So I haven’t done a blog like this for a while, but I want to remain open about my condition and the challenges I face. I also want people to know there’s hope and that it’s possibly to have a good active life. According to Mind website, “Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a type of personality disorder. You might be diagnosed with a personality disorder if you have difficulties with how you think and feel about yourself and other people, and are having problems in your life as a result.”
My first blog on my EUPD was here. It’s what started me blogging. I needed to vent, to get out of my head all the thinking. In January 2018 I was diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD), also know as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). I had been diagnosed previously with Generalised Anxiety Disorder and depression so I knew that mental health illness played a part with my overall health.
My condition was triggered through events and trauma when I was much younger and I didn’t learn how to deal with my emotions properly. I’ve described in many of my blogs my want and need to be liked, by everyone, and this often means I become like a chameleon. I’d do anything to blend in, be liked, fit in, avoid confrontation, a quiet life. My blog here talks about how it’s so clear to see the signs now. You can see the symptoms below, but being very unsure of myself and not believing I am bright enough to make decisions, be a capable mum, be a good daughter or really be good at anything has been a huge issue for me. I don’t need sympathy, I just don’t believe in my own abilities or beliefs so think I’m always going to make the wrong decision or choose the wrong option.
The main symptoms of EUPD include the excessive overthinking that I’m sure we all experience at some point in our lives. For me a simple text or conversation can be played over in my head for hours or days or weeks. I’ll do anything to try to stop it replaying but at times I feel like I can’t control it. I haves fear of being abandoned. I used to call it irrational but having been through some talking therapy now, it’s not that irrational due to what Nigel and I have been through. Nigel is my husband and he lost both his mum and dad within 10 months of each other too, so bereavement has played a huge part in the early part of our marriage and family.
My head becomes so full of thoughts that I call it my “cloudy head”. I can’t think straight, I can’t rationalise and I can make impulsive decisions, desperate to make a situation improve quickly. I should say couldn’t, the skills I am learning now really are helping and I’m getting so much better at this.
I am fortunate that I have never experienced psychosis, or not yet, I don’t see things and don’t hear voices, but I do have that inner critic in my head consistently telling me that I’m not good enough, I’m not liked, I don’t deserve to be where I am. I feel like if someone doesn’t love me, they must despise me. I can’t imagine that they have no opinion or just think I’m OK. There’s a lot of black and white thinking with this condition.
My condition was triggered further into what I can only describe as a breakdown when I lost my mum after just 6 short weeks of illness with ovarian cancer, I had to have a hysterectomy putting me into early menopause at 32, and I lost my best friend to suicide as she lost her battle with mental health illness.
Over the next 2 years I deteriorated at a rapid speed, avoiding leaving my house, becoming withdrawn, not wanting to socialise, missing social events. I found it hard to even reply to text messages or emails, let alone answer the phone (something I still struggle with today).
When you try to list symptoms, it’s hard, but the mind website here, has some fantastic resources for you to help understand and this condition.
I just don’t have that thick skin that I should have
So where is the hope?
I now have a huge arsenal of support and I’m so thankful every day. It has took since I was 16, but since my breakdown things have been put in place. I have a CPN, Community or Clinical Psychiatric Nurse, Laura, who is AMAZING. I usually see her monthly, but can make emergency appointments to see her. She is the person who liaises between me and other medical staff for appointments, medication, support and information. I also have a psychiatrist who I see 4 times per year.
I now take a number of medications along side my anti-depressants to deal with the other symptoms of my EUPD. Ans now I’m half way through my DBT, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy. I started this back in April and will be in there til October. I have 2 hours of group therapy each week and an hours one to one with a community psychologist. It’s intensive but it really has been life changing
I do have positive attributes that I think come from my EUPD though too. I have a huge amount of empathy, I would do anything for anyone, I care about making other people happy, I know a lot about mental health illness, having also done a Mental Health First Aid course, I know even more, I want to do a good job and I love recognising people for being themselves as much as for their achievements.
Hope this helps