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Borderline Personality Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Depression - anyone else?

(12 Posts)
dishandspoon Sat 22-Feb-14 14:33:37

After many, many years of slipping through the mental health net I have had to admit that I am severely effed up. As there has been zero help on offer via my GP (other than offering me pills for depression, which I did not take) I have done my own research/self help as per usual and come to the following conclusion - I have - in the following order: issues with alcoholism/addictive tendencies (under control, go to 12 step meetings), a raging anxiety disorder (can't drive more than half an hour away from home without huge panic attack/can't drive through big open spaces/mountainous areas/obsess about having a heart attack etc), and some kind of depression -possibly cyclothymia/bipolar (hardly surprising, dealing with all this). Am crap at dealing with stress, and anything can stress me out, even normal everyday stuff. Feel like child at times, or adolescent masquerading in adult body. Find life hard and confusing and stressful.

I recently stopped drinking as my intake was getting out of control and I was drinking to self medicate. The stopping just kicked my anxiety disorder off big time. I used to drink to 'calm my nerves'- among other reasons. I have no idea how to tackle the anxiety. Suspect also have persistent underlying depression, just can't seem to relax or enjoy anything at all (unless I have a drink - vicious circle).
As for the BPD, no idea whatsoever how to get help for that as have only self diagnosed, GP seems to be of the 'you're just depressed' school of thought and although I have an apt with the CMHT I feel as if I am either having to tell them what is wrong with me (as they never seem to tell me) and I end up being the calm one educating them.

There is no DBT in my area, and a two year waiting list for CBT.

I feel so lonely, isolated and completely lost/overwhelmed. I find it very difficult to reach out to anyone except in a crisis and then I'm to full on. The rest of the time I'm just masquerading as having it all under control, and to a large extent I have to do that as I have two kids.

Are there any other mumsnetters on here struggling with similar? I could really do with a thread or forum or something to chat with others in a similar situation.

Sorry this post so disjointed, trying to write it with usual domestic chaos going on all around me.

tigerlillyd02 Sat 22-Feb-14 16:37:02

Please excuse any mistakes, im trying to type on my phone. I dont have BPD but my partner of 12 months does and a lot of what you describe, Ive seen with her too including use of stimulants to self medicate. She slipped through the net for years and only just recieiving help, being seen by specialists - if you'd call it that. There is very little available and the one treatment proven to work, as you say, the funding has been cut.
From what ive seen and from doing loads of research, its a long and rocky road. What you could possibly do with is someone to talk to in the same boat as you.
The effects of this illness on the person and friends/family is awful especially when its going unrecognised. I am really struggling too at the moment with loving someone tremendously yet knowing we'll never have a 'life' together.

tigerlillyd02 Sat 22-Feb-14 16:44:13

I pressed post before id finished.
My partner has 2 children too and all her energies are thrown into them. She drops them off at school, then sleeps all day until its time to pick them up. She unhealthily clings to them... to the point they have zero independence. Her 14 year old cant have a shower alone. I think she subconsciously is puposely keeping them in a place where they rely upon and need her as it gives her a reason to live. Her nearly 6 year old is still very much like a toddler in all ways which has been highlighted in school. Yet even then, there are times she despises them and doesnt want them.

tigerlillyd02 Sat 22-Feb-14 16:54:35

I have been clung to then pushed away and often feel used and my own emotional health takes a battering.. I question why I am here but I love her enormously. I am clinging on to hope that with the upcoming therapies shes about to receive things will slowly change and shewill become happier in herself. I think its important for u to push to be properly assessed. Its not a GPs place to decide if u have this or not. Without a proper diagnosis you will continue to slip through the net. I know its hard to fight all the time, especially with the system, but you know yourself and you know if something isnt right. The only thing I would question is how much of your feelings are down to drinking. You might be feeling worse right now having recently given up?

SilverStars Sat 22-Feb-14 19:44:53

In order to access help from the NHS however long the waiting lists you need official diagnosis. Self-diagnosis will not get you anywhere - as although you may be right, there is a long and rigorous process to qualify as a psychiatrist which is the only person who can correctly diagnose any disorders. And they do not diagnose after one short meeting, it is building up evidence, it is using specific diagnostic tools (eg the SCID-D for personality disorders). If you want treatment the ideal route is to ask your Gp for referral to a psychiatrist for official diagnosis of Mental Health issues.

A counsellor or cbt therapist cannot diagnose you. And dbt, although often offered for BPD is not the only treatment available. It is a long treatment, hence longer waiting lists. You may be able to be treated out of area if you have an official medical diagnosis.

If I look up many things I can often say I have something without having it, so it is worthwhile getting the right diagnosis so you get the right treatment.

If you do have bipolar then medication is important to manage it. If you have a personality disorder then medication is usually used to manage depressive symptoms of it, or anxiety but in itself medication does not manage a personality disorder - instead learning coping strategies does.

Yes, I slipped through the net. Many people do. The good thing is you know you have a severe mental health issue so I hope you are able to ask for referral for diagnosis and then treatment - such as the right medication. A gp cannot diagnose severe mental health illnesses or offer treatments that need to be more than the 6-8 sessions of talking therapy.

dishandspoon Sat 22-Feb-14 21:21:48

tigerlillyd02 and Silver Stars thank you so much for replying. Tigerlillyd02, I completely empathise. I have enough self-insight to be able to step outside my condition and see what it does to those around me. To the extent that I broke off a long term relationship because I could see what it was doing to my partner - I also recognised that I had an unhealthy dependence upon them and that that was damaging both to them and to me also, in terms of recovery (for us both). It's a horrible horrible illness - lack of insight feels as bad as good insight into 'what the problem is' as neither brings respite. Alhough as SilverStar said the good thing is that at least in recognising the problem I can start addressing it. I hate this illness, I curse it, it ruins lives. It feels like a curse.

Tigerlilly you have my sincere sympathy, your partner and you sound like you are really battling this and I can see both sides, it is an evil illness, I am so sorry that both you and your partner are going through this. I am very lucky that my ex partner is very supportive and helps me out a lot with the kids. I am so thankful for this - not for my sake but for my kids, as I think they need that balance. I identified with what you said about your partner and her relationship with her kids - I have had to look very closely at my relationship with my kids and question similar stuff. I do my absolute best for my kids and have always encouraged independence whilst supporting them, but I do worry about messing them up, just because I'm their mum : (

I have an appointment with the CMHT soon, so am going to ask them about getting properly assessed.

I'm probably at the breakthrough point with this - over the years I've been a lot, lot worse (before I had kids) and had a long period of stability after having them but of late I've had to face up to my issues and accept that I have to deal with them and not lean on anyone else. I think because I've faced up to them they seem really daunting at the moment; I'm not hiding behind anyone else anymore.

It's horrible knowing what a long and rocky road dealing with this is, it feels like an impossible road to walk, with no positive outcome, my priority now is just not messing anyone else up, and trying to manage as best I can to get through each day. wish there was more hep available, I keep looking and looking but there is precious little out there.

SilverStars Sat 22-Feb-14 22:19:10

Great you have an appointment and know what you want out of them. If you tell them you want to be correctly diagnosed (rather than telling them what you think you have) it may take some time but be worth it! It is a psychiatrist that has to make the diagnosis, although they can use other staff to collect information, do assessments etc.

dishandspoon Sun 23-Feb-14 07:17:42

Yes SilverStars, I hear you - you are right, I need to tell them that I want to be correctly diagnosed, rather than come across as all-knowing as I think that's been the problem in the past - I seem too together at appointments and they think I'm fine and there's nothing much wrong as I appear capable and intelligent. But there is something very much wrong and I know it, and am desperate for help. I find it so hard to ask for help, I'm used to presenting a very capable front in public, and hiding my real self, the ones that's broken, from public view. But it's the one that's broken that desperately needs help.

SilverStars Sun 23-Feb-14 14:17:53

Also you have mentioned lots of different diagnoses in this post. Not many people have 4-5 different mental health diagnosis so if you tell them you have all of those it will not be the most helpful for you.

dishandspoon Sun 23-Feb-14 16:43:03

Ok, yes - fair point, I'll remember that. I suppose these are just the issues that I am aware of as definitely causing me problems - I've read that it is not uncommon to have co-existing conditions alongside BPD, and this certainly seems to be my experience. But yes, I need an accurate diagnosis.

SilverStars Sun 23-Feb-14 17:05:51

Hi yes people do have co-existing conditions such as depression with other mental health diagnosis. However, it can take time to get the correct diagnosis - so diagnostic tools rather than a general chat may be most useful, which can take time? And some symptoms that fit one illness may also be the cause of an other so it can take time to work out what is the main illness/es. However, there are some treatments that help with a variety of illnesses which helps - such as antidepressants or antipsychotics.

hope it goes well.

dishandspoon Mon 24-Feb-14 07:53:37

Thank you - I will report back, although the appointment isn't for a few weeks yet. I'm just focusing on keeping stable at the moment and not getting stressed out. What you have said is a big help as it means I can go to that appointment with a much clearer idea of what to ask for - otherwise I think I'd just have gone in and engaged with the general chat thing, not asked about a diagnosis. I just want some help so that I can help myself. I'm sick of being sick, if you know what I mean.

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