[66] S5, Ep11: A life-saving autism diagnosis: BPD, eating disorders and an autistic experience of the mental health system
Topics in this episode: Alexithymia, animals, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, disordered eating, family, mental health, sensory issues, special interests, support

Content warning: Chloe and I cover some challenging topics in this episode, including eating disorders, self harm, medical trauma, suicidal ideation and suicide. So if you would rather not hear about these topics, you might not want to listen to this one.

Chloe Slater was diagnosed autistic aged 25, and has been in the mental health system since the age of 16, where she says she has experienced ‘awful treatment, amazing care, and everything in between’. Now 34, Chloe lives in Stroud, Gloucestershire, in the UK, with her two dogs and other pets. After studying art in college she found herself unable to complete further studies. Diagnosed first with Borderline Personality Disorder, she describes herself as ‘mostly a happy loner’ who enjoys being surrounded by animals and a select few humans.

In our conversation we talk about:

➡ Her joy in her special interests

➡ The impact of her BPD diagnosis

➡ Introversion and social difficulties

➡ How interoception and alexithymia can interplay with eating disorders

➡ The intersectionality of mental health and autism

➡ And fitting in to the autistic community

I feel privileged to share our conversation with you. Chloe’s story is a testament both to her own resilience and to the value of diagnosis; as she says, discovering she was autistic and receiving a diagnosis literally saved her life.

Squarepeg is a podcast in which neurodivergent women, and trans and nonbinary people, explore navigating a neurotypical world and share their insights, challenges and successes.

I hope that these conversations will be inspiring and thought provoking, open you up to new ways of thinking about being neurodivergent, and help you feel more connected to a worldwide community of people with similar experiences.

I’m Amy Richards, and after being diagnosed autistic at the age of 37 I’m now on a mission to learn more about different perspectives and issues around being a neurodivergent adult in a world that feels like it doesn’t quite fit.



Chloe’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/slater.chloe/

Her Twitter: https://twitter.com/outfitappro


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