While mental health issues are more freely discussed these days, it's still difficult to approach someone who might have a problem. But ignoring it is not an option. With courage and great hope, Felicia Johnson deftly portrays the struggles of a girl with borderline personality disorder in Her (8th Street Publishing).

"Her takes readers into the mind of someone who is suffering so they can get a first person view of a painful mental disorder,” says Johnson. "The story is an example of how, if we try to push the past away, we are either doomed to repeat it or let it haunt us to our graves.”

At first glance, Kristen Elliott is a normal seventeen-year-old who loves her family and friends and strives for their approval. But Kristen knows something is wrong with her. In her pain and isolation, she finds fleeting solace in self-injury and the company of Mr. Sharp, her imaginary friend who feeds her feelings of self-loathing.

After a failed suicide attempt, Kristen is placed in a mental hospital and diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). There, she discovers the circumstances that brought her to this breaking point, struggles to understand her mental illness, and fights to be a survivor against her own worst enemy: her self-blame.

Kristen's tale of endurance illustrates the complex nature of the illness known as borderline personality disorder. Readers – including those suffering from BPD and their friends and family – can glean insight into the illness from this powerful and compelling story.

"The story is inspired by my life of survival and my childhood best friend, Holly, who suffered from BPD,” Johnson says. "Holly lost her battle with depression and BPD when she was 15 years old and took her own life. Her also illuminates the harsh reality of child abuse in the home, and the long-term psychological effects it has on everyone involved.”

Johnson is an author, child abuse survivor, and mental health advocate. She works in Atlanta with the Highlands Institute and volunteers with Youth Villages Inner Harbour and Personality Disorder Awareness Network. Johnson was nominated for the Gutsy Gals Inspire Me Award of 2014 and Her has been nominated for Georgia Writers Association Author of The Year Award. She loves ice cream and seeing her little sister smile.

For more information, please visit the website: www.herthebook.com; follow the author at www.feliciajohnsonauthor.com

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