist Ellis Amdur; and bioethics expert Lucy Yanow. If you have experience or expertise that would fit the podcast’s focus and would like to be interviewed, please feel free to reach out to me at cynthiagrallabooks@gmail.com.

The first episode, “Countering Stigma Requires Encountering Stigma,” will be released on April 19.