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Hello. I live way out in the boonies of SE Texas where its very hard to get psychotherapy without having to drive 150 mile round trip each week. I have a min wage part time job that just dont make enough to pay for the gas or the fee to see a counselor. Ive been diagnosed bi polar I and borderline personality disorder. Im taking Lexapro for the depression and stopped taking the Rispadol two months ago. Didnt like the way it made me feel. I really need help in learning how to deal with BPD, learn how to communicate, learn how to love, learn how to express myself,ect...... So to get myself started Im gonna read from cover to cover Borderline Personality Disorder for Dummies. Then hopefully get some insight on how to reprogram myself into becoming a better person. If you have any insight on how to help me it would be greatly apprietiated. Thank you!

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Hello Kimberlie,

Several years ago I had a breakdown and I was sort of out in the boonies there too. My own access to professionals was limited so I had to make do with what I could get independently get my hands on. I do often tell people, just because you can't get in to see a professional (or afford one) that doesn't mean you have no options. There is much that a person can do on their own by utilizing:

- Free articles on the internet.

- Books and workbooks, available through your local library or, if you can afford it, for a fee from a book seller.

- Online support groups, or, if your community offers them and you feel comfortable making use of them, face-to-face support groups.

- Peers. Specifically other people who have undergone the same or similar experiences. Peers are often in the best position to offer empathy and understanding as well as coping skills, tricks and insights they have learned in the process of their own recoveries.

- Other professionals. Quite often, people feel they need to see a psychiatrist and while that might be a good idea, it's a bit impractical for those who don't have access to one or can't afford their services. GPs and occasionally, nurse-practioners can also write prescriptions and there are a variety of therapists out there that can be utilized.

- Learn to rethink what therapy is. To me, therapy is anything that helps. That can include everything from singing in the shower to committing to psychoanalysis. I often encourage people to create their own therapeutic toolboxes and toss into it, everything that helps. Doing so increases the odds that you'll be able to find a tool that helps you when you need it.

- You noted you are on medication so I would encourage you to learn about it. rxlist.com and askapatient.com are two sites I often recommend to others as a means of rounding out their knowledge regarding the medications they are making use of.

- Anti-depressants have been associated with triggering manic states for some people -- that doesn't mean you should come off yours, just be aware of it and alert to the possibility. Abrupt withdrawal from anti-psychotics are also associated with a re-triggering of symptoms so it will be to your benefit to research that as well. A decent search engine should be able to point you in the direction of plenty of articles regarding safe withdrawal from anti-psychotics. Usually, it's best to step down very slow while keeping an alert eye to the resurgence of symptoms that you've found to be challenging or difficult with in the past.

- Don't overlook the importance of the basics: Good sleep, good nutrition, good friends, good environments.

- I would encourage you to seek out a professional caregiver you do feel comfortable working with just so that you have one in the event that you need one. Sometimes, even in small communities, people might get lucky enough to discover a real gem in the next town or some such thing.

Hopefully there's a few ideas there you can follow up on. Best of luck with your recovery.

~ Namaste

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