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Is it worth asking GP if I have bipolar II disorder /borderline personality disorder?(3 Posts)
I'm signed off work for 2 weeks at the moment due to things generally getting on top of me. It's been building for months but the physical symptoms were getting worse (nosebleeds, chest pains, etc). I had gone hoping for pills to take the edge off but got signed off instead. Not ideal.
However, it has given me some space to reflect on things and I wonder if there is something underlying which might make things easier to manage if diagnosed?
I've had various issues over the years, many of which aren't on my medical record, so looking at the bigger picture/background this includes:
* Trichotillomania, Anorexia, Bulimia: only thing which would show up on my medical record is that I went to the GP as my periods stopped - in retrospect it was clearly due to the anorexia, though the GP basically told me to go away at the time. Also my mum made me go to the GP age 19 as she was worried about my weight, GP told me to go have a few milkshakes... These conditions basically followed chronologically from 17-24. There's photos of me with the bald spot.
* 1 medically recorded episode of depression
* Undiagnosed PND after DC1, got private counselling
* Went to GP after DC2, got some NHS counselling
* Compulsive lip peeling (drawing blood/self-harming behaviour) - ongoing
* On a mild dose of ADs last year for depression/migraine prevention
* Now signed off with stress due to physical symptoms
Things in my background that contributed, most of which therapists have unpicked:
* Sexually abused by older cousin from around 6-10yrs
* Mother who was depressive/alcoholic
* Father who had high standards/expectations of children
* Insecure homelife in the sense that there were lots of threats of the like "If you don't do X then [dire threat]" - which is where I developed a bit of a catastrophising outlook on life, which thanks to the therapists I have unpicked. The sense that you had to behave perfectly or unfair and dire consequences would follow.
The above probably makes me sound like a bit of a disaster, but I am generally viewed as "together" and successful. Got a decent career, fit volunteering in when I can, have kids who are generally lovely. DH probably takes the brunt of my "downs".
I do take on a lot, and I'm not always good at recognising what's too much. I do get a bit "obsessed" by whatever the latest project is, throw everything at it and then generally burn out a few months later and crash.
This is what makes me think it's maybe bipolar, as I recognise the "hypomanic" state on that front. I can't do things by halves, very "all or nothing" whether it's fitness regimes, or whatever.
I have periods where I want to hide from the world and I have periods where I am the outgoing "fun one". This is generally when I get told I was "on good form" etc.
I've managed to drag myself through it all so far but at this stage of my life it's getting tougher - young kids, main breadwinner, elderly parents and in-laws in ill-health, etc. More demands being made on me and I need to be able to function. I'm also highly conscious that I don't want to negatively impact my kids.
I have had suicidal ideation, and detailed plans but I wouldn't go through with them as I couldn't do that to my kids. My cousin, mentioned above, had his mother die young. Not that I am saying there is a link between that and his behaviour towards me, but generally a lot of his issues stemmed from that.
I'm fortunate to have lots of friends, though I wouldn't say my support network is that great. I "put on my best self" for friends - I spend a lot of time people-pleasing, which is something I am working on (again, thanks to the therapy). I don't want to get into all the details in RL when I'm struggling, if I could say, "I have [this label]" it feels like it would be easier, somehow?
I do feel isolated, and the counselling has been useful in that I can go there and dump everything out on someone who is paid to listen and I don't need to worry about what they think of me/are they getting bored etc. I'm waiting on an NHS referral at the moment, but not holding my breath.
Apologies for the length of the post. I guess what I am asking is, based on all this info, and bearing in mind I rarely see the same GP twice, in my follow-up appointment next week to see if I'm fit for work (I better bloody had be!) do I, and if so how do I, raise this with them? Or do I just carry on as is, is a diagnosis actually going to be helpful?
I'm going out now (sorry) but it's taken me a lot longer to write this post than I expected, and if I don't post now I'll chicken out and delete it. Thanks in advance for your help.
Yes I think its worth discusding your concerns with your GP, I doubt they will diagnose you but can sign post you to the relevant services. Also most mental health teams will accept self referals though the waot will probably be long if you are not currently in crisis. Canbyou ask for a specific GP when you make your appointments to get some consistancy?
No expert here, but a friend of mine became bipolar and the mania part of it ended up in her being sectioned for a couple of weeks, quite distinct from being on good form.
It is hard that you are keeping it all and just using the counsellor to avoid saying anything to the people who love you. I understand exactly why you are doing this, but I think you probably need a lot more from counselling than that.
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