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Good childhood?

(27 Posts)
Criminy Mon 04-Jan-16 15:34:30

Does anyone else have mental health problems but had a lovely childhood?

I started with mental health issues when I was a young teen, and over the years have been variously diagnosed with depression, generalised anxiety, social anxiety, Aspergers and Borderline Personality Disorder. Not all at the same time! By different psychiatrists at different times, sometimes years apart.

Reading about other people with mental health issues, both on here and elsewhere, the vast majority seem to have had some degree of traumatic childhood. But I don't. I had a wonderful childhood, love both my parents dearly and they're even still together! I've never suffered from any form of abuse, ever.

I guess I feel a bit like a fraud.

Has anybody got any thoughts?

DancingDuck Mon 04-Jan-16 15:40:54

I never suffered sexual abuse, or more physical abuse than was normal in 60s and 70s (parents hit then) But I was neglected physically and emotionally, and subjected to my father's daily and extremely lengthy rants and rages and guilt trips and inexplicable wrath and my mother's weak enabling. Took me until I was 51 to work out the man is a raving narcissist.
But OP, you don't have to have a solid 'reason' for being ill. MH is, like physical health, partly luck of the draw. Your brain's chemistry is a bit out of whack. You wouldn't judge yourself for being thin but having heart problems or diabetes would you?

Criminy Mon 04-Jan-16 15:49:17

Thanks for your thoughts, I think I get what you're saying, and thought I agreed with you up until recently. This latest diagnosis of BPD - looking into it the only treatment that seems to have any effect is DBT, but that seems to focus on working on issues from your past/childhood. I have no issues, so maybe that means I'm untreatable. Sounds about right then I suppose.

I'm sorry, I'm just so utterly, utterly fed up.

DancingDuck Mon 04-Jan-16 16:06:08

What is DBT?

Criminy Mon 04-Jan-16 16:24:07

Sorry, DBT is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, its a bit like CBT. I'm not 100% convinced with the diagnosis anyway tbh.

PandaPop55 Mon 04-Jan-16 20:11:35

I have really stuggled with mental health for about 4 years now but looking back now it has been going on much longer i think. I had a nice childhood with a nice family etc. I totally get where u r coming from about feeling a fraud. my life is pretty good and i cant cope, how do people with actual real serious problems in their life manage? But i am starting to see it from a different viewpoint, as an illness and not a personal failure.

moopymoodle Mon 04-Jan-16 20:22:37

OP I mean this in the nicest possible way so I hope not to offend you. The thing with psychiatrists is they hand labels out for anything and everything. Well some do, some are brilliant.

I think those who have a genuine case of bpd benefit immensely from dbt as it helps them to look back to and see when a habit was formed, then I presume they learn how to change responses to a healthy one.

I don't like labels personally, anybody can develop abandonment issues, if not from parents then romantic relationships. I guess the label helps with getting treatment and that's great and accepting yourself maybe.

I prefer to think we influence our biology through nutrition and our own thoughys. Im not in the camp of believing everything has a biological reason and it's luck of the draw. People recover all the time, I've recovered from anxiety, depression, insecurity, jealousy.

Have you looked at nutrition OP and anything along the line of thinking produces feelings self help?

CloakAndJagger Mon 04-Jan-16 20:48:58

I had a great childhood, but still get ill as I have bipolar. Therapy was a non-starter for me as I didn't have issues to work through, but CBT was helpful as it gave me ways of dealing with myself when I become ill IYSWIM.

I've come across a number of women now who have an Asperger diagnosis where before it was BPD. I'm beginning to think the difficulties women with aspergers have with theory of mind/relationships etc are being misdiagnosed.

Criminy Mon 04-Jan-16 20:53:24

Panda That's exactly it. I was an inpatient earlier in the year, and what some people had been through was simply awful. But I had a very happy childhood, and am now a middle-class, married with two kids stay at home mum. Some of the comments I had from the MH nurses were along the same lines too.

Moopy I agree, I hate labels. I believe that we should be treating the person, not the diagnosis. It shouldn't matter what you call it. But it just doesn't seem to work that way in real life. Especially if you get the dreaded BPD diagnosis. The whole system is set up on labels, flow-charts and box-ticking.

I've not really looked at nutrition, although when I start getting worse (like now) I just can't be bothered to eat. I had two handfuls of peanuts today, although have fed the kids proper meals. I've not done much self-help, or any type of therapy, before. Just been medicated the hell out of.

DancingDuck Mon 04-Jan-16 20:54:43

Moopymoodle, please would you say more about how you cured yourself? I've suffered from depression since my teens. It has been constant over the past ten years. I had severe untreated PND and I've never been right since. That was 13 years ago. The funny thing is, I am a very happy, upbeat person. I love life, my family, work, have loads of interests and spend my life feeling like they are out of reach behind a thick glass wall and I can't access them due to the crushing weight of the depression. It really does feel like a negative beast crushing the naturally happy soul out of me. I'm SO exhausted by it at the moment. there's no respite. Really, if you actually cured yourself of something more serious than a one-off bout of the blues, can you go into detail? I'd try anything.

Criminy Mon 04-Jan-16 20:57:27

cloak Yes, I've been thinking that. I was diagnosed with Aspergers a few years ago,it seemed to fit well, but then when I was admitted to a mental health unit last year the psychiatrist there said she didn't believe in Aspergers and said I have BPD. Simple as that.

CloakAndJagger Mon 04-Jan-16 21:05:23

Doesn't believe in aspergers? What, it's not the fucking tooth fairy!

My DS has aspergers and Id argue the case with her. I also know that it presents differently in girls, which is why folks get misdiagnosed. Still, it's almost impossible to argue the toss as an inpatient. You can get a second opinion though.

Criminy Mon 04-Jan-16 21:13:50

Yes, her exact phrase was " well you may have been given a diagnosis of Aspergers, but that's a nonsense diagnosis, I don't believe in Aspergers, it doesn't count for anything. You clearly have BPD."

The second opinion that I was entitled to turned out to be the initial consultant's registrar. So no surprise there, he agreed with his consultant.

And yes, as a patient, if I try and argue this at all then they say it's just a symptom of my illness. You literally can't win.

Gumblebee Mon 04-Jan-16 21:14:20

Doesn't believe in Asperger's? The stupid cow. Ignore her if possible. DBT can still teach some useful techniques tho; it's not all about rehashing nonexistent childhood trauma. I've never done it myself but some people I know have said they've found it useful.

FWIW I'm in a similar position - nice family, no trauma, multiple diagnoses. Some psychiatrists seem to stick BPD on any women within 100m if they show signs of irritatingly not getting better despite treatment, long-term depression, trouble with relationships, self-injury, not fitting in hmm, couldn't be Asperger's, could it?

Gumblebee Mon 04-Jan-16 21:21:18

At least there's therapy available for BPD - I was referred for long-term NHS psychotherapy, but when my ASD diagnosis came through while I was on the waiting list for assessment, they refused to even consider assessing me.

Lightbulbon Mon 04-Jan-16 21:26:30

I think you should make a complaint to the bma/gmc about that consultant.

Disagreeing with a diagnoses is one thing, denying a condition exists is malpractice!

Criminy Mon 04-Jan-16 21:46:45

Yes, I rather feel that it's a case of young woman+history of self harm/suicide attempt+emotional issues= BPD.

My current diagnosis (that they put at the top of every letter) is BPD, and there's no treatment they can offer me. My mental health trust have apparently stopped even funding DBT for the vast majority of people now.

So I cycle -I get more and more suicidal, self-destructive, fantasising about destroying myself (I'm utterly obsessed with that at the moment) until I end up in hospital. Where they do absolutely nothing and last time I had to pay for a private therapist to just get some treatment.

imip Mon 04-Jan-16 21:57:22

cloak, you've got it in one! Aspergers is misdiagnosed as BPD in adult females. I'm the mother of a high functioning daughter with ASD and db also has ASD. A lot of their characteristics don't fit the traditional 'look' of autism.

Personally, I'd consider changing hcp if they are rejecting an ASD diagnosis. There is a lot in the media about women with autism and I think a general awareness of it is growing. To me, it seems that not identifying ASD in women leads to mental health problems.

My dds anxiety levels are so high (she is 7) that she self harms. It took 2 years to get her diagnosed, and I saw the lack of recognition manifest in increased anxiety. I'd hate to think what would have happened to dd had this not been officially diagnosed.

DancingDuck Mon 04-Jan-16 22:02:48

Criminy, could you start at the opposite end of the health service? Go to an ASD support group and talk to women there about any useful MH support they've accessed as diagnosed Aspergers? Then try and change to one of those GPs who are sympathetic. To say 'I don't believe in Aspergers' is the height of arrogance and ignorance. I'd be tempted to tell her so.

Criminy Mon 04-Jan-16 22:04:16

This is the thing - the therapist I had to pay for said she was sure I had ASD. And at that point I was obsessing about hurting and destroying myself. She helped me come to terms with those obsessions, and cope with them, but they're coming back again.

One thing though - once in the mental health service it is very difficult to get second opinions, especially from doctors who would be willing to against what a colleague has already diagnosed.

Criminy Mon 04-Jan-16 22:07:03

To be honest, I think I might need to be inpatient again for a bit. My obsessions are getting out of control again. I'm fed up of the circular route, over and over again...

Haggisfish Mon 04-Jan-16 22:09:31

I had a fine childhood. I think (and science is increasingly supporting the view) that a lot of it is genetically linked which may or may not be triggered by some environmental factor. Certainly things like bpd and autism are increasingly thought to be genetic. Not sure if this will make you feel better or not! It makes me feel better as I feel less like I have 'done something' to cause my own anxiety and that I should just be able to give myself a shake.

imip Mon 04-Jan-16 22:09:46

There are support threads here for women with aspergers (btw, aspergers no longer exists as a diagnosis, it's just ASD). You'd probably get some good pointers on how to get assessed. Thing is, unless you are properly assessed, no one can really tell you you have ASD, or not!

I'm not sure where these threads are. I really think ASD is so under diagnosed in women, who have been told they have some other mental health condition and don't get the right treatment.

moopymoodle Mon 04-Jan-16 22:39:50

Hi dancing Duck. I'm always very hesitant to pass on advice as I know not 1 size fits all and people often find it patronising as my way doesn't conform with the pharmaceutical based system most people are treated with.

I read a lot of self help. Started 10 years ago but over the years I have learnt to understand myself. I realised I feared my thoughts, my feelings and any symptom. I had panic attacks, intrusive thoughts, chronic worry, depression. The usual round up basically.

It all started with the panic attacks. I read some self help which I learnt from to let them come. Once I truly couldn't care less If I had one again as I knew it would pass and I was more interested in life (this attitude takes time to learn) they buggered off.

I was still plagued with depression and bout of scary anxiety and odd thoughts. These bouts would come and go and eventually i realised they where all a symptom of me trying to control my thoughts and feelings. I felt like I had to fight my mh problems, or they would engulf me and I'd be locked away. So I started to face the thoughys, the symptoms, the fear of depression. In time I could let them come and go with practice until a down day was just a down day again. I realised a it was ok to feel or think anything, it was only my holding on to myself. . Trying to be what I thought was normal like everyone else which made me obsess until alls I could see was the dark clouds. I think once you let what you fear in, the bodily responses of terror and gloom start fading and you can be rational (after practice, nobody masters acceptance from the off).

I also started to recognise and challenge my negative self talk. I started drinking more water, made sure I took magnesium and d3 (never take d3 without magnesium if you have anxiety as if your magnesium is low your body can go into fight or flight).

Basically over the years I've developed an understanding of anxiety, depression and myself.

Oh and before anybody starts getting defensive making out I'm full of shit (you would be amazed by how many people are offended because they believe I haven't a clue). Well every day I felt nothing but misery. Couldn't eat, sleep. Infact I feared going to sleep as I knew I'd wake up and remember my misery all over again. I feared my mind, my feelings and the more irrational my anxiety got I feared I was going crazy.

Criminy Mon 04-Jan-16 22:40:42

I've had a full-on assessment for ASD in the past, a few years ago. Lots and lots of tests, assessments etc. My then-psychiatrist conferred with a colleague of hers who is an expert in adult - diagnosis ASD and it all came back as I definitely had ASD.

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