Two Tamworth parents are taking their experience of Borderline Personality Disorder, and sharing it with other parents, carers, siblings and friends of local people living with the condition.
Cathy and James Ewin's family was "almost torn apart" following the diagnosis of their daughter Zoe's condition. Zoe first started showing symptoms ten years ago when she was just 11 years old.
BPD, or emotional dysregulation, is a mental illness which leaves people unable to control thoughts, emotions and impulses, often resulting in the breakdown of relationships, as well as being at a much greater risk of self-harm and suicide.
"I have really intense highs and lows - either pure joy or destructive sadness, and only grey in between," Zoe said.
"It very much affected my relationships. My disorder broke my family, and forced me to drop-out of school at 15."
Cathy and James found that while there was "lots of help for Zoe, there was nothing for us in our struggles".
"If James and I hadn't had each other we wouldn't be here, and now that Zoe has improved a bit we want to help other parents try and cope," Mrs Ewin said.
The couple came across the National Education Alliance for BPD, and after taking the course also took the leadership training to become accredited trainers. They will soon be hosting a free 12 week course in Tamworth.
"The course looks at the family perspective for everything from suicidality to validating emotions and relationship mindfulness, and will build week on week," Mrs Ewin said.
"The course will also allow people to relate to others in the same situation. I never thought anyone understood what we were going through, but there are - that sense of not being alone can really help."
The free 12 week course will commence on September 4, with bookings to be made via Family Connections.