At a Personalities in Action meeting earlier this year, we talked about how personality disorder has been in the news and media this year, with a couple of notable examples. On the Guardian, comedian Joe Tracini was interviewed and talked about his diagnosis and the videos he’s made initially for himself but now for others to help reduce the stigma attached to it, as well as opening up the discussion on mental health. The other was actor Darren Day talking on a Loose Women panel on TV, revealing his own diagnosis, and how his friendship with Robbie Williams has helped get him the medical team to support him, after experiencing initial misdiagnoses.

Read the Joe Tracini article here.

Read the news story about Darren Day here.

Below are some thoughts from various people about these media interactions, showcasing the discussion around media and mental health. All contributions have been anonymised and have come from service user involvement meetings, as well as from discussions online. If you would like to add your own thoughts, email Tom at tom.dent-spargo@nhs.net.


“It’s good to have it in the media, it’s about openness.”

“Is the format [of a daytime TV interview] suitable for talking about this issue? Big exposure, but the short time and simple nature of it can lead to misconceptions.”

“It doesn’t directly impact my life and what works for him won’t necessarily work for others. But it’s nice to hear someone talking in an honest way about it, not hiding behind medical jargon and so on.”

“Imagine reading that Darren Day had been miraculously cured by meds and then finding out that actually, they MIGHT take the edge off and they might not and that it could well take years before you find something that will be helpful but it doesn’t just make it stop.”

“I’ve never known anyone with BPD to suddenly be the best they’ve been in years after taking meds. The shit we live with doesn’t disappear.”

“We know there is a ridiculous amount of stigmatising and false information about ‘PD’ labels out in the public domain. ‘Celebrities’ with little knowledge of their diagnosis and the treatment the rest of us mortals receive ‘speaking out’ is damaging, harmful and minimising.”