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PD and proud

devils daughter

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I’ve been in therapy, off and on, for almost 50 years, starting with anorexia nervosa as a teenager. I have been “willing” to “get better” for years. And I think I finally am. But it seems to me that the system has been woefully inefficient in offering effective help or making it easy for me to find what I needed.

Over the years I had taken a pencil and paper test on two occasions and scored positive for OCPD. On the first occasion the therapist did the assessment but we never included it in the treatment plan. On the second occasion the service center where I applied was looking only for people with BPD, for some of the early applications of Marsha Linehan’s DBT. With OCPD I didn’t qualify.

Thirteen years ago my wonderful, supportive husband died. The grief was unbearable, unfeelable even. No therapy or therapist that I tried could help very much. I cycled down and down and fell apart. Breaking down like that left me very dysfunctional. But some things I had read back in the 1960s had stayed with me and I thought that possibly the broken apart condition could be a place from which I could rebuild myself, whole.

I couldn’t do that by myself, though.

Eventually, after 10 years of much distress and therapeutic failures, I found a therapist who understood, more or less, what the broken apart experience was like for people. And after a year and a half with her I am getting much better.

But the experience of trying to find help, despite my willingness to look for it and do whatever was necessary, has led me to suspect that others may be having a similarly frustrating experience. Personality disorders can be extremely complex and difficult to treat. From my perspective as a client the notion that I can just find a therapist that I get along with well hasn’t worked for me.

The good news is there are some well-trained, intelligent, and compassionate professionals out there who do seem to have a handle on these disorders. The bad news is that there are a lot of lesser-trained professionals who don’t seem to have a handle on it and who also don’t seem to know that they don’t. Again, there seems to be no accountability about that within the system.

So, I think that the time has come that folks with personality issues need to take some lead in helping each other, including helping each other find the help we need from professionals.

Does that ring a bell with anybody else here?

There was a guy several years ago from Britain who posted on another online support group and suggested the slogan "PD and proud". I think he got the idea from Gay Pride. I always thought it was a great slogan.

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Hi dd :)

PD and Proud - excellent title :)

What you've said certainly rings a bell for me.:)

I'm pleased your feeling better, I know its a tough and long road - its encouraging to see someone actually benefiting in a possitive way from the specialists, therapy and the support group you attend - it gives me hope anyway!:)

Take care

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I'm so glad if you found something hopeful in my message. Now that I think I'm on the right road, at least, I've complained several times to my therapist about how hard it was to find it. I told her that it is probably not just me who has experienced that frustration. "Do something about the system" I've seemed to be saying to her. Or else "We've got to do something."

She replied that we were two fallible human beings in a broken system. But "maybe if you blog about your experience," she suggested, "it will give hope to some other people."

I'll tell her what you wrote. And then you'll know that there are strangers out here pulling for you, too.

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  • 3 months later...

I think that the mental health community and society in general needs to hear it. Unfortunately, the cure can also be extraordinarily, unbelievably difficult. The emotional agony for me has just been enormous. And when I’m in emotional agony I have not been very pleasant to be around.

Thanks to you, MHN, for giving me a place to write about it. Thanks to people who have read my posts and responded. In particular, the last little nub of demeanment that I experienced and wrote about last Wednesday has now been . . . I don’t quite have the word. “Absorbed” maybe?

As much as I knew that there was something wrong with me internally by the time I was 7 or 8, I know now that that is gone. I haven’t yet gotten the cured diagnosis from my therapist, but I know it for myself. And I’m going to continue to see my therapist for a while. I expect that she can help me with some socialization kinds of things. I have a lot to get caught up on.

I hope to hang around here, too. And since I’m wanting some more socialization – if anybody has any feedback I’d be glad to hear it. Negative stuff, too because I really don’t always know very well how I come across to people and would like to get any sharp edges worn down a little. Not that I can’t pull them out if needed, though. Flexibility and choice are the things, now, not rigid “right” or “wrong”.

There's an internet expert who has written about being "cured" of borderline personality disorder and I read some posts on another forum from a guy with narcissistic personality disorder who wanted to be "cured", too. Some responses to him by a person who has been dealing with recovering from a narcissistic parent sounded hopeful. But the thread was from 2009 and I don't know what happened after that.

Still, little bit by little bit the word may get out.

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