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Borderline Personality Disorder & Bipolar

Discussion in 'Disability' started by Melancholia, Aug 1, 2018.  |  Print Topic

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  1. Melancholia
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    Melancholia Ditch That Bitch
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    Borderline personality disorder is a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by unstable relationships with other people, unstable sense of self, and unstable emotions.

    Bipolar disorder causes periods of depression and periods of abnormally elevated mood. The elevated mood is significant and is known as mania or hypomania, depending on its severity.


    I scored really high on a test for BPD and also one for Bipolar. I was advised to go see my GP and get referred for a psyche evaluation, which I have done. It will be happening in a couple of weeks. I'm a bit nervous and thought perhaps there might be some peeps on here who have gone through the same thing.

    Did getting help and/or medicated make you feel more stable? Does having BPD set you up for any kind of discrimination? Has your life improved or gotten worse since therapy/treatment commenced? Same questions apply to Bipolar.

    Thanks in advance for joining this group discussion.
     
  2. hauchiko
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    Hey, I don't have bipolar, but I've recently tested high for anxiety and depression and I'm going for a psyche evaluation soon too. It is nerve wracking, but it will definitely help you in the long run.
     
  3. Melancholia
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    Good luck with your evaluation. I hope you get the answers you need.
     
  4. hauchiko
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    You too
     
  5. AliceRhae
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    AliceRhae Today, choose joy.
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    I think good counsel is always beneficial — seeing yourself from a different perspective, and gaining new insight into challenges facing you can be wonderful tools for building happiness, health and in personal growth. All the very best in your progress. :) 

    ~Alice
     
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  6. Butterfly88
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    I have many psych issues including bipolar tendencies (not enough for a full diagnosis). Meds and therapy have helped me.
     
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  7. laurxo
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    I havd BPD and bipolar and have had 5 admissions to psychiatric hospitals due to psychosis caused by BPD flare ups.

    I find some medications helpful and I also found DBT (dialectial behavioural therapy) very very helpful. It was specifically developed for BPD and is used to teach you skills to help with it. It is usually done in a group setting along with one to one sessions with a psychologist.

    Hope this helped! :) 
     
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  8. BlueSun
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    I have (had) many psychological issues, including some to many typical Borderline traits (not enough to actually diagnose it). Still I got some more harmless diagnoses in my life which really helped me understand myself better. From depression to eating disorder ... I will also name the example ADHD here, please know that I DON'T want to compare these two things!!! All I want to say is, in conclusion, that for me personally it has always been a relief to get a diagnose which I knew fit me, because you get a professional explanation for all your crazyness and you learn it's actually treatable :) 
    Whatever your result will be, I wish you the best of luck. Know (and don't forget) that you are a lovely and very brave person!!! Hugs
     
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  9. Pandeya
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    Living with any long term mental health condition is tough, but BPD can be especially difficult because of how it can affect people around you. In the long run, having strong social relationships and people who care for us is a big part of surviving all the crap that life can throw at us and BPD can make having and retaining a close friend group really hard at times.
    While scary, seeking counseling and, if recommended, medication, will go a long way toward helping you to understand your situation and needs better in the long run. Without understanding yourself and how your condition disposes you toward certain reactions, its very difficult to slow things down and intervene before a difficult situation develops. Therapy and medication - provided your psych is good - can really help with this so that you're able to identify how you're tracking and therefore how you can short-circuit a bad reaction before it gets out of hand.
    Be brave Melancholia, it's a long journey, but getting help for a mental health condition can make a world of difference *hugs*
     
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  10. Melancholia
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    Just wow. Totally blown away by your supportive and helpful responses. It's really nice to know I'm not alone, but it makes me sad that you guys have struggled.

    I'm really looking forward to a diagnosis even if it isn't BPD or Bipolar. Whatever is up with me, it needs to be identified and dealt with. I've known since childhood that something wasn't quite right but I've always tried to keep a lid on it and just be 'normal' ...whatever that is.

    But after a life time of switching jobs, never completing tasks, exploding and then running away from emotionally difficult situations, a string of failed relationships, a roller coaster marriage, a manic yet often depressed mind etc, it's time to stop blaming the world for my 'bad luck' and really get to the source of the problem. I know it's me.

    I'm glad meds and therapy have helped you. You shouldn't have to suffer through it silently and it's great that there is treatment available for our messy heads. I really I hope I get to say meds and therapy helped me too. :) 

    Big hugs to you. So sorry to hear you've had to go through all those admissions. I can't imagine how scary that must be. You sound like you're tough and well versed in the treatments. I hope things continue to improve for you. Thanks for the tip about dialectial behavioural therapy. If my diagnosis is BPD I'll make sure to mention it. :) 

    Wow you sound like a mixed bag! LOL! But a very positive one! I'm glad you're at a place of higher self awareness and understanding, and that you've been able to receive positive lessons from your experiences. I too hope a diagnosis will ease some of this awful pressure of not knowing so that I can start to heal whatever needs healing. Hugs to you too!

    "how you can short-circuit a bad reaction before it gets out of hand"

    My way of doing that has always been to walk away. I'm tired of getting angry and leaving people/jobs/good opportunities behind, because I don't have the skills to just be a normal person and say you hurt/angered/offended me let's deal with this. I make people pay for their crap with my absence, but in the long run I hurt myself just as much by not dealing with it. I definitely want to reprogram myself in that area. Thanks for your amazing response! You've given me a few things to consider and I feel like I might even be a little better prepared for my evaluation.

    You guys are too awesome for words. I very much appreciate the time you took to reply and wish you all the best with your struggles and triumphs.
     
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  11. Pandeya
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    There's a double emphasis here that I always feel it is important to remind people about. On the one hand, yes, taking responsibility for your wellbeing - body and mind - is vital, worthwhile, and an important step forward in long-term mental health care. On the other hand, never lose sight of the fact that sometimes the world is actually just really shit and you're not crazy for feeling stressed and fucked off with everything!

    From what I've seen in my handful of swings around the sun, a lot of people believe that everyone is somehow supposed to be able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and magic their way to happy "normal" productivity. They constantly want to blame an individual for their circumstances and absolve society of any responsibility for the malaise and misery we commonly experience. But more often that not, the world is just shit and the solution to the problem isn't to find a way to make it hurt less: Sometimes we have to get angry and find ways to change the world so that it sucks a bit less for everybody.

    In a nutshell, just remember, in whatever happens going forward: Be kind to yourself, healing takes time, and as long as you're doing your best, that's all you can ask of yourself.

    *hugs*
     
  12. AudryLeigh
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    One of the best psychiatrists I've had (I've been through a few) used to literally grab a ruler (she kept one on her desk just for this purpose) and whack herself on the knuckles if she used the word "normal" by itself -- she said there is no such thing. There is normal for you, normal under the circumstances, etc., but by itself (according to her) "normal" was a meaningless term.

    Though I think my psychiatrists were all good at what they did, the all saw me differently. I got so many different diagnoses, and have been on so many different medications, I lost track a long time ago. I finally gave up on shrinks and meds because they didn't seem to help -- at least not for long. I have suffered from sometimes severe depression for 50 years -- since before medical science even knew what it was. I was initially diagnosed with a sleep disorder and prescribed Dexedrine, which unknowingly treated my undiagnosed ADD (barely known at the time, and thought to be a childhood condition {ADHD} that people grew out of), but didn't help the depression at all. Recently I have been on mild doses of an antidepressant and anti-anxiety meds which I get through my GP.

    Strange though it is, my endocrinologist is turning out to be the best shrink I've ever had. He diagnosed me with "severe, treatment resistant, chronic clinical depressive disorder." He wants to set me up for neuro-psych testing. I went through it once before, about 18 years ago, and he wants to see if anything has changed. It's grueling. Six hours of constant tests of all kinds, but apparently it provides a lot of information about both mental/emotional things, and damage or abnormalities in the brain.

    I still have periods of crippling depression, and have had serious trouble with social anxiety disorder. I have been suicidal on and off, including recently and have attempted suicide a couple of times, the last of which really should have succeeded -- it really had to be divine intervention that kept me alive (12 gauge shotgun blast to the head, which knocked me out cold and left a hole in my ceiling at a spot where my head had to have been between the gun barrel and the hole). Have had suicidal ideations since then, but am pretty certain I'll never attempt it again -- I got a pretty clear message from the divine intervention bit, and there are quite a few people who are alive today who wouldn't be if I had succeeded.

    I too have a great deal of trouble completing things -- I can make plans, lists, action diagrams, gather materials, etc., etc., but the last step or two just never happens. (I used to teach personal productivity, formal project planning, and management by objective classes, and my students all got amazing results from what I taught them, but it doesn't wok for me.) I used to really beat myself up over that until I finally realized I wasn't just lazy -- there really was something about the final step that I couldn't get past, and I couldn't do anything about it. That's a big part of what my endo wants the neuro-psych testing for -- to see if it's brain damage (I do have a tiny little bit), or if there isn't some kind of behavioral therapy that could help me -- done all kinds of therapy, but never behavioral before -- mostly counseling, group counseling both large and small groups, and peer counseling (that one is weird -- two or three nut cases trying to straighten each other out -- with a shrink as a backup in case someone gets triggered).

    I guess my advice regarding the counseling/therapy kind of thing is, don't rule anything out (finding the right thing for you really is a crap shoot -- you often have to try several -- even a lot of things before you find what works) and, don't stick with anything very long unless you are getting results that feel right to you (some things can actually make things worse -- bail out on them ASAP {not drugs though -- some of the ones that work really do make things worse before they start to get better, and drugs can take a LOoooonng time to start working}). If a therapy or counseling method is going to work, you'll know it pretty soon. For any of the newish psychotropic drugs, I'd really not want to be living alone for as much as the first year. Maybe, if you've done a lot of LSD in high doses and were able to handle it, but even so, I'd want someone around -- for reality checks (used to do that on LSD trips too -- reality checks). Reality checks are good -- not going to take a position on LSD, can't recommend it, can't diss it.

    Anyway I hope that helps somehow -- sorry I rambled.

    Hugs,
    Audry Leigh
     
  13. Melancholia
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    AudryLeigh Wow what a story. Sounds like you've been through hell and back a couple of times or so. Good to see you keeping positive about it, learning from your experiences, and helping others!

    I totally relate to what you said about not being lazy it's just that you can't seem to get through the final stages of completion. I too hope to change that. And I really hope I can deal with these issues with therapy rather than medication.

    A relative of mine is on Seroquel and I really hope they don't find a reason to prescribe that in my case. I've known other people who are on it and they all say they hate living in Zombie Land. Tired and numb and doped out all the time.

    Good luck with the neuro-psych testing and I hope you continue to have success with your endocrinologist. Thanks for the tip about that too btw. If I feel I'm not having much luck with whatever treatments they want me to try you've given me a good idea for a back up plan. Hugs to you too!
     
  14. AudryLeigh
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    I'd rather avoid medication too, but seem to need a low dose of a very simple, non-invasive medication to keep from having depressive episodes triggered by trivial things. What I'm using is actually a sleep aid with "mild antidepressant side effects." It's also an appetite stimulant which is good for me because I have a hard time maintaining a healthy weight. For me, a 3 in 1 -- I need a sleep aid, I need a hedge against being triggered, and I need to eat more.

    I do know people though, who have lucked out and found the "right" medication, and it has worked out splendidly for them. One of my psychiatrists once asked me how I'd feel about trying a new antidepressant and I told him I didn't want to be a guinea pig -- I didn't want to be experimented on. He told me that, in truth, every prescription written for psychotropic drugs was an experiment, since there was, as yet, no set of guidelines because everyone reacted to every drug differently. Some doctors have good luck with a certain drug a couple of times and so tend to prescribe it for everyone. Some doctors don't like to try very many different things because they think it makes them look like they don't know what they are doing. The good ones will keep trying until they find the right one. I had a really bad reaction to one medication once -- It made me full on crazy, and made my whole body hurt so much I wanted to scream (I did scream -- I was crazy). I quit it right away, and though my shrink said I should have tapered off, didn't disagree that I should have stopped it. Oddly, it wasn't all that new, and there had been no other reports of anything except very mild side effects -- I'm always the exception.

    It's great when therapy works, but the nature of the beast is that past a point, enough of a chemical imbalance develops in the brain that it becomes a self-sustaining cycle, and chemical intervention is necessary to break the cycle. Sometimes, once the cycle is broken you can discontinue the meds, but sometimes the chemical imbalance damages the mechanism that would normally maintain the balance, and you have to continue the medication indefinitely. I'm no longer "normal" (for me), but have learned to live with it -- I just got sick and tired of drug swapping especially since most of them did just zombie me out, but if I knew I could find one that really worked, I'd take it. When a medication actually works for someone, there are usually no, or very few, very minimal side effects. Side effects, to me, indicate that the medication is not right for me.

    I think the trouble with completing things is more likely to be helped with therapy than drugs. I don't know why, it just makes more sense to me. One of my shrinks put me on a dose of stimulants that would have killed a person who wasn't ADD (ADD/ADHD brains are different, and it's a difference that can be seen in brain scans, and they do process stimulants differently from non ADD/ADHD brains), trying to "force some productivity out of me." It didn't work. The dose was so high I had two pharmacies refuse to fill the prescription. I still take a low dose of that drug though to help with my ADD. Though the huge dose (270 mg/day) hardly affected me at all, recently my endo wanted me to try to increase the "normal" dose I'm taking now, from 10 mg twice a day (as needed) to 20 mg twice a day, needed or not -- a steady dose. I don't know if being on HRT had anything to do with it or not (the huge dose was 10 years or so before HRT -- before I discovered who I really am), but this time the switch to 20 mg twice a day (still a relatively low dose) was more than I could handle -- I was frantic all the time, and didn't sleep at all for the 5 days he asked me to try it. Kind of odd that before hrt I hardly even reacted to 270 mg a day, but after being on HRT for a year, couldn't handle 40 mg a day. As a man I was all but immune to it, as a woman, I'm hyper-sensitive to it. Nobody really knows how this stuff works.

    BTW, I don't think many endos can double as shrinks -- I think mine must have been a double major in endocrinology and psychology/psychiatry. He's better at it than any of the shrinks I've had -- he must have had significant schooling/training. Good luck with finding therapy and/or meds that work for you. If it turns out that you do need meds, be picky and don't stay on anything that zombies you out or does anything else you don't like. For many of these meds though, you do need to taper off and not just quit taking them or you can end up in the ER.

    Hugs,
    Audry Leigh
     
  15. Melancholia
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    Melancholia Ditch That Bitch
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    Today is the big day. Just grabbing a coffee and heading to the appointment. Nervous haha!
     
  16. Melancholia
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    My First Time At Therapy Story:

    I know it's wrong to assume what someone's sexual/romantic preferences are without asking them, but sometimes people present themselves in a certain way that screams "I'm one of the tribe!"

    So I'm sitting in the waiting room and I hear my name called. It sounds... kinda posh. I look up. There's the sickest undercut on a chick I've ever seen staring back at me. And Doc Martens. I have to say as a child of the 80's... I was impressed.

    I follow her into her little office. She's got a rainbow flag hanging in there. She starts talking, and omg she's from London *dies* and she has pretty blue eyes. Very kind and sweet eyes.

    WTF, man? Seriously? I'm alone in a room with someone I'm pretty sure is a lesbian. I want to pretend to be semi normal so I can hit on her. Instead I gotta sit here and tell her how messed up I am, and she has to be here cos she's getting paid. Ugh! Therapy sucks! LOL.

    Seriously though, that aside. I get the feeling she's awesome with people and great at her job. So I'm thinking I lucked out. She's easy to talk to, and easy to look at. She laughed at me a couple of times, and made me feel at ease. So I think this will work.
     
  17. AudryLeigh
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    Boy! Good therapist, hot chick... Daymn. (If your avatar is a picture of you, you're a pretty hot chick yourself.) You can't get romantic with your therapist (most of them won't), but if you feel there might be 2-way chemistry, you can just tell her that you're attracted to her, and see where it leads. There are other good therapists out there (other hot chicks too -- works both ways). "Hey Doc, I got this problem... Well maybe it's a problem, I don't know. Ya' see, I'm attracted to my therapist..." If she likes the sound of that, time for new therapist (and a new gf), if she doesn't, then it was something you felt you needed to to say, and now it's said. (I had a therapist once I think all of her patients must have fallen for, but you can't always go there.) Anyway, good luck. A good therapist is probably worth more than a new gf right now (and that sounds like what you were thinking), but the British accent alone would a' got me... Anyway, seriously, I hope this works out the way you need it to.

    Hugs,
    Audry
     
  18. Ashwin Sundaram

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    I'm sorry to hear you're suffering from those issues.

    I think I have symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive personality disorder on top of the other mental illness' I have, if that helps, so you're not alone in the personality disorder or mental health department, but that's not to take away from the severity of what you're facing. Just wanted to show my empathy. :) 
     

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