Jump to content
Mental Support Community

BPD question


amberlyn
 Share

Recommended Posts

I don't really know how to start this one off ...

Well, um, okay .. I had a friend that had borderline personality disorder. I met her last year and at that point, I had never even heard of BPD. She explained to me what it was and my immediate first thought was "well that's me!" I didn't think anything more of it though, and moved on.

Recently, I've been thinking more & more about my numerous mental issues. I'm moving soon and when I move, I'm going to start seeing a psych again. One of the things I've thought about was talking to him/her about BPD ... learning more about it, how it can affect someone, and see about testing (if there is any) for it. From what I've read from the DSM-IV, it describes me. On the other hand, some of it could be explained by my bipolar disorder, or my eating disorder, or my separation anxiety. However, I also read (online, so I don't know how true this is) that BPD frequently co-occurs with eating disorders, mood disorders, substance-related disorders, and PTSD - all of which I have.

Would it even be worth talking to a doctor about? Maybe I'm not bipolar at all, maybe it's just BPD. Maybe I don't have BPD. I guess I'm curious if talking to a dr would change anything. Say I get dx'd with BPD ... would they put me on more meds? Would it help explain some of (what I consider) "my craziness?" What would be the benefits, if any, to talking to a dr about it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don’t see any harm in having a chat about it. If nothing else it’ll put your mind at ease. And that would be so much better than coming back to it every couple of years and wondering if you should ask someone about it - like I did. Just ask for some information on it. If the person is a decent therapist they won’t mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Rose. I ended up talking to a friend of mine a bit ago about it all. She said that with my symptoms (I went into more detail with her), I should definitely talk to a therapist, counselor, psych - anyone! I guess I really do need help; I'm more sick than I realized. I'm just so tired of continuing to add medical issues & labels to myself. I'm tired of the medication, the limitations, etc. (I also have some physical health problems) It's just very overwhelming and I don't want to add to it if it's unnecessary.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sure that it's not as bad as I make it out to be ... I'm just so tired of feeling like I'm so sick and incapable of functioning on my own. I recently had back surgery on top of my other mental illnesses. I feel less than human right now ... I feel very ... I'm not sure what the right word is. I just feel like this many things should NOT be wrong with one person! It's frustrating, and by looking deeper into this formerly unmentionable issues, I know that I'm going to become even more overwhelmed. Being overwhelmed scares me even more these days than it used to...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I live with my boyfriend. He's very ... understanding (as much as possible) to my circumstances and all of my mental issues. He likes trying to help me when he can, and I'm grateful when he can. Sometimes he can be a good distraction & sometimes it's good to talk about what's going on. But sometimes ... I need someone to help me feel better, and he has NO idea what to say. I don't blame him for that but it can be frustrating.

I have a very close girl friend that generally knows how to make me feel better. I can usually call her up and go hang out with her. That helps most of the time.

Right now, though, I feel like I need to talk about what's going on - but I have severe trust & abandonment issues. I'm scared to talk to those even closest to me. That's what scares me the most. I can't talk about my fears and anxiety because I'm scared of losing those closest to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi there,

I just wanted to say that their is a lot of overlap o f behaviors seen between mental health disorders. I think if this is a concern for you in regards to borderline personality , it is ok to ask your dr. about it or therapist. It is better to talk to them , than to try and seld guess or diagnose.

I have had the diagnoses of BPD for several yrs. Many of my friends have had bi polar disorder .I always thought how interesting it is how we get along so well .

I think that the 2 are very different from each other, but can share overlaping behaviors .

With BPD their is no specific medications to treat it. However, often times people do have co morbid disorders which is treated with meds. For me it is clinical depression as well, among a few other struggles.

Talk to your Dr. about this , and best wishes to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good morning Amberlyn,

All of these labels and diagnostic categories is enough to drive one to develop additional ones-- I'm so sorry that you're having to go thru this overwhelming and confusing experience. The sad part part is that you don't ever have a real choice on these matters... none of us actually do. My son struggles with ADHD combined, depression and anxiety disorder, which is painful to watch, especially when I'm helpless on the sidelines some days.

Mscat is right tho, many of the conditions present in one diagnosis co-occur in another. I spend my days conducting evaluations and seeing individuals with a persistent and severe mental illness, and can quickly tell you that our labels are not as clear-cut as a bone fracture, torn minicus or deep cut-- it's as if we're still in our infancy as a profession.

Nonetheless, I've found that just for now, let's treat these as labels, set them aside, and begin looking at your real life concerns, we can work with this much better.

In reading your thread it looks like there are several issues, and usually when folks come to us with this array of concerns we ask them to consolidate everything to create a more manageable starting point. This helps them focus and reduces their feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed and stress, and helps us getter a better handle of the issues.

Amberlyn, can you list your top 7 concerns and then rank order them on a scale of 1 (low priority and minimal stress) to 10 (extremely high priority and stressful) so that we can see what is most distressing and pressing to you, and also so that you can get a sense of what you’re really facing. For example, your list might look like this:

Problem area……………Scale of 1- 10

Feeling extremely anxious...… 6

Feeling Depressed………...………7

Extreme shifts in mood…....….9

Overwhelmed..................….. 4

Etc.

Etc.

Don't write down your diagnosis, just what symptoms of problems are most bothersome and debilitating for now. Once the list is complete, we can see where everything stands and also we may be able to create connections between issues so that one solution may address 2-3 concerns at a time. There will be a ton of hard homework for you so I hope you’re up to the task, no matter how painful and distasteful the assignments may be at first. Once you’ve experienced a small amount of success, then you’ll be able to tackle other issues. The issie here is to address problems as they occur, those are very real, the lables only help understand them better (sometimes???)

Given how long you’ve been experiencing these life problems (sorry, can’t think of a better word for it right now—no morning coffee yet), it may take awhile to see some progress, but just be patient with us and let’s see how far we can get using this forum.

Finally, I completely agree with Bluerose and MScat, do see a competent professional (psychologist or psychiatrist only--- not a social worker, counselor or other professional not trained specifically to diagnose conditions: you can afterwards find a competent counselor or social worker or anyone to help) for a clearer diagnostic workup.

Good luck and please write back,

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your support on here. I guess I'm more scared than I realized, but you all are helping me feel more at ease. I was going to wait until I moved (in a few weeks) to find a psych (I have seen one in too long), but I think I can make an appointment sooner. Driving 45 minutes for a dr appt ONE TIME won't hurt me. I think I really need to see a dr sooner rather than later.

Alright, well I'm going to do my list of top 7 concerns. Oh, and just so you know, I'm going to put "day sleepwalking" on this list. What I refer to day sleepwalking is when I have periods of not really feeling like myself. I feel disconnected. I can see my arms and legs moving, can hear my voice, and can tell you everything that's going on ... I just don't feel like I'm doing any of it. Also, this is set up for how I've been doing over the past month or so ... after time, the numbers will change.

Problem Area Scale

Feeling depressed ............................ 7

Feeling manic .................................. 4

Feeling anxious/anxiety attacks .......... 8

Feeling overwhelmed ......................... 9

Day sleepwalking .............................. 5

Visual/auditory hallucinations .............. 3

Sudden, inappropriate emotion shifts .... 6

Again, thank you all for your help & support.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your support on here. I guess I'm more scared than I realized, but you all are helping me feel more at ease. I was going to wait until I moved (in a few weeks) to find a psych (I have seen one in too long), but I think I can make an appointment sooner. Driving 45 minutes for a dr appt ONE TIME won't hurt me. I think I really need to see a dr sooner rather than later.

Alright, well I'm going to do my list of top 7 concerns. Oh, and just so you know, I'm going to put "day sleepwalking" on this list. What I refer to day sleepwalking is when I have periods of not really feeling like myself. I feel disconnected. I can see my arms and legs moving, can hear my voice, and can tell you everything that's going on ... I just don't feel like I'm doing any of it. Also, this is set up for how I've been doing over the past month or so ... after time, the numbers will change.

Problem Area Scale

Feeling depressed ............................ 7

Feeling manic .................................. 4

Feeling anxious/anxiety attacks .......... 8

Feeling overwhelmed ......................... 9

Day sleepwalking .............................. 5

Visual/auditory hallucinations .............. 3

Sudden, inappropriate emotion shifts .... 6

Again, thank you all for your help & support.

I think itis great that your going to see someone soon about these things . I am impressed on your scale , and never would have thought of doing something like that for myself.

What you have written , are very much what I deal with on a daily basis , my eyes nearly popped out of my head.

The day sleepwalking , it is called Dissocition , sorry i spelled it wrong. I have this most of the time, and know it well , it is horibble.

I hope that when you do go in for your appointment this will help your DR. understand what you are struggling with and is your primary concerns.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi again Amberlyn,

Thanks so much for the information you provided. It really does look like your struggling with several severe issues, and interestingly, most are interrelated. My heart does go out to you and i think many of us feel such compassion and sensitivity to what you're experiencing.

The 2nd part of this exercise is for you to describe your day. On average, hour by hour, what do you typically do? This will help me see how you spend your days.

The next step will be to begin replicating situations that increase self mastery and self empowerment. this will be a bit trickier via the internet, but let;s see how far we can get. MSCat is right, all of your posts can be very helpful for your MD visit. I often tell my clients to do all of this before our next visit-- it's an excellent exercise for getting perspective and learning how to identify what can and can't be managed and what should and shouldn't be addressed.

6-7AM:

7=8AM:

8-9AM:

As you're doing your times, look carefully at moments in which certain activities or in-activities trigger feelings of depression or anxiety or even hallucinations. Look very carefully at what exactly is happening that decreases feelings of stress and times/events/activities in which stress is low and yo feel more self connected and in control (positive). What we're looking for are 2 sets of triggers- those that are distressing and lead to decompensation and those that give you strength and positive feelings. So beneath each time period, describe what happens that triggers b=negativity or positive emotions.

Finally. MScat is right, this can all be very helpful for your MD visit: I generally ask my clients to do this before our 1st appointment.

Please write back in. One last piece, given this medium, there's only so much that can be done, bt we can hopefully make enough difference to reduce some or much of your distress and increase your feelings of being in control.

Certainly, seeing an MD is critical, but we can serve as an empowering supplement to what you do at home.

Thanks so much for being so open, honest, patient and understanding.

David

PS: This is an excellent exercise for gaining self control and managing one's life. If anyone else wants to join us, please do so and let us know how it's going with you also. Write in and we can all help each other thru this effective process for self management -- especially if you feel your life is rebounding or careening out of control.

Edited by David O
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you guys so much for your support with all of this. It's been very hard & I haven't really been able to talk to many people about it. I haven't even talked to my boyfriend about it yet but a good friend told me that I should wait until I can have guidance from a professional (not just help from a friend) because I don't know how to talk to him about all of this. Don't know where I'd be without you all!

By the way, MScat, I never realized that the "day sleepwalking" was dissociation! All I really know about dissociation are the two extreme ends: either a) you're zoning out (and everyone experiences this sometimes) or ;) you dissociate so intensely and so often that you split (thanks to my research & knowledge of DID). I didn't realize that there was really any in between. Thanks!

A typical day for me is going to be difficult to do on here, mostly because the past three weeks have been very unusual for me. I had back surgery three weeks ago, so I'm not working .. or do much of anything. Mainly, during the day I sit on the computer, watch movies, maybe go run errands. Then at night, I either stay at home with my boyfriend, stay home by myself (when he goes to a friend's house) or I go with him to his friend's house. This is the best I can do for my recent days:

Morning: Computer, TV, books *not alone*

- Generally calm, little if any anxiety

Afternoon: Chores, errands *possible alone for short time periods*

- Anxiety up but usually not debilitating, some hallucinations or dissociation

Evening: Friend's house, or home

- If at a friend's house: some anxiety if I'm not really socializing, little dissociation

- If at home with boyfriend: some anxiety but usually manageable by talking to him (zoning out into the TV is NOT good for me; my emotions/anxiety hit me stronger when zoning out)

- If at home alone: severe anxiety, usually anxiety attack, easy to dissociate, usually auditory hallucinations that sound very real & close (not just thinking you hear something in the living room when lying down to go to sleep)

I hope the information that I could give is beneficial. I'm in a different situation now (not working like I have been, limited on what I can do, not able to do things for myself) than I was a month ago. But things have been getting worse since surgery. Oh, and when I was working, I would dissociate almost every day at some point at work. It wasn't a stressful job so I really don't know why that would happen.

And I also wanted to mention that if I'm with people, I can usually keep my anxiety hidden from others. I don't like people knowing about my anxiety & rarely have an anxiety attack in front of others (unless it's someone REALLY close to me). Just because I don't have a panic attack doesn't mean that I'm not fighting it though. Hope that makes sense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like to ask you a few questions.

Does it feel like when you dissociate , you can see yourself moving, and doing things , however , you are looking at yourself from the outside? As if you are seeing your body go through the motions , but cannot feel anything? It is like your detatched from your own body? Their may be also a feeling of unrealness , that at times can lead into panic attacks , because it is scary .

It comes on stronger when stressed , or are alone , because their is nobody to verify that you have not disapeared?

Their are degrees of a dissociative disorder, not just those 2 that have been described. A lot of times people with PTSD struggle with dissociative disorder. It is actually a way for people too cope with trauma. We block it out enough to get through the traumatic event. People who experience major trauma will describe it like as if it were a dream, an unreal experience. Our way of survival.

It becomes more of a problem though , when a person continues to dissociate , more and more .

my first experience with dissociation that I remember was shortly after being raped. I did not tell anybody what happened, then shortly afterwards I experienced dissociative eposoides. It scared me badly . I was just 16yrs old .

now , at 41yrs old , I struggle with these eposoides off and on , esp. during times of stress, even if I am not aware that I am stressed I become numb , unreal , detatched , and so disconected I just see that I am moving and going through the motions , without any self awareness, and feelings. SOmetimes it is unbearable , and I can't function. my brother helps me , because I personally freeze up , unable to continue. it happens when I am overwhelmed , and feel unsafe . Usually around people , a crowded store, is just way too much for me .

Back to you , I am certain that with the list of exercises you have done will help you when you see your DR. or therapist. I know it will . That way you can start to feel better , and feel more under control .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MScat,

No, I don't feel like I'm looking at myself from the outside. Actually, it's more like I'm trapped inside. It's exactly like what you described, "seeing your body going through the motions, but cannot feel anything," except that I'm trapped within my body. It also kind of happens if I watch TV for too long. If I don't pay attention to watch is going on around me for an extended period, then the lines of reality & what's going on in a TV show seem to blur.... not that the TV show seems real, but that everything else does not.

I'm not sure why it happens more when I'm stressed or alone. I think it's just because it's easier. It's a way to not have to deal with anything ... sometimes, I honestly enjoy it. I don't have to feel anything. But if people are around, then usually I'm okay. I keep myself focused on conversations & activities. I'm 'required' to be here.

I did know that dissociation is classified as a coping mechanism. And I guess that I have certainly had the trauma to explain it. I still deal with flashbacks, night terrors, avoidance of triggers, blocked memories, et cetera.

Thanks for the support ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...