10 March 2016

Raising awareness of Emotional Intensity Disorder

EIDStigma often surrounds mental health conditions, but imagine having a condition whose name gives rise to misunderstandings about the very essence of us - our personality.

This is the case for 2-3% of people in the UK with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and is why one of our North Somerset teams is describing the condition as - Emotional Intensity Disorder (EID) to better highlight the heightened emotional sensitivity and reactivity associated with the condition.

The Emotional Intensity team is made up of Emotional Intensity Lead Gemma Gowing, Sue Fuller CPN, Hannah Gould CPN, Sarah Gregson Social Worker, Becky Wood CPN & Dr Kate Littler Psychologist. The team is also supported to deliver intervention by staff from the recovery team and psychological therapy service. 

Kate Littler explains "People with EID feel emotions very intensely. Their emotions can last longer than feels comfortable, can change very quickly and are often overwhelming. This can have knock- on effects on relationships, jobs, physical health and self-esteem and some people look for other ways to cope such as self-harm or substance abuse, which cause extra problems. The condition does not mean that a person has an inadequate personality or half a personality, as the term 'BPD' may suggest."  

Over the coming weeks, the team alongside Dr Kristina Gintalaite-Bieliauskiene are running evening sessions for service users and carers providing accurate, up to date information about EID and letting them know about the help available. Click here for more information

A new leaflet describing the disorder has also been developed and can be view here.

The staff sessions are also open to healthcare professionals outside of AWP and highlight EID traits in different age groups, research studies, lessons learnt from RCA reports, neurobiology findings and attachment, and different therapy approaches. Service users will also be there to talk about their personal experiences. Details can be found here.

Dr Gintalaite-Bieliauskiene says "Information about EID has increased dramatically in the last few years, but we believe that there is a need to enhance our knowledge in this area and to improve the service people with EID receive.

"We want to increase understanding amongst the public and healthcare professionals that people with EID need to be taken seriously, that their distress is significant and that they deserve compassionate, effective treatment. Most importantly we want to share the message that recovery is possible."

Recent research suggests that most people with emotion intensity have reduced symptoms over time, and about half eventually become symptom free and function well.

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