Hollyoaks star Joe Tracini says the ‘world changing’ has made living with BPD harder

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Hollyoaks star Joe Tracini has spoken about how the Covid-19 pandemic has made living with borderline personality disorder ‘harder to find reasons to stay alive’.

The actor, 34, appeared on Thursday’s Lorraine to speak about his new memoir, Ten Things I Hate About Me, which sees him explain how he lives with suicidal thoughts.

Joe has previously spoken about being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) after coming close to taking his own life and years of battling drug addiction.

Mental health: Hollyoaks star Joe Tracini has candidly spoken about how the ‘world changing’ amid the Covid-19 pandemic has made living with borderline personality disorder ‘harder’

BPD is a mental illness which impacts a person’s ability to regulate emotions and can increase impulsivity and affect how a person feels about themselves.

Appearing on the ITV chat show, he told host Lorraine Kelly how the ‘world changing’ has made it harder for him to ‘find reasons to stay alive every day’ as he spoke about having suicidal thoughts.

Joe coped in the Covid-19 lockdown by sharing funny videos online, including ones of him dancing, to uplift the nation but has also spoken about his difficulties during the pandemic.

Speaking about his mental health, he explained: ‘Every time I’ve thought about killing myself, it’s always stopped. It sometimes goes on for three weeks in a row, but it always stops. 

Difficulties: Joe, who is best known for his role as Dennis Savage in Hollyoaks, appeared on Thursday's Lorraine to speak about his new memoir, Ten Things I Hate About Me

Difficulties: Joe, who is best known for his role as Dennis Savage in Hollyoaks, appeared on Thursday’s Lorraine to speak about his new memoir, Ten Things I Hate About Me

‘But it’s harder now, I was feeling like this before the world turned upside down, so now the world has changed, it’s much harder to find reasons to stay alive every day.’

The star said he spent four months during Covid-19 pandemic with his girlfriend Holly and her family after he went to visit just before the first lockdown was imposed.

Joe, who is best known for his role as Dennis Savage in Hollyoaks, candidly said his brain ‘doesn’t like’ him as he reflected on how he deals with negative thoughts.

Joe continued: ‘I do it like a conversation, I’m not having a chat, I have one set of thoughts and they’re all mine. 

Covid: Appearing on the ITV chat show, he told host Lorraine Kelly how the 'world changing' has made it harder for him to 'find reasons to stay alive every day'

Covid: Appearing on the ITV chat show, he told host Lorraine Kelly how the ‘world changing’ has made it harder for him to ‘find reasons to stay alive every day’

WHAT IS BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER?  

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) – also known as Emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD) –  is a disorder of mood and how a person interacts with others. It’s the most commonly recognised personality disorder.

In general, someone with a personality disorder will differ significantly from an average person in terms of how he or she thinks, perceives, feels or relates to others.

Because some people with severe BPD have brief psychotic episodes, experts originally thought of this illness as atypical, or borderline, versions of other mental disorders.

While mental health experts now generally agree that the name ‘borderline personality disorder’ is misleading, a more accurate term does not exist yet.

People with this disorder also have high rates of co-occurring disorders, such as depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and eating disorders, along with self-harm, suicidal behaviours, and completed suicides. 

SOURCE: NHS 

‘Ten per cent of me is boring and normal and enjoys my own company, but 90 per cent of me can’t stand me. I thought if I could separate the thoughts, I might have a chance in not picking when I die.’

Joe said he deals with his negative thoughts by not treating it as ‘news’ anymore as he said he would feel disheartened when he would wake up every morning feeling the same way. 

‘I’ve stopped treating the fact that I don’t like me as news. Every day I’d think I hope I feel better, then I’d wake up and didn’t feel better,’ he said.

‘It’s a shame, it would nice to be a fan of me but I’m not. I stop spending time being shocked that my brain doesn’t like me.’

Joe also said he struggled with advice from mental health professionals not to be by himself as he spends a lot of his time alone.

He said: ‘I can only ever kill myself if I’m on my own, and a lot of the time I am on my own. That’s what I struggle with, because I am alone a lot. 

‘I always struggle with that time, the longer I can wait in between each awful thought, the better I will be in the end.’

The TV star said he is working on taking on-board positive comments from the people around him as his brain convinces him that his loved ones ‘hate’ him.

‘I’m the only one who doesn’t like me, I’m the only one who doesn’t want me to be here anymore,’ he explained.

‘I try to take it on when they say they don’t hate me, because I know when I leave my brain is going to go ‘well they hate me’. But I know they don’t.’

Speaking about his book Ten Things I Hate About Me, Joe said although he hopes people find it helpful, he said he can only focus on ‘saving’ his own life.

Personality disorder: Joe said he deals with his negative thoughts by not treating it as 'news' anymore as he said he would feel disheartened when he would wake up feeling the same way

Personality disorder: Joe said he deals with his negative thoughts by not treating it as ‘news’ anymore as he said he would feel disheartened when he would wake up feeling the same way

‘When people write books they talk about helping one person, but I can only focus on helping my life, that’s the only life I need to save,’ he added.

It is not the first time that Joe has spoken about living with BPD, as he admitted his brain ‘kept’ telling him to ‘kill himself’ during lockdown in a previous interview.

In April 2020, Joe appeared on Good Morning Britain discuss his mental health battle and how he coped with lockdown by sharing funny videos online. 

Quizzed by host Lorraine Kelly about his current mood, Joe replied: ‘It depends what day you catch me.

Comedian: Joe coped in the Covid-19 lockdown by sharing funny videos online, including ones of him dancing, to uplift the nation

Comedian: Joe coped in the Covid-19 lockdown by sharing funny videos online, including ones of him dancing, to uplift the nation

‘I have a high-end personality disorder. On Tuesday, my brain kept telling me to kill myself, but I waited.

‘I appreciate I make you laugh, all I can ever do is wait. I can’t change how I feel or how I think.

‘If I hang about, however, how I feel changes. I stopped watching the news (no disrespect to you [Lorraine])!’

Joe revealed that while his girlfriend Holly has been a fantastic support to him, he’s found it easier to manage the current lockdown situation because he is used to self-isolating from the world.

He explained: ‘If I feel negative, I don’t stop myself feeling negative. That doesn’t go anywhere. If I feel something, eventually it will change.

‘Having Holly does help, but I’ve been self-isolating since 1994. It’s good for me, but I do continually think about people who don’t have anyone.’

Speaking directly to viewers who might be suffering from a mental health related illness, he said: ‘If you’re anyone like me then don’t kill yourself, the world needs you.’

If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org. 

Candid: Joe has previously spoken about being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) after coming close to taking his own life and years of battling drug addiction

Candid: Joe has previously spoken about being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) after coming close to taking his own life and years of battling drug addiction 

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