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Carers of family members with BPD\MH issues - are you out there?

(205 Posts)
floramckitchen Fri 14-Jun-13 20:43:40

Hi - I have an 18 yo dd who is a recently diagnosed BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) sufferer. I am coping as best I can and working full time but could do with some support from some fellow carers.

I have had some brilliant advice on the Borderline Personality Disorder thread (thankyou SirBoob and Heffa) but feel we could all support each other in times of crisis.

jaabaar Wed 16-Apr-14 01:10:16

Nothing to contribute except stating the desperation.

BIL1 in a home

BIL2 at MIL house suffering from psychosid induced by drugs. He is highly aggressive and attacked us when we checked up on him, also verbally abuse and tried to attack neighbours.
Police and mental health coordinator called several times. Doctor/police coming with court order to take him hospital.

MIL in hospital since a month with 7 operations following fourth suicide attempt.

Tomorrow hospital meeting regarding MIL. Then see Iif BIL has been sectioned and go see him.

Then sunday pick up other BIL for easter lunch.

In between having to listen to death threats every other day from BIL with psychosis.

It is hard. It is mostly hopeless. Nobody listens to family imput. They get assesed as fine. Then u find MIL in a pool of blood.

We keep trying to help as a family what else can we do.

And we have children.

This is life.

Hi everyone

I keep an eye on this thread and was really pleased to read your news, Flora. Meditation and mindfulness are fantastic tools for everyone, and maybe your DD can give you some techniques too which will help you to support her. I have found that the calmer I am, the easier it is for my DD to recover from the tidal waves of emotion which sometimes overcome her, even now. I've just read this memoir which really helped me to understand what it must feel like to be so unable to control the intensity of emotions.

Boofie - I really hope you have managed to go away as you planned. It will do you good, and won't do your DD any harm. You and your family must put yourselves first while you have the opportunity to do so - it will fortify you for the time when your DD comes home. I remember crying all the way on the plane when we went away with our son but without DD, but there is no doubt that it did us all good to have a break, and it was important for our son (15) to see that we could be our 'normal' selves. More recently, it has been really good for DD (nearly 19) to know that we trust her enough to go away for a couple of nights, leaving her alone, and her confidence has been noticeably greater as a result.

Thinking of you all, and in awe of what you are doing for A, Gow. Remember to look after yourself, too!

flowers

Boofie68 Sun 13-Apr-14 13:44:44

Hi Flo. It is so nice when someone posts good news. It makes me feel hopeful that there is hope for my dd and eventually she too might start to improve. Have a happy Easter. Boogie

floramckitchen Fri 11-Apr-14 16:25:06

Hi all

Have just discovered that my dd is now teaching herself about Buddhism and has started meditating. She has bought some books etc etc. She told me she has to work on herself and not rely on others to fix her problems and has apparently recommended it at her therapy group with mixed reactions! I am so proud of her - she is working so hard to get well. So different from this time last year when she was on a MH ward.

She still has sleep problems and nightmares but they are happening less often now. I've got everything crossed that she doesn't slip back again.

Happy easter
Flo

Boofie - I hope you get to go away with your youngest dd. It sounds like a good idea to get some space and devote some time to her even if its just a day or two.

Boofie68 Tue 08-Apr-14 22:02:41

Hi Flo. It is sounding very hopeful for your dd. Interesting that she has recognised her symptoms in others. My dd moans a lot about other girls on her ward and seems completely oblivious that she is acting in a very similar fashion.Maybe being a bit more mature has helped. I spoke to an academic who did some research with sufferers of bpd a few years ago and she said that those who had an early onset of symptoms were much more likely to grow out of their problems as they matured whereas those who only started to manifest bpd symptoms in their 20's were more likely to have to manage their symptoms lifelong.

Gow, sorry that you are having a difficult time with your d. Maybe it is a reaction if her mum is struggling after the bereavement and things will improve when the competitive grieving comes to an end. I hope things improve soon.

I'm finding the school holidays quite tricky . My dd gets very bored in the ward as they seem to have no structure during the holidays and wants me to visit for long periods of time, then my other daughter gets resentful as she doesn't like me visiting, plus I'm trying to fit in working as well.

We have taken the decision to go away with my youngest daughter just for a couple of days next week for a short break, leaving my dd in the ward. We haven't told her yet but I'm sure she will not take the news well and I do feel guilty but she will have grandparents to visit her and it seems unfair on my youngest daughter that we can never go away because of the issues with dd.

Hope you all have a drama free Easter.

Boofie

floramckitchen Fri 04-Apr-14 20:12:56

Hello Gow

My dd was very nervous about doing the group therapy and was initially quite sceptical about it all. It was all that was on offer and she felt she had no choice but to give it a go but like your dd she wanted a quick fix... I think the real turning point was meeting the other girl and she said it was like a mirror being held in front of her and she could now clearly see how her behaviour had effected relationships with friends, boyfriends and family in the past. She said she was embarrassed about it and wishes she could apologise to people .

She says she wants to get well now and can be a part of the therapy group for two years if she needs to be.

I am just crossing my fingers that this new self awareness continues and she can build on all the hard work she has put in. She still has quiet days and days when she doesn't get out of bed but on the whole I can see a lot of improvement and she seems calm now - her eyes are clear and untroubled (hard to explain that one!). I used to be able to see the racing thoughts and the mental struggles in her eyes all the time. Now its not there so much.

But I will keep monitoring as I know that relapses can easily occur out of the blue!

Good luck
Flo

gow Thu 03-Apr-14 10:57:39

Oh Flora that is very interesting. I know A often complains about other peoples difficult behaviour but can't see it in herself. I am suggesting all sorts of therapy including group therapy but she doesnt want to know as she realises it's a long term commitment and she wants a quick fix. Was your DD positive about starting the therapy or did you have to persuade her? Does it have an end date or does it go on until she decides she doesnt need it anymore?

floramckitchen Wed 02-Apr-14 19:19:23

Hi all
Just thought I would share something interesting.

My bpd dd has been attending a therapy group once a week since last October and is one of about 7 girls some with anorexia and some with bpd. The interesting thing is that she has realised that she doesn't like one of the other bpd girls because of her attitude and behaviour etc etc . I think the other girls personality and behaviour is so similar to my dd's that my dd has finally realised what its like for anyone trying to have a relationship with her. Its almost like my dd is now seeing herself as others see her because of her interaction with the girl at group therapy.

Its amazing how much she seems to have changed. Calmer, easier to get on with, sensible and SMILING !!!!.

Is group therapy the answer? or is my dd particularly self aware?

I will be monitoring closely
x

gow Tue 01-Apr-14 13:13:49

How is everyone doing? We seem to have gone from bad to worse in the last 3 weeks! It's so frustrating, so difficult to get the right sort of help for our young people. A is having daily visits/phone calls from MHT but they dont seem to be able to help her at all. To be fair I don't think she knows what will help but is not prepared to try anything except the endless rounds of getting drunk, "recreational" drug use and self harm. I was hoping the upturn in the weather might have a little positive effect but that hasn't happened.... yet. She is currenly staying with me as too vunerable to stay in the flat and has had a big falling out with Mum so is not even visiting her, grandad died recently and both she and Mum are finding it hard and harsh words have been said. I recognise that things like a bereavement do not necessarily bring out the best in people but it has actually brought out the worst. A lot of what seems like competitive grieving going on if that makes sense? Ho hum, I can still see a tiny flicker of light at the end of that bloody long tunnel and hope you all see it too!

Boofie68 Sun 23-Mar-14 21:57:55

Hi All. Just wondered how you were all getting on? My d has now been diagnosed with Emerging Emotional Dysregulation Disorder of the Borderline type. Not sure if that will help in getting treatment. How are your girls? Boofie

ashtrayheart Thu 20-Feb-14 22:12:48

Just heard she's not moving til tomorrow now.
I will have a look at that boofie - I can always do it from work!

Boofie68 Thu 20-Feb-14 22:07:49

Ashtrayheart - Bloody hell, this system is utterly ridiculous. I can't believe that they can treat adolescents and their families this way. My heart goes out to you, the stress of this situation must be intolerable.

I know that you have enough on your plate but I recently submitted my views on CAMHS to parliament as they are holding an enquiry http://bit.ly/1gEBvz1. My evidence will probably disappear into a black hole never to be seen again but maybe if enough of us do it maybe things may improve. Boofie

ashtrayheart Thu 20-Feb-14 21:46:29

Dd had a mental health assessment but wasn't sectioned so couldn't go to the secure hospital they had identified as you have to be sectioned to be admittedconfused
So last I heard she was packed and the ambulance staff were at her placement waiting to be transferred to a hospital somewhere! hmm
The hospital that I really think she should go to is full. So fuck knows where she will end up sad

Boofie68 Thu 20-Feb-14 09:02:24

Oh Ashtrayheart yet more worries. Sorry to hear your news. It is a shame that the placement didn't work out for your d. Maybe she can try again in the future.

Flo glad your d was ok.

floramckitchen Tue 18-Feb-14 21:26:13

dd got home on sunday night about 10:30 in the end.

She was quite cheerful but had spent most of the day on trains!

She did well not to have a meltdown with all the train delays - I was wondering if the fact that she was on her own and had nobody to have a meltdown in front of it might have made her man up a bit more and take some responsibility.

onwards and upwards
Flo

ashtrayheart Tue 18-Feb-14 20:11:49

And Flora is dd ok?

ashtrayheart Tue 18-Feb-14 20:11:06

Hey boofie I understand your mixed feelings and have experienced the lack of communication also!
Well, dd's placement has given notice on her sad so she will be off to a long term hospital as soon as it's been arranged. Lots of reasons but the last straw was last night when she scared 2 girls so badly one has now run away sad
Also, just got the news yesterday that she has a chromosome disorder 'triple x syndrome' which may not cause any issues in lots of females but some get landed with a full set of symptoms! Bit of a shock to us both.

Boofie68 Tue 18-Feb-14 19:38:04

Hi Ashtrayheart
So sorry things are not going well with your d at her placement. They must surely be used to these sort of behaviours?
My d's CPA has been delayed until the middle of March as a lot of the professionals invited couldn't attend. At least they notified us beforehand. Usually they don't bother, they just don't turn up. In the meantime my d hasn't been out of the unit in weeks, not even to attend Education,as she then absconds and the police have to be called. In some ways it is a relief not having her come home but then I also feel that she is deteriorating and being in a psych ward long term is not helping.

Hi Flora I hope your d made it home unharmed. At least I don't have to worry about those sort of situations at the moment.

Best wishes Boofie

floramckitchen Sun 16-Feb-14 19:56:45

its just so sad that so many lovely, talented young women are so tortured mentally and having such a difficult start in life. I feel so bloody useless because its clear that whatever help is out there isn't really working for them.

I wont give up and will support my dd for as long as she needs me. I'm her mum - what else would I do?

I just make sure that I cherish our happier moments and am consistent in my support of her.

That cheesy phrase 'keep calm and carry on' really is good advice for a bpd mum!

ashtrayheart Sun 16-Feb-14 19:44:29

Gow, she is lucky to have you. You sound lovely x
Boofie has there been a CPA recently?
Flora I hope she's ok, no wonder you're anxious.
Things not great with my dd, she managed to od last week in her placement (stole a bottle of tablets from a dr!) she is 'ok' but she assaulted a staff member last night sad after 'hearing and seeing things'. Managers meeting tomorrow- I think long term hospital is looking ever more likely.

floramckitchen Sun 16-Feb-14 19:32:23

Hi gow

I admire you so much for supporting this young woman when all her family seem to have given up on her.

My dd went off to Brighton on the train this morning. Still not home and not answering her phone. She has been very down since splitting up with her boyfriend and has hardly come out of her bedroom.
So it was a bit odd this morning when she got up and went out.

Not much I can do I suppose. She is an adult and can do as she pleases but I am in a constant state of anxiety and panic wondering what's going on.

All this has been going on for just over a year now and I am beginning to get worn down.

I could do with a little holiday but I'm too anxious to book one - just in case of drama !!

Hopefully she will be home soon and I can crack open the Smirnoff.

gow Fri 14-Feb-14 13:58:38

Ah Boofie thanks for your concern. She did her public services course and was student of the year, I went to her "passing out parade" ( family didn't) it was very hot and indeed several students DID pass out! While at college she had access to the student councellor ( all of that is shit you know she said!!) She is a clever young woman and the she passed the course easily so often missed days but could catch up. her tutors turned a blind eye to her attendance as she was passing all her modules with high marks and of course she had the get out of jail free card with her mental health. Still it was good for her to have to, at times, get up and go and DO something. Her huge downward spiral has been since leaving college (3 yrs ago)and although she did need a fair bit of support while at college and was still SHing she was at least seeing her camhs worker regularly. It really does help to put it down in black and white, usually I have no one to discuss it with as understandably most people don't want to know after the initial " well just do this and it will all be ok" type of attitude. Not that I blame them but it's pointless sharing with people who dont understand what its like, as you know!!
You are right there are some success stories, even on this thread, so we have to hang in there I guess. I am at work right now and so far today it's all quiet but friday night is often when she starts to deteriorate unless she sees her very unhelpful alchohol, drug supplying so called friends in which case its usually the early hours of saturday! I am on a promise for an early drink at the local and a couple of hours of normality with friends. Thanks for letting me moan and I really hope your daughter can turn it around and live a happy life and that you have a peaceful weekend.x

Boofie68 Fri 14-Feb-14 13:06:38

Hi Gow
I'm so glad you have found this site. I have found it a lifeline to find others that are experiencing the same problems. I know what you mean about the overnight change from child to adult. It must be so frustrating to have to sit back and watch your surrogate daughter make bad decisions without being able to have any input.

You have done so well hanging on in there for 6 years. It seems relentless this cycle of destructive behaviour doesn't it. My d seems to have been on a downward spiral since starting secondary school. I just have to remind myself that their are a few stories of people seeming to learn to manage their illness and certainly quite a few seem to get married and have families. The psych at the ward where my daughter currently stays seems to think that there is hope that at some point she could turn her life around. Has your surrogate 'd' managed to get any qualifications or a job?

I hope you have a less stressful half term. Remember to take time out for yourself.
bw Boofie x

gow Fri 14-Feb-14 09:58:04

Just posted and it disappeared! What I was going to say ....I have now read the whole thread and I hope you wont be offended if I say it has given me some comfort to know that my "surrogate daughter" has many of the same behaviours as you all mention, is it daft to say it almost makes it more normal? The lying, the manipulative behaviour, the refusal to enter into any possibly helpful therapy, medication, the SH etc etc, the intense short lived and often sexual partnerships with other females but also the one night stands with only too willing men. I could go on but I think you all know exactly what I am talking about. Very pleased to see the mention of vodka, usually only taken when I am totally sure she is somewhere safe, i.e. sectioned!!

gow Fri 14-Feb-14 08:45:44

Thanks Boofie it's lovely to have someone who understands! one of the difficulties is with the adult MHS as she has to agree with anything offered whereas when she was in the childrens service I was "allowed", as were they, to influenece some decisions for her if that makes sense? The ridiculous thing is the literally overnight change to adult services when she became 18 as if on the stroke of midnight she was a different person!!
We seem to be caught in this cycle of her going downhill and she leaves it too late to get any help and it then becomes a crisis hence the police/sectioning/release thing going on.
I am pretty ok in that I can be very calm, I have done some training in being a listener and can remind her of actions and consequenses etc etc but I dont know how many times we can keep going through the same thing when nothing seems to change, 6 years and counting so far. It makes me think that this approach is not the right one but what else to do? her Mum can only deal with her now when she is doing ok, and I dont blame her in the slightest, it has improved their relationship to an extent I guess but hasn't changed her behaviour at all just that mum is not involved during her episodes and sometimes that can be for a longtime.
When she is well she is clever, funny and capable but turns into the worst kind of "Kevin" reverts to appalling "teenager" type behaviour on top of the sadness and and inability to see anything good in the world. On the upside she slept well last night due to the sedative she had while sectioned and it's friday and half term next week so I am less caught up with other responsibilites. It's great to be able to "talk" about it and I feel able to deal with whatever today brings at the moment!! there is always wine if we have a quiet night...for me not her!!

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