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

(213 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.

SKYTVADDICT Mon 29-Jul-13 09:29:06

I meant to say that she has managed to sh there too. Last weekend she broke a razor here and snuck the blades back in. She is checked much better when she gets back now!

floramckitchen Mon 29-Jul-13 15:02:57

Hi fifi

I know what you mean about the 'lining things up' behaviour. My dd does it when we go to to asda . Everything has to line up on the conveyor belt thingy. Then she packs it in the bags and it has to be done in a certain way. OCD???

Sky - the unit your dd is in sounds like a reasonably pleasant place. It sounds as if they make a bit of effort with all the different types of therapies and keep her busy. Do you know why your dd is so ill. Was there a specific incident ? or did it just appear out of the blue?

When my dd first became ill it seemed as if it was out of the blue but as the months have passed I am now putting the pieces of the jigsaw together and can see that she suffered very badly after she was raped. She soldiered on and tried to cope until one day she just snapped and couldn't keep pretending she was ok anymore.

She has been staying with her boyfriend since Friday and I am starting to relax a little and feel the atmosphere in the house is a lot lighter. But at the same time I am worried about when she gets home and what the problems might be. I feel like there is a storm on the horizon!


PS - Have you lost weight with all the worry?? I've lost 2 stone since xmas without trying and still losing. I do eat but not got much appetite.

fifietta Mon 29-Jul-13 17:21:30

Hi Flo,

The trouble is my DD tends to 'take on' the characteristics of things she hears about. That is, she has never done lining things up before and it was very public if you get my drift...that's the aspect (the kind of doing it to be noticed bit) I find difficult. I so want her to get better that I can't bear it when she assumes new quirks to fit the role - I just want to tell her to 'grow up'! I won't of course.

I was worried about her watching that recent BBC3 programme (Don't call me Crazy?) set in the adolescent unit in Manchester as she has said she wants to go to hospital in the past and, to be honest, although there was disturbing stuff on there, it could be interpreted as fun and I'm not sure, but she may be capable of behaving in certain ways to get there.

When DD first started SHing and was referred to CAMHS, nearly 2 years ago I lost loads of weight, probably over a stone, and then again at the beginning of this year when I never knew what I'd come home to and she stopped going to school. I've put a lot back on now (I tend to comfort eat a bit too - probably unwittingly influencing her with this). It's not a way I'd ever recommend for losing weight!

Does your DD keep in touch with you when she's not at home?

I've just received letters from school about holiday homework. DD didn't attend the last two days so I'll probably have to ring round trying to get relevant sheets etc...I'm not at all confident she will do it...GCSEs are just not important to her and sadly I think she's going to do badly, which she really doesn't need to do - she's a bright girl. I have to keep telling myself she can re-take, but she is very anti any school stuff at the moment.

Glad you've managed to relax a little bit Flo, but can well imagine you're anxious about what her return will bring. Probably planning your responses etc?!

Enjoy this evening both of you,


SKYTVADDICT Mon 29-Jul-13 18:17:24

Fifi - I also worried about the don't call me crazy programme. It wasn't nice. When DD went into the Unit they said to her that she was a bright girl and that she was to try and ignore the others and not do as they do, this is apparently a common problem!

Flo - I really don't know what triggered the latest episode - in the past it was her gcse exams - she did brilliantly in them though and got 3 A*s, 7As and 1B so is very bright - possibly too bright - "perfectionism" as an illness has been mentioned! This last time she says she hadn't self harmed for over 2 months but just started to feel sad! She asked me to sleep with her one Sunday night, took her 4 year old brother in with her on the Monday night (from his bed), seemed ok on the Tuesday but on the Wednesday had apparently had enough and took the overdose and cut her arm badly. I am cross with myself for not seeing it coming but she had never been that bad before. She had had a contraceptve implant on the Wednesday before and on googling side effects I think it could be that - but I could be clutching at straws - her Psychiatrist says it would be too soon to have had any effect - but it is effective as birth control straight away - I am trying to persuade her to have it removed.

I haven't lost any weight - I wish I had - she and I have always been on the large side - she lost 3st in 6 months (bulimic) and was still 10st 7lb. She has since put back on a stone which I don't think helps her negative thoughts!

Moxiegirl Mon 29-Jul-13 18:24:14 dd (16) is diagnosed aspergers but this was a late diagnosis and is now being looked at for bpd, which I think she ticks every single box for.
She's in a psychiatric unit and has been on and off since last year. Funding has been agreed for 52 week residential but she just runs away and overdoses - we can't have her at home full time because she's a danger to herself, she's currently sectioned.
We are meant to be taking her away on holiday soon (section 17 leave), I'm petrified!

SKYTVADDICT Tue 30-Jul-13 10:25:05

Hi Moxiegirl. Nice to see somebody else new here.

Latest on DD is that she may now have to stay 4 weeks after 7 August (original discharge date had been set for 13 August) as they are changing her medication and it needs monitoring. She is due to start college on 1 September and restart her A Levels so we are hoping she is out by then! She also wants to come home for a few hours today as she is bored! I am hoping they say no so that it isn't on my decision.

Moxie - what is 52 weeks residential? Is that somewhere other than the unit? Also, I don't envy you taking her on holiday! There will be no holidays for us this year, just days out either with or without DD.

Moxiegirl Tue 30-Jul-13 12:36:11

Oh I know what you mean about hoping they decide it- they have said no leave this weekend and I'm so relieved confused
52 week residential as in therapeutic residential school for people with asd/mental health/emotional and behavioural issues.
Unfortunately looks like a long term hospital placement is more likely, so a move from her current hospital.

Moxiegirl Tue 30-Jul-13 12:43:37

Ps holiday is 3 nights at center parcs, dd's favourite place. Ds isn't coming as he can't cope with being near her! sad

floramckitchen Tue 30-Jul-13 19:17:31

Hi all

Welcome Moxie !

No holidays for us this year unfortunately. It was too stressful to try and plan anything so I decided not to bother at all. DD doesn't really 'do' holidays and wont come with us but wont be left on her own in the house either so I am a bit stuck! She was planning on going to the Reading Festival but has now changed her mind.

No tattoo news yet. She came home this afternoon while I was out and then went back out before I got home. No idea where she is now! She isn't answering her phone so I will have to sit it out.

Fifi - My dd didn't watch any of the 'Don't call me Crazy' programmes. I thought I would watch them first and then let her know if they would be beneficial for her to watch. I didn't they would do her any favours so kept quiet. She isn't much of a telly watcher anyway so is oblivious!

Moxie - Fingers crossed for your little holiday. Its just a shame that your ds cant cope with it. It seems like MH problems and bpd has the power to divide families. My DH can't be in the same room as DD because she stresses him out. He is now saying he can't face coming out with us on Saturday for her birthday. The joy seems to be sucked out of everything lately.

How do you feel about your girls being in residential care? has it altered your relationship at all? What happens when they are 18? Do they get transferred to an adult ward? I am worried that my dd will end up on an adult ward as she has been talking about wanting to go back to hospital. I just don't think it will actually help in any way. The other patients are so terrifying! One guy trashed his room and threw the wardrobe through the window the last time she was in there!

Moxiegirl Tue 30-Jul-13 20:02:24

Hi Flora!
Tbh we got to the stage that being at home was no longer an option, I really hope that one day she will be able to have her own supported living flat, but that's a long way off.

Moxiegirl Tue 30-Jul-13 20:03:54

The secure psychiatric units are even more scary, dd had a 2 week stint in one and was as good as gold because she was so terrified shock

floramckitchen Tue 30-Jul-13 21:31:43


If your dd has to move hospitals do you know where she will potentially have to go? Is it far from where you live?

Moxiegirl Tue 30-Jul-13 21:37:58

There's a hospital in Northampton that specialises in emerging bpd, probably there. It's only a bit further from where she is now.

floramckitchen Tue 30-Jul-13 23:05:15

sounds ideal and not too far for visiting etc,

news just in ..... The tattoos are on the front of each thigh. One is of a rabbit with the words ' I am a rabbit hearted girl' and the other is of a lion with the words ' I must become a lion hearted girl'.
DD said they are song lyrics from a Florence and the Machine song.

I'm not sure what I think but can appreciate the meaning and the significance to dd. They look bloody sore though!

Moxiegirl Wed 31-Jul-13 07:43:33

grinShe happy with them?

floramckitchen Wed 31-Jul-13 11:27:36

She loves them! That's the main thing I suppose. Imagine the fallout if she hadn't liked them. It would have been like world war 3 was breaking out.

Her boyfriend was all smiles because he paid for them as a birthday present and they did seem very happy last night. He is having a tattoo of Batman on his back tomorrow morning.

She still hasn't woken up this morning so I hope her opinion hasn't changed overnight! She needs to start working on being that Lion hearted girl.

SKYTVADDICT Thu 01-Aug-13 09:11:40

Hi all. Regarding the Unit and my relationship with DD I think it helped that she actually wanted to go in there - I have had txts saying she isn't my friend anymore lol when she is down and wants to come home. It is so hard to know what to do for the best - everyone is telling me tough love - but all I seem to do is run around after her so as not to upset her! She is coming home some time today for 3 nights - maybe 4 if it goes ok - I am dreading it, I know I shouldn't but I know it will be like walking on egg shells. She was so "up" last night and wants to come this morning so I have to ring soon to see if she can. It is DS2s 5th birthday on Sunday and she is making lots of cakes for his 2 parties so will have lots to do. I told DH last night that I am not sure I can do a "happy face" for 4 days - I don't think he gets it. I am having aches and pains in lots of places, I think it is stress! Aaargh! Wish us luck for the weekend x

SKYTVADDICT Thu 01-Aug-13 09:13:41

Sorry that was a bit of a ramble.

DD also is a tatoo addict and I think she will be on the door step the day she turns 18 - it must be a changing your image thing as her whole illness appears to be based on her image and perception by other people. Or how she sees it!

floramckitchen Thu 01-Aug-13 14:02:48

Sky - my dd is the same. Its all about other peoples perceptions!

Back later

Moxiegirl Thu 01-Aug-13 17:01:13

Good luck sky, my anxiety returned with a vengeance last time my dd was home!

fifietta Thu 01-Aug-13 21:24:47

Hi all,

I'm sorry I haven't checked in for a while. We've been having a rollercoastery few days and I don't want to come on to whine etc. Lots of DD being rude, inviting friends for a 'party' when I was out, not wanting to live with me and then refusing to attend her group DBT (by feigning an all too familiar sickness)'s that part that is truly awful as I've pinned everything on the DBT making a difference and we are SO lucky to have access to it. I know I shouldn't but I'm so desperate I'm resorting to threats and bribery.

I do feel blessed that DD hasn't been an inpatient, although she has wanted to be, but can totally see what a relief it must be to have some respite.

We are off on holiday tomorrow. I've actually booked 3 weeks away altogether as I just couldn't face the prospect of the two us being at home together. She's excited about the first week as we'll meet up with a family we met last year, but dead against the second 2 weeks - in France doing French in the mornings and beach the rest of the day (booked when she was making promises about working hard having missed so much school and then moved to another one). It's not impossible that she will refuse to go, so I will have to play things very calmly beforehand - walking on eggshells is right Sky!

The piercing, tattooing, hair-colouring thing really is a theme with our girls isn't it?

Not sure I'll be able to check in whilst on hol, but really hope you all have a peaceful-ish few weeks. As I write that I realise how stupid it sounds, as all we can often hope for is an hour or two at a time.

Sky - great that DD is baking, that is doing something and creative too!

Flo - the tattoo sentiments sound positive I think - a reminder for her.

Moxie - Wishing you lots of luck for your holiday.


Fifi smile

Moxiegirl Fri 02-Aug-13 08:19:09

Hope it goes well fifi!

floramckitchen Fri 02-Aug-13 19:29:30

Hi all

Tattoos are healing nicely but apparently she has to go back to get the colour added. More pain!
She is talking about another one already - possibly a unicorn!

She had a bad day yesterday and there were lots of tears because she was hoping to be better by her 19th birthday which is tomorrow. Seems a bit better today because her friend came over and has persuaded her to go out tonight.

We are all off the the Butterfly Farm tomorrow so that will be nice if we actually get there! There are butterflies and birds and loads of animals which she loves.

I will keep my fingers crossed as it could all go horribly wrong! my dd has a habit of spoiling birthdays - even her own.

Sky - did your dd come home yesterday ? how are you coping?

SKYTVADDICT Tue 06-Aug-13 15:00:44

Hi all

We had a lovely 3 night weekend, all "normal" and busy with cakes and birthday parties but on Sunday night after tea (the 4th night) all went down hill and she ended up going back to the Unit. Apparently she is now saying it is because she didn't want to go back at all and knew she would be a problem for me (alone) to take back on Monday morning so asked to go back Sunday night instead for which I was very grateful. She has had a ward round meeting today and they say after new meds start tomorrow she can head towards extended leave of 4 nights, 5 nights etc but she just wants to stay home now. I have a meeting there tomorrow so will see. I don't know whether I want her home full time yet.

On the plus side she has decided not to retry A levels but to do a vocational course instead in Catering and Hospitality which I hope will be a lot less stressful for now. Just have to try and get her on a course, sort transport etc - just another little job to do!!!

Hope you are all ok and holidays, tatoos etc are all good x

floramckitchen Thu 08-Aug-13 13:12:43

Hi Sky

How did the meeting go at the unit? It seems like you are quite wary about your dd coming home full time.

Good news about the Catering course though. Hopefully it will be easier for her to cope with.

My dd had a good birthday up until the evening when she had a meltdown and hid in her bedroom for two hours. She was ok when she came back down though. It was quite weird.

Tattoos are healing nicely - thank god!

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