Pamela Tusiani was attending Loyola University in Baltimore when she was hospitalized and diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD).She underwent a barrage of treatments and medications, which did little to stabilize her condition. Her nightmarish outbursts, self-mutilation and suicide attempts continued, exhauting both Pamela and her family. She died in 2001 at age 23 from a severe reaction to an antidepressant. Remnants of a Life on Paper: A Mother and Daughter’s Struggle with Borderline Personality Disorder is a moving, impactful account of the Tusiani family’s journey through symptoms, medication, healthcare issues, government agencies and lawsuits. The book has three authors: Bea (Pamela’s mother), Paula Tusiani-Eng (Pamela’s sister),and Pamela herself, with excerpts from the journals she kept throughout her too-short life, as well as examples of her artwork and poetry. As one Amazon reviewer writes: “The chronological weaving of Pamela’s journals with her mother’s recollections and emotions really gives the reader a birds-eye view of the devastation caused by Borderline Personality Disorder.” Both mother and sister will speak about the family’s collective attempts to raise awareness of BPD in Pamela’s memory. In addition to the book, Bea, who is a freelance journalist, has worked with her husband, Michael, to foun the Borderline Personality Disorder Resource Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Paula, who has a background in community organizing and ministry, co-founded Emotions Matter, a new nonprofit that promotes both advocacy for and the empowerment of those impacted by BPD disorder.
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