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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.

ashtrayheart Mon 03-Feb-14 16:19:49

It is easier now she doesn�t live at home, but sometimes I find myself getting drawn in to some manipulative behaviour (she often says one thing to her Dad and another to me) but I am getting better at not reacting to things and keeping my mouth shut rather than pulling her up on any discrepancies in what she is saying! It means we get on much better.
Boofie she is doing ok thanks, although the test will be after her birthday (it�s tomorrow, we are staying over in a nice hotel then going out for the day). Last year she was ok until after her birthday then it all went pearshaped!
She really likes it there though and desperately doesn�t want to go into long term hospital so hopefully that will keep her from doing anything drastic. She is doing lots of gcse work at school and getting on well there.
I hope the next CPA is productive for you and your dd and the mp has made a start on helping to get things moving!

Boofie68 Mon 03-Feb-14 18:40:59

Ashtrayheart - glad your dd likes it. Good luck for tomorrow!

ashtrayheart Mon 03-Feb-14 19:59:38

Thanks (not sure what happened to my apostrophes confused)

gow Thu 13-Feb-14 16:51:41

I am a first time poster on here also not the mother of the young person I want to talk about although I may as well be as her mother gave up trying to help a long time ago. There doesn't seem to be a diagnosis for her and I am at my wits end as to what to do next. She has had long term MH issues, started self harm at ages 11. i really thought we had made some progress in the last year, she has been living independently for 7 months ( just opposite me) since coming out of secured housing. She lived with me for a while after her mum could no longer cope and there really was no where for her to go. At that time she was constantly self harming, overdosing but not enough to kill, hospitalised, sectioned once for a week,generally out of control and each day I never knew what would happen next. The last 5 months have seen a marked improvement in her mental health but then 2 weeks ago she began to feel bad again. She spends a lot of time with me talking things over and she decided that she need help again BUT left it rather too late to go to the Drs. So, last week she stayed at mine for the weekend and she decided she would go to Drs on Monday but had a complete melt down on Sunday, I asked her to call the crisis team as she had cut her wrist in several places not enough for stiches but still! She did but then did a runner on me and they called the police. There was a bit of a stand off for a couple of hours until the police decided she had to go to hospital, she resisted and they handcuffed her and at hosp she was sedated. None of this is new to me but I am just so sad it has come to this again. So on monday I get a call to ask me to go to her review meeting. she did not want to stay at the hospital and is clever enough too give the Drs the answers they want to hear to allow them let her go. all that was offered was a visit from CMHT at some point this week. Basically they just handed her back to me, I took her home and she slept as she had been sedated in the early hours. Yesterday she self harmed again, said suicide was her only way out ( answerphone msg on my mobile when I work half an hour away from where she is!) I left straight away and when I found her she had bandaged her arm but then took off again saying she could not deal with this any more. I called crisis team they told me to call the police so for the second time in 3 days I was out with hte police tryaing to find her and eventaully she was sectioend again in the early hours of this morning a different hospital to sunday. I wasn't able to go to her review this pm as I have to work as have often taken time off for her and guess what although "reluctant" they have let her go once again. I am sorry for this essay but am so fed up that no one seems to be able to help. It has been good to get it off my chest though and I know there are others like yourselves who understand. Thanks for reading am off now to see her and hope we dont have the same tonight as I could with some sleep!!!

Boofie68 Thu 13-Feb-14 18:59:58

Wow I think you must be an amazing person to be helping this girl. I just want to say a massive thank you on her behalf. I am so sorry you are suffering from all this stress. I presume that your 'friend' is now in the adult mental health system. I only have experience of children's mental health but my experience so far is that you have to push and fight for every little thing. I would say the stress of trying to get care and treatment for my d is nearly as stressful as her MH symptoms. Please feel free to unload anytime on this message board. I only found it recently and it is a lifeline to find and speak to others in a similar situation. Your 'friend' is really lucky to have found you.

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!!

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!!

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 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

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.

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 19:56:45

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!

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

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.

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

And Flora is dd 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

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.

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 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 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 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 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

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!

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

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 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

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