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I have Borderline personality disorder AMA

23 replies

DaniCam89 · 11/07/2018 12:50

I have Borderline personality disorder (BPD) also known as Emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD)
I manage my symptoms well so dont be afraid to ask me anything!

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AjasLipstick · 11/07/2018 13:09

Do you take medication?

DaniCam89 · 11/07/2018 13:23

I have taken a variety of anti depressants in the past. None helped so have been trying therapies. Tried counselling, CBT and now undertaking schema therapy with a psychologist every fortnight. X

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KatieMoragsMum · 11/07/2018 13:25

So do I. DBT was life changing. Have you done it?

DaniCam89 · 11/07/2018 13:26

Nope but CBT and mindfulness didn't work for me and I understand they are similar principles to DBT? I'm glad it worked for you though that's amazing 😁 Are your symptoms more manageable now?

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KirstenRaymonde · 11/07/2018 13:30

I’ve been thinking about starting the same AMA. Might chime in with answers if you don’t mind?

I don’t take regular medication anymore though I was on lots for many years, but I have Valium for occasional use as I need it.

I did the starting sessions for DBT many years ago but decided not to do it, I have done CBT and some other counselling in the past.

LuMarie · 11/07/2018 13:34

Do you find the name of the condition appropriate?

There's something about it that makes me feel it's a bit judgemental - as if it's a comment on the person's personality!

I know nothing about it I should say, so that's from the view of outside, we all deal with labels and they are often uncomfortable or unwelcome, this one just from the name does give me pause. I wonder if there are better descriptions that seem less personal!

Or perhaps from a position of knowledge, it's fine?

literallydumbfounded · 11/07/2018 13:35

What age were you when you thought/realised something wasn't right? Or did someone point it out to you?
What are the symptoms? Is it like switching moods? Where you are aware your mood/personality is different but you are unable to control it?

LauraMipsum · 11/07/2018 13:38

How would you support a family member with BPD, particularly if they sabotage relationships?

DaniCam89 · 11/07/2018 13:44

I don't think Borderline really captures what my symptoms are as I am no where near psychosis I think. Emotionally unstable has a ring of truth to it for me as I do struggle with managing my emotions. It's a difficult one as I agree it is a bit of a scary, serious diagnosis that initially made me feel broken and like my personality was wrong but through schema therapy I understand that it's the deep routed patterns of thought and behaviour that's my "personality disorder" not my character if that makes sense?

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DaniCam89 · 11/07/2018 13:48

I was about 13 when I knew something wasn't right. I used to self harm a lot as I have this constant feeling of being numb and empty and my way of coping was to hurt myself to feel something. I had a traumatic childhood so initially the trauma masked my diagnosis.
Symptoms wise I'm very typical of the diagnosis. I get upset, angry and euphoric all within a short period of time to silly things that trigger me. But i feel empty and numb a lot of the time. I don't trust people and think the worse most if the time. My thoughts are very black and white/ good and bad. Relationship wise I expect people to hurt or leave me so either push them away first or try desperately to keep them happy.

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DaniCam89 · 11/07/2018 13:54

I'm very bad at sabotaging relationships. Everyone reacts differently but for me I need boundaries and reassurance.
My boyfriend makes me feel loved, soothes me when I'm angry or upset but still gives me limits like I can't verbally bash him or storm away. It's taken a while for me to trust that he won't hurt or leave me but I also know his limits which even when I'm really bad helps me stop taking things too far.
When your loves one is calm and feeling ok have a talk about what causes their reactions and assure them you love them and just want to help. Try to be reassuring but assertive that it hurts you when they shout at you (for example) so youd rather agree another way of them releasing the anger. I know people with BPD are tough but we honestly love you more strongly that any negative emotions we show.

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DaniCam89 · 11/07/2018 13:55

Sorry I don't know how to tag people in that have asked the questions so am just copying and pasting names x

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LuMarie · 11/07/2018 14:50

Thank you for the reply.

Yes, the name does seem to be a comment on a personality, that's why I'd hold back from using it. I'm glad you are able to understand and separate who you are and how valid you are from a name.

The things you describe with emotions, it all sounds quite standard for many people! With the condition, is it that you have worries and anxieties with no reason such as childhood or past experience etc? Or is it much more extreme and controlling of your thoughts than would be typical?

I understand what you are saying about emotions and managing them . Is that really the centre of it for you? Having what are regular emotions, but they are maybe stronger, disproportionate and more distressing to you/have a stronger effect on you in the case of feeling very up, so they can get out of control and take over your thoughts and behaviour?

I wonder how some of this is different to anxiety, or bipolar?

I'm sorry for the questions, I just think it's good to know and understand from the view of someone who can really explain, then it's a way to develop and understanding to be supportive/compassionate/impressed towards people dealing with any sort of condition or experience, to make things comfortable and better!

DaniCam89 · 11/07/2018 15:11

Hi LuMarie, it's refreshing to answer there's questions so keep them coming. My BPD has developed due to "complex trauma" I experienced in childhood which is pretty common for personality disorders. As I understand it because I was always in a state of fear, surrounded by extreme violence with abusive role models I never developed a secure attachment or learned how to regulate my emotions or self soothe in a healthy way. So my emotions are often disproportionate to the trigger.

The key difference is that bipolar is biological whilst mine is ingrained through negative experience and environment. My violent upbringing alongside unmet needs has caused me to develop negative schemas such as "I can't trust anyone they will hurt me" and also caused a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms such as feeling empty or disassosiating. In my schema therapy I'm basically learning how to undo the negative thoughts and beliefs by identifying where they come from and working out how a healthy person would of done it. Hope this answers your questions x

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LuMarie · 11/07/2018 17:19

That's really interesting @DaniCam89 , thank you for explaining.

I'm so sorry to hear of what you've been through, but so happy to hear that you moving forward and living in a healthy and positive way with therapy and living your life.

The symptoms you describe do sound like things that many people develop through experiences, anxiety from being in a state of fear and not able to trust after being let down, but maybe more severe and challenging for anyone who has developed these due to childhood as that is some serious trauma to go through when in such a shaping and influential time. I guess that means it's so much more work for you to create and build yourself, whilst undoing the difficult thought patterns that you've developed and are making life challenging for you now. Ruin is the path to destruction though I suppose, if you can develop your thinking to escape the negative patterns you then have the blank canvas of yourself to paint on. You should be proud of yourself, when you say learning to respond as a healthy person would, know that there are many people who don't qualify for any diagnosis, but do not respond in the most healthy or positive ways to all situations. In fact I think no one really does this! All the self care things were are supposed to do to keep ourselves as well as possible exist for these reasons, but I don't know anyone who is Buddhist monk peace with humanity good response at all times, most humans are just not that way. Somewhere in there, due to some experience or another or just the way the person is, we all have things we do, ways we respond and think that are not best for us. In that sense, because you are so conscious and working on these things, you my well be healthier in the way you live than someone without a condition. You are doing this through your own work and humility though, I am so very impressed.

I do think even more now that the name of the condition is a bit of a misnomer! I understand the distinction you describe between character and personality in the sense it is used. As if character is who you truly are, personality is the way you respond to the world. IT's interesting, personality is fluid in that case, so if we develop and work on our responses, we develop our personalities. I wouldn't have known that distinction if you hadn't explained it to me that way, I just felt that the name was a bit off. I think often names of conditions are or have been created in a sterile way, without thought for the impact of a name on a person. Really if most often the condition develops as a result of lengthy childhood trauma, the making it "personal" part seems a bit misleading. It's not you, it's these very understandably traumatic and hurtful set of experiences.

I'm so happy that you both are able to explain this to me and to feel the difference for yourself.

Did something happen to lead to you getting diagnosis and so access to helpful treatment, or did you recognise that you recognise that you weren't doing or feeling as well as you should or could?

I know a lot more about PTSD, in that case it is serious and lengthy trauma, being in a state of fear of physical trauma to self or another or actually experiencing is it is involved is involved, but without the missing early care givers and the difficulties bonding because this and the self soothing wasn't developed. Do you see parallels with PTSD?

I am incredibly impressed with you I have to say, the childhood experiences you mention are just heartbreaking to imagine, I'm so happy to hear that you haven't been lost to those and instead you are working on healing and shaping who you are. No doubt you are so incredibly deserving of the opportunities to do this and all the support you should have had and deserved as a child. I hope the world is kind to you now, as you work through this?

Much love

RyanStartedTheFire · 11/07/2018 17:24

How far are you into the BPD journey? I have BPD too but am freshly diagnosed and awaiting further treatment.

DaniCam89 · 12/07/2018 13:59

Thank you for your kind words. I left home at 15 and moved in to a scatter flat with my sister. My life has had several ups and down since then but I now have a fantastic support network of friends and a wonderful, understanding boyfriend to help me. I still have many inner battles and a lot of personal work to do with my psychologist to recover but feel I'm getting there. I work as a youth worker and am studying to be a psychologist so hoping my experiences have helped me to support others and will allow me to have a positive impact on mental health and personality disorders awareness.
It was my self harm and violent outbursts that led me to seek help. I had physically attacked my ex boyfriend and couldn't bare harming anyone again. There are many similarities between PTSD or complex trauma as my psychologist calls it however, not everyone who suffers trauma develops a personality disorder and many people with personality disorders haven't experienced trauma.
Thank you for your support. My instinct to not trust, test relationships and react angrily is still there but I am surrounded by wonderful, understanding people who love me and help me through it x

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DaniCam89 · 12/07/2018 14:41

I was diagnosed at around 18 after several other initial diagnosis. Since then I engaged with services on/ off over the past 10 years. I've tried counselling, CBT and mindfulness and am currently undertaking schema therapy which seems to be the best fit for me I think.
Don't let all the information on BPD overwhelm you, most of it is outdated and are often extreme generalisations. Everyone is different and the hardest thing is to accept what you need help with without thinking you are broken or undeserving of love and support. Be honest with your psychiatrist and other professionals and accept their help without getting defensive or upset. That's been the biggest development in my treatment over the past couple years. I can accept help and talk openly about my issues without fear of judgement or ulterior motives.
Good luck in your treatment x

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MrsChuckBass · 13/07/2018 19:19

I'm a student mh nurse and lots of qualified staff say 'oh another PD' how do you find services treat you? Sorry if that's upsetting I'm just interested to see the clients side of it.
Do you tell your friends your diagnosis? If so how did they react?

thinkingaboutfostering · 13/07/2018 19:25

What would you say to someone who thinks they might have bpd but currently has no diagnosis beyond depression and anxiety?

Isabella1978 · 13/07/2018 19:47

My BPD is different to most as it has not been caused by childhood trauma, it just appears that I am made this way!

KirstenRaymonde · 14/07/2018 08:18

Mine also isn’t caused by childhood trauma, for me it’s more like autism - just the way I am.

KirstenRaymonde · 14/07/2018 08:40

Do you find the name of the condition appropriate?

Originally it was meant to be the ‘borderline of psychosis and neurosis’ which actually makes quite a lot of sense to me sometimes actually! Though it’s probably not accurate for most people. I much prefer Borderline to the new name Emotionally Unstable PD which I think is bloody awful.

What age were you when you thought/realised something wasn't right? Or did someone point it out to you? I was always a weird kid! Happy but quirky. I was about 12 when full on mental illness started, first depression and then highs. It was very clear, my moods were extreme and dangerous lasting long periods of time. I was under CAMHS from 13, and spent a lot of time in inpatient care. My diagnosis was originally bipolar, but they did say at the time that as I aged and my brain stopped developing it could change, which it did.

What are the symptoms? Is it like switching moods? Where you are aware your mood/personality is different but you are unable to control it?

I suffered with extreme and fast changing moods for years, spending a lot of time in hospital and on heavy medication, but now I’m mostly functioning and the personality bits are the most obvious and impactful.

I find it extremely hard to feel loved and safe. My partner is wonderful, really one of the good guys, but I feel like I’m being abandoned while he’s literally there with me being nice. It’s very hard to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced it, but for me it’s probably the worst bit now. I can’t relax ever.

I self harmed quite badly for about a decade, but no longer do. Self harm is very common in people with BPD. As is substance abuse, reckless/compulsive sex and impulsive behaviour, all of which I’ve experienced in spades and have had lasting repurcussions. It’s anything to fill the hole inside or try to balance you out.

I feel like everyone secretly hates me and thinks I’m awful and annoying all the time, although there’s no evidence of that. I have lots of good friends. If someone doesn’t answer my text I feel like they hate me. But I’ve learned to check and balance myself so no one really sees how I feel, I know I’m being irrational but it doesn’t stop the feelings. Thing is the ‘real me’ is actually very chilled and confident, the BPD is like an itch underneath always bothering me when I’m trying to just live my life. My personality is quite contradictory really.

My tolerance for stress is very low. I can get upset very quickly for something very small, like a glass smashing or something I’m cooking going wrong. I know it’s minor really but it’s like lava bubbling up inside me. Conversely, I’m actually very good in a big crisis, it’s just small things I can’t cope with. I’m getting better though. It’s like any behavioural disorder (which is what BPD is for me, bad wiring) and I’m learning strategies to cope.

This is only quite a brief explanation but this post is already very long, there’s a lot more I could say.

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