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Aleszu Bajak, a faculty member in the Media Innovation program in the School of Journalism tells the story of Pam Tusiani, a student at Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland and sufferer of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The disorder is often misdiagnosed, which leads to extended distress for many sufferers. Pam’s story ended in tragedy, however, her pain led to the creation of the Borderline Personality Disorder Resource Center at New York Presbyterian Hospital which strives to uncover some of the disorder’s mysteries.

Hers is an all-too-familiar story in patients with BPD, a psychiatric syndrome that has gained recognition only in recent decades and that affects as many as 16 million Americans. What was once thought to be the result of child abuse or a manifestation of post-traumatic stress is now its own complex personality disorder. And it’s deadly.