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I have just been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder

(19 Posts)
Nipplesunited Tue 04-Jul-17 15:00:27

I dont know how to feel about it.
I can relate to it a lot, obviously.

The thing that bothers me the most right now are relationships.
I have struggled with them and never understood why. Now i see why, but am i basically doomed in all relationships?

As much as i love isolation, it does get lonely from time to time. How do you keep friends or partners when you shut yourself down sometimes or fail to understand them properly and your emotions spiral?

I have currently deleted facebook messenger, i am shutting myself off at work - keeping talking to a bare minimum where as other times i cant stop talking.

I am sick and tired of feeling suicidal or thinking about suicide when i cant handle stress or any negative emotion or situation. My life is filled with stress which is out of my control so these thoughts are common.

What can i do? I am receiving help, i was put on mood disorder meds before my diagnosis since anti depressants werent helping and BPD was suspected.
They dont seem to be working other than stopping my impulsivity on spending sprees.
They said it may take a few more weeks before its fully in my system, but i heard that time and time again with anti depressants. They never helped.
What if i am untreatable?

BettyInc Tue 04-Jul-17 20:50:40

I have BPD and have a lifetime of unstable relationships behind me. My mental health is still erratic. However, I have a very happy, healthy and stable marriage so don't lose hope.

DBT is the best answer for BPD- see if you can get it?

I also recommend a book called 'the buddha and the borderline'. Great read.

SummerKelly Tue 04-Jul-17 21:10:58

I think I used to have BPD though never diagnosed but definitely met the criteria (I'm a bit older and mental health services were even worse than they are now).

The things that have helped me are lots of reading about stuff, including Buddhism and happiness, which has helped me better understand choices I can make; yoga and physical exercise in general; playing music; stopping drinking; and hanging around with people who were much more sorted who I wanted to be more like.

Most of my relationships have been really stormy and I'm on my own now, but I did have a very positive relationship with someone for a few years, which helped me to actually feel understood. I think the other big shift for me was catching myself "black and white thinking" and realising what was true for me wasn't necessarily true for other people. I still struggle sometimes with the all or nothing stuff but at least I recognise it now.

I haven't had DBT but I am having EMDR to cope with childhood trauma. I think what I learned too is that a lot of stuff relating to BPD is happening at an emotional level that isn't controlled by rational thought, so you need a therapist that understands that, I'm not sure all do. I was told many times to just stop self harming and I felt a failure because I couldn't but now I understand at some point it was an understandable response to something that happened to me but it just got wired in to my emotions. I don't self harm any more but not because of anything particular, just all the things I mentioned above. I think I'm pretty sorted now so there is hope, and academic research shows that people with BPD can get better.

Nipplesunited Wed 05-Jul-17 07:56:01

Thank you for sharing with me.
Im currently waiting for a CPN so hopefully i will get DBT. I know the last time i was having great difficulty with my MH. My CPN then tried DBT, although there was no diagnosis at that time and he tried to claim it was CBT. The information he left behind had both CBT and DBT on either side. So i could see the stuff we were doing was DBT lol.

It is really good to hear that you are in a stable relationship betty.

Kelly - is EMDR good? I think the worst people can do is tell you to just stop self harming. I think if it was as easy as that there would be no one doing it. As you say, it makes you feel like a failure and just deepens those negative feelings which starts the cycle off all over again. I too dont really self harm anymore. At my darkest times it is hard to fight the thoughts, and sometimes i just cant. Its not very often i cant fight them.
It does give me hope to hear that you no longer fit the criteria. I have read a lot about how people think it is uncurable, and then a lot about how people can get better. Only that was never through actual peoples words and experiences - so thank you for giving me a real persons account of that.

Im not sure if i do think in black and white. I know its good and bad, but i cant recognise it in myself. It could be something i just havent noticed.

There is a situation currently where i no longer see someone in a positive light. Where my whole feelings around that person has completely shifted. Ive been wondering if that is it there?
I.can relate to that being proof of how i am sensitive enough to feel hated so easily, where as others would probably let it slide over them

QuiteLikely5 Wed 05-Jul-17 12:27:47

Op do you know what the differences are between social anxiety and BPD?

Or what has been the impact for you on friendships

SummerKelly Wed 05-Jul-17 13:16:51

EMDR, tbh I'm not entirely sure. I think it helps me go back to a difficult place fairly safely, but I can only do so much before my brain shuts down and I can't cope with any more, so it's a slow process, and I can't always bear to do EMDR each session. Since starting therapy though I have found that I am better at stating my needs without getting emotional about it and feeling more secure about that.

Yeah the black and white / all or nothing thinking is like that for me - someone does something crap and instead of me thinking they are basically okay and no one's perfect I switch into thinking everything is crap with them and I'm going to cut them off etc. One little thing triggers an emotional flashback (which I never used to recognise as a flashback I thought it was all to do with whatever that person had done) and they switch into being all bad. I'm now better at recognising that people on the whole are doing the best that they can do in the situation that they are in - although that doesn't mean that they are the right person for me to be in a relationship with - but it doesn't mean they are totally evil because they do one little think I don't like!

I read a lot of stuff about the effects of trauma - I don't know whether this applies to you - trauma can have a really broad definition and is not necessarily a one off event - and I think there are lots of parallels with BPD, and it helped me understand that the way that I am is not my fault, it was likely to be partly genetic and partly what happened to me as a child, and because the emotional bit of the brain is not well linked with the cognitive bit of the brain, it's difficult to change it through thinking. That just took massive pressure off me because I used to pretend it didn't exist as far as possible and only think about it in crisis, but having that change of perspective allowed me to think about myself as a whole person more - it's a work in progress though! You have to build new neural pathways in your brain, which you can do through being with people who already have good neural pathways, and there is also evidence that things like yoga, and arts activities that you do with other people such as music and drama can help.

Nipplesunited Wed 05-Jul-17 14:13:42

Quitelikely - i dont understand the differences between social anxiety and bpd.
I have always struggled socially. I always worry about how people will perceive me. Perhaps that is me rejecting due to my possible black and white thinking(just thought of that).
I am also always expectant of people i allow close to me to either leave or hurt me. So its easier to not allow friendships to grow or at the minute..allow myself to have a relationship. I tried to have relationships but kept ending up in abusive ones, now i fear them too much as it confirms my thoughts of being hurt.

What is the difference between the two?

Summerkelly - that is a lot of great information. It helps me understand it a little better, especially how trauma can cause you to link other peoples behaviours with flashbacks, without being aware that youre doing that.
I have in the past been accused of comparing one partner with another - when i simply havent been, i have just recognjsed similar behaviours between the two and reacted. Then explained why i reacted and how it reminded me of the traumatic relationship i previously had. Maybe i was comparing but not intentionally. That thought was never in my head at the time. Maybe they were just the same as the previous relationship and made me feel i was comparing to deflect their actual awful behaviour.

As for emdr, it sounds interesting but scary at the same time.
How can you put yourself around people with good neural pathways if you cant put yourself around people to begin with, as is in my case.

Thank you for the suggestions on things that can be helpful

Nipplesunited Wed 05-Jul-17 14:18:29

Is this also a form of black and white thinking...

When i get too stressed i start thinking about ending my life, although i dont actually want to do that at the time of thinking, its just more of wishful thinking if that makes sense.
Then once ive calmed down i can be happy and thankful for life

SummerKelly Wed 05-Jul-17 19:29:15

Therapy is a good way of being with someone who can help you to develop the right neural pathways - I've read evidence that says that the relationship is the most important thing and not the style of therapy (although obviously any bad therapy focusing on the wrong things wouldn't be great!) Some of the people who have influenced me have been more acquaintances rather than actual friends or lovers. A basic rule for anything in life seems to be look for the people you most want to be like and spend time with them - this is the case for acquisition of skills too I think. And the converse is true - if you hang around with people with bad habits these will rub off onto you too!

It's a book about trauma really but I think a lot of the things in it are relevant to BPD - Bessel van der Kolk - the Body Keeps the Score helped me to understand the effect of my poor emotional management on my life and gives some suggestions about what works in changing things. I recognise that I am really defensive when things make me feel uncomfortable - I hate to use the word "trigger" as I think that has been overused and ridiculed, but that's exactly what it is, something triggers a warning in my brain that I am threatened and my emotions just rocket from nothing to extreme. I'm better now at catching this and telling myself it's my past talking. When it happens though you need time for all the adrenalin or cortisol or whatever it is to leave your body, which is why it's pointless trying to rationalise when you're feeling emotional, I've read that neuroscientists think that there is limited energy in the brain and if it's dealing with panic then it can't be dealing with thinking straight. Physical exercise is supposed to be good, as it's almost like you're reenacting flight or flight to discharge the energy.

Obviously I've learned a lot about all this - I think it's a developing area really. It's absolutely fascinating though and a complete revelation to me to put my behaviour into a context that I'd never understood before. There seems to be very little general knowledge about it, and I've found even medical / counselling professionals often don't get it. It's been a long slog for me though over many years, but without really any useful professional support or understanding to do it, it's just happened!

ProzacAndWinePlease Wed 05-Jul-17 22:22:13

For what it's worth, I have a BPD diagnosis, and a happy marriage for the past 14 years, so those two are definitely not mutually exclusive!

As PP have said, I think therapy is the key. I've had some by myself, and also with DH. Both have been invaluable.

QuiteLikely5 Wed 05-Jul-17 22:38:13

Op/Prozac and Summer did you manage to build up a friendship group?

ProzacAndWinePlease Wed 05-Jul-17 22:47:59

QuiteLikely5 For the most of my adult life I didn't really have friends (outside the online world). But now in my late 30s I do have a couple of good friends. It didn't just happen naturally to me, and required some very uncomfortable "putting myself out there" situations. But it's been worth it. I met like-minded people while volunteering, and we've all made a real effort to stay in touch since then, and grown gradually closer. I've also been talking to a counsellor a lot about all my worries around the friendships, and that's been very helpful, since I don't seem to have a very good natural idea of what's ok and normal in adult friendships.

winkywinkybumbum Thu 06-Jul-17 00:15:51

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say something and I hope it comes across in the way it's intended as I'm not very good with words myself.

Congratulations on your diagnosis. You now know why you are the way you are and why you have the quirks you do. This is the first step needed to be able to move forward. When you're in limbo and you don't know what is "wrong" with you, it is difficult to see any hope. With a diagnosis, it will give you something to grasp on to during those bad spells. You can say to yourself- This is my BPD. This is not my fault and I am doing all I can.

I 100% understand the wish to end your life. With my depression and anxiety, there are some days where I just don't want to exist but it's not that I want to die. Then when I'm okay I'm glad that I do exist and am thankful.

I've not read the full thread so please forgive me if I've totally cocked up with my words. Please know that they were typed with a kind heart from someone who is a little fucked up in the head

SummerKelly Thu 06-Jul-17 05:58:14

Quitelikely I've always been pretty good at having friends, though often ones just as fucked up as me (though not always I do have some well adjusted friends!) - I did have some big bust ups in my teens/20s though and fell out with people who didn't meet my high standards. But mainly my problems were in romantic relationships. I've also managed to build a career, which I think has helped massively. Sometimes I'm not sure how I managed that as I'd be binge drinking every night and when things were bad self harming in the toilets at work, but somehow I did.

Nipplesunited Thu 06-Jul-17 22:29:22

Thank you all for sharing and understanding.
It all sounds very positive, so that gives me hope. Especially around relationships. I mean relationships in general. I struggle with every one. My dad i am in touch with every day. He helps me with a lot of things like going out, shopping etc. I panic if i cant get through to him on the phone unless i know hes at work. Even then i sometimes still panic wondering if he has been caught up in an accident.
Friends i struggle to keep, it is a very stressful thing for me. My last friend who i let get close to me, and we were together everyday (i was with her how i am with my dad), she passed away 7 years ago and ive never let anyone in since.
My mum was my best friend and she passed away last year.
My children knock my stress levels through the roof so my mood swings per hour are erratic lol
Im going off on a bit here.

All of my romantic relationships have all been abusive towards me. I have never beem a drinker, but i put that down to my mum being an alcoholic. I did dabble with wees for a good few years, but put a stop to that when major paranoia kicked in.
I did self harm, but its rare now. I have attempted suicide earlier in life, which i can see was when i couldnt find an escape from the massive amounts of stress at that time.

I think you are all right in saying therapy is needed. My psychiatrist is going to try and push it forward for me...i dont know what i said to her to make her do that. Shes also sticking me in bereavement therapy.
I will also try and remember to remind myself that sometimes it is BPD and not me. That seems important

Sorry if i have gone on and on. Its hard work with it all floating around in your mind. Thank you for listening and all of your great advice

Nipplesunited Thu 06-Jul-17 22:29:53

Fuck me i didnt realise i had wrote that much 😶😶😶

Nipplesunited Thu 06-Jul-17 23:24:08

Just reading up on bpd and it makes out theyre abusive. It claims they lure people in with their niceness until.the honeymoon period ends and then the abusive side comes out.
That they also project.
Which makes it sound like those who have been in abusive relationship havent really, they have just projected their behaviour onto their partner.

Now i think that is just shit. The only thing i needed in relationships was reassurance, a fear they would hurt or leave me. Worrying about them cheating was sometimes an issue but that was mostly due to me finding 'reasons' for them to leave me.
Im not an angry person so never had shouting arguements. Anyone raising their voice makes me panic, so i would do anything to avoid it. Im not aggressive in the slightest, i avoid confrontation and that includes violence.

It kind of makes me feel like the abusive relationships i have been in are all void in the eyes of doctors, therapists etc and they would all believe that i was the abusive one

LadyDeadpool Thu 06-Jul-17 23:30:56

Can I recommend it's a really supportive community for those of us with BPD

Nipplesunited Thu 06-Jul-17 23:49:21

Thank you ladydeadpool. I will have a look and join

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