BPD – A More Personal Account

Previously I posted about what Borderline Personality Disorder is and the symptoms thereof. Today I want to share what it FEELS like to suffer from BPD from a personal perspective. I started with a lot of text but, disturbingly and much to my surprise, I found it extremely difficult to put adequate words to my emotions and thoughts.

BPD is what many have called a ”wastebasket diagnosis” – it’s not psychosis and it’s not neurosis; it’s a very misunderstood and complex condition that some are diagnosed as having when no other diagnosis seems to fit. This is so unfortunate, because the result is that it is often ”pooh-poohed”; not treated; and most people (those who have actually heard of it) seem to think that it’s just a matter of lack of willpower and manipulation on the part of those who suffer from it. I’m here to say ”BULLSHIT you ignoramus!” to all those who deny it’s existence or don’t believe that it is quite difficult and painful to deal with. 


What It Feels Like To Have Borderline Personality Disorder


There are many symptoms related to BPD but for me the most disturbing types of symptomsth (63) fall into 5 main categories that cause me to feel the most emotionally and mentally splintered, perturbed and despondent:

Difficulty controlling impulses or emotions
– Inappropriate or frivolous spending leaving me short for paying necessities… BOOM! Stress and anxiety
– Overwhelming and inappropriate feelings that cause significant distress
– Substance abuse to mask / temper anguish, discomfort and shame

Unstable and intense interpersonal relationships
– Unhealthy emotional attachments
– Eradication of self-image and personal values when consumed by desperate, emotionally dependent ties

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– Seeking approbation and value through others leads to terror and the constant belief that the ”true” me will be discovered and I will be left isolated and lonesome

Feelings of self-loathing (with self-mutilation)
– Constantly floating through my thoughts due to the aforementioned. How can I feel anything but enmity and disgust towards myself in the face of my behavior? Sometimes the rage is so intense that I mutilate myself because I feel I deserve to be punished and also the physical pain calms the inner turmoil

Suicidal behavior (or ideation)
– INTENSE, that’s what I am and so not dealing with any important negative emotions can morph them into suicidal behavior
– I do not want to hurt my kids, and I am generally afraid of trying to killing myself, but I so often wish that I could simply push a button and cease to exist
– I have made 3 suicide attempts in my life when I just couldn’t stand my existence anymore… I felt subhuman and hopeless. My bipolar disorder played a role in them as well


Bmike – Demons in my head


How does BPD make me feel? Like a strange animal doing a balancing act high above what is the dangerous, scary ”real life” that I can’t seem to fit into.

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I am part of this life but my life is not part of the norm of my culture. My disorder keeps me separate from the majority and perpetuates itself. I must work diligently and put tremendous effort into carving out a life with BPD that is as calm and stable as possible because it is ”normal” for me to be fearful, frantic and befuddled.


The Anthem: Balancing on the Borderline (Awareness Song)


     Here’s to hope!th (69)

BPD – What does that do for a living?

Borderline Personality Disorder

I generally post about Bipolar Disorder, but I am also diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and so understanding it is quite pertinent to me. Compared to Bipolar Disorder, there is a serious lack of information concerning BPD and thus far all the medical/psych professionals I have dealt with focus solely on my Bipolar symptoms. This has not pleased me in the least because I feel that many of my difficulties stem from BPD, and are not Bipolar symptoms, and yet when I have sought clarity my BPD is played down or completely set aside. There are also quite a few symptoms that seem to overlap to varying degrees. During some periods I feel much more BPD than Bipolar.

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Due to the lack of interest and guidance on the part said professionals I have spent a whole lot of time researching BPD on the internet and I finally found a site that I think merits a look by anyone who has been diagnosed as BPD or anyone that thinks it may apply to them. Now don’t get me wrong, I do not think an online quiz should take the place of a good psychiatrist. I urge anyone who feels they have a psychological problem to seek professional help – but I also strongly urge said people to ask a lot of questions and do their own research (maybe read some blogs! 😉 ) You know how you feel and you’re the best person to judge whether or not the info you are getting is complete, correct and relevant.

Below I am posting a segment of what I found on PsychCentral.com – this is a scientifically reviewed site that has been noted as being an excellent online health resource by The New York Times, TIME.com and The Washington Post. I hope that it will help even just one person put their personal experience into perspective.


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”The main feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a pervasive pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image and emotions. People with borderline personality disorder are also usually very impulsive, oftentimes demonstrating self-injurious behaviors (risky sexual behaviors, cutting, suicide attempts).

Borderline personality disorder occurs in most by early adulthood. The unstable pattern of interacting with others has persisted for years and is usually closely related to the person’s self-image and early social interactions. The pattern is present in a variety of settings (e.g., not just at work or home) and often is accompanied by a similar lability (fluctuating back and forth, sometimes in a quick manner) in a person’s emotions and feelings.

These individuals are very sensitive to environmental circumstances. The perception of impending separation or rejection, or the loss of external structure, can lead to profound changes in self-image, affect, cognition, and behavior. They experience intense abandonment fears and inappropriate anger, even when faced with a realistic time-limited separation or when there are unavoidable changes in plans (e.g., sudden despair in reaction to a clinician’s announcing the end of the hour; panic or fury when someone important to them is just a few minutes late or must cancel an appointment). They may believe that this “abandonment” implies they are “bad.” These abandonment fears are related to an intolerance of being alone and a need to have other people with them. Relationships and the person’s emotions may sometimes be seen by others or characterized as being shallow.

A personality disorder is an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates from the norm of the individual’s culture. The pattern is seen in two or more of the following areas: cognition; affect; interpersonal functioning; or impulse control. The enduring pattern is inflexible and pervasive across a broad range of personal and social situations. It typically leads to significant distress or impairment in social, work or other areas of functioning. The pattern is stable and of long duration, and its onset can be traced back to early adulthood or adolescence.

Specific Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder

A person with this disorder will also often exhibit impulsive behaviors and have a majority of the following symptoms:

– Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
– A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation
– Identity disturbance, such as a significant and persistent unstable self-image or sense of self
– Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating)
– Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior
– Emotional instability due to significant reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)
– Chronic feelings of emptiness
– Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)
– Transient, stress-related paranoid thoughts or severe dissociative symptoms

Because personality disorders describe long-standing and enduring patterns of behavior, they are most often diagnosed in adulthood. It is uncommon for them to be diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, because a child or teen is under constant development, personality changes and maturation. However, if it is diagnosed in a child or teen, the features must have been present for at least 1 year.

Borderline personality disorder is more prevalent in females (75 percent of diagnoses made are in females). It is thought that borderline personality disorder affects between 1.6 and 5.9 percent of the general population.

Like most personality disorders, borderline  personality disorder typically will decrease in intensity with age, with many people experiencing few of the most extreme symptoms by the time they are in the 40s or 50s.

Do you have Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline Personality Test

Borderline Personality Quiz


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Managing To Manage My Life… HA HA HA!

I’m on a quest for a healthy, stable lifestyle…

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Why? Well I keep being told and reading that people with bipolar disorder must pay special attention to practicing a healthy lifestyle. A regular routine with plenty of rest, a healthy diet, regular exercise, minimal stress, and some form of  spirituality and social life are apparently necessary to maintain mental equilibrium thereby managing my moods and keeping episodes in check. Hmmm…


Maybe I’m an old grouch, but when I read about regular th (35)routines and doing all that I should and I see people like the über-healthy, chirpy looking woman in the photo I get agitated, annoyed and frustrated.

Not that I disagree with the aforementioned; it’s just that I seem th (5)to be some sort of different animal than this woman because no matter how hard I try I just seem incapable of establishing any sort of routine and a healthy lifestyle always seems just out of reach.

Establishing a routine requires some stability and my life is anything but constant on a physical or menth (9)tal level.  Up and down, up and down, up and down. Of course, the whole point of living a healthy lifestyle is to change, or at least alleviate, as much of the instability as possible. So don’t get me wrong, I am not AGAINST healthy living – I just can’t seem to create a routine for myself or follow one if I do.  It feels like an impossible task.


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Of course, if an elephant can do this, then surely I can manage my life?!
It always sounds so simple…

a little exercise                                   a balanced diet
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                   plenty of sleep                       avoiding stress (relaxation/attitude…)
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              social connections                       sprituality (whatever form it takes)
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  Of course, there is a catch and the catch is ”SOUNDS SIMPLE”!!


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I want someone to explain to me how I am supposed to be stable, calm and have a healthy, organized life when my brain works in such a convoluted manner! I’ve been putting a lot of effort lately into fulfilling these needs images (4)but I have to admit that, on and off, my ability to maintain a routine gets totally sidelined by my fascinating thought process and my mind, moods and emotions seem to sometimes have a life of their own. That’s when my efforts get derailed and the illness fills my head and takes over my life once again. Dagnabbit!


So, am I goigoing-in-circles-lost-on-endless-roads-in-confusion_gg59651100ng to give up? Sometimes it’s hard not to but I am determined and perseverant  and I am not going to succumb to the nasty stuff. I’m going to keep trying and trying until I’m doing my best and I can have some relief. th (48)Part of that effort is going to be accepting my disorder and transforming my perception of myself, my messy moods and my limitations into something as colorful and interesting as I can. I may remain somewhat convoluted, but I want to view myself in as positive a light as possible. My life will have meaning and that meaning will give life to possibilities and success at keeping my bipolar disorder in check.


 Aside from my benefiting from my efforts, 3 very important, beautiful, caring young people will also be very happy if I am well. They are my kids and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for their love and support.

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Julie & Michelle                                                              Paul jr


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First My Mind, Now The Rest – Eeeek!

YESTERDAY I SAW MY FAMILY DOCTOR…
WELCOME TO MY FEAR DRIVEN BITCH FEST!

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I guess I should start  by explaining that I avoid going to doctors or hospitals at all costs. I hate doctors because in my twisted mind they’re somehow responsible if I come down with some physical problem and I have always had an irrational fear of physical ailments. They’re no fun. They hurt or they limit you. They change your life and often they kill you. No, no, no… no fun.

Hospitals? Well, that’s where you go to have unpleasant and painful procedures done. They are the den of the evil purveyors of pain. Plus, you have to eat cruddy food at odd hours and you have to follow a bunch of rules (like staying in bed) and I’ve always hated being told what to do. Plus, who on earth likes to have to wear those horrid hospital gowns that show off all my scars and my hairy legs! 😉

I know, I sound like a big baby. Okay, I’ll admit to that but I think that with all the psychological vector-cartoon-clip-art-of-a-frustrated-insecure-middle-aged-woman-trying-to-find-comfort-by-sucking-her-thumb-and-holding-her-blankie-by-ron-leishman-137problems I have and all the times I’ve given the emergency unit work when they’ve stitched me up after a bout with self-mutilation, well, I think I’ve done my part supporting the medical community! Being ”blessed” with physical problems as well is not fair, it’s not fair, it’s not fair…
and I’m scared. So I don’t go to doctors unless I have no choice. Yesterday I had no choice because my list of discomforts had gotten out of hand even for me.

 


My back has been hurting so much that some days I can’t even clean my dentures without leaning against the sink for support. I had x-rays done last year and they confirmed that I had arthritis in my feet, my back/neck and my hips. Fun. Now my doc says that it seems that my arthritis hasth (16) gotten much worse – more like what one would expect after 10 years instead of 1 year. Total bitch because the only med he’ll give me is Tylenol and it doesn’t do squat! Anyway, more x-rays to confirm his diagnosis… HATE x-rays because it is extremely painful for me to lie flat on my back or directly on my hips on a metal table while the technicians fiddle around getting me in the perfect position.

 

The doc said we’d see what the x-rays showed and if he was right I’d have an operation on my hip and – WAIT – OPERATION?! Whoa, this was 2222not going well and I annoyed the crap out of him insisting he explain how operating my hip was going to heal my back. Ever notice how doctors don’t like being questioned? Apparently, since he has 25 yrs experience, I’m not allowed to understand and give my consent for a nasty, invasive procedure. Again, I don’t like doctors.

 


 What else? I won’t go into details about all of what surfaced, I’ll just give you a synopsis of symptoms, tests and probable procedures:

– 3 months of raspy, irritated throat: see specialist and have scope shoved down my throat to get a look at my vocal chords. What happens next depends on what they see…  I’m personally terrified of cancer because I’m an idiot and I smoke.

th (24)– Weakness and numbness in hands and fingers: undergo test but it is apparently inevitable that the tests will confirm carpal tunnel syndrome for which I’ll have to have both hands operated on – WAIT – OPERATION?! God, not two more!!

– Gain in weight and fatigue: blood tests for diabetes and hypothyriodism. Now, I don’t mind blood tests but I abhor what they may signal! Diabetes is definitely not a fun disease and I already take thyroid meds so does that mean my thyroid is failing? What does that imply? EEEEK!

Oh, and he put a rush on all the tests and wants to see me next week. SAY WHAT?! Usually, he has me see him every 3-4 months and suddenly he wants to see me in a week. EEEEK! My anxiety level topped up when he told me that. It was…

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Aaaaah, I know I’m being a whiner and that there are lots of people who have it worse than me but I’m freaking out and I’m scared. I’m allowed that. Growing up I was always pooh-poohed when I had problems because, as I was always reminded, there were people who had bigger problems than me. Fuck that! I have loads of compassion and empathy for others but this is my reality and I have to live with it and bloody hell I don’t want to and I’m not coping with it all so well. Being in the middle of a bipolar episode and suffering from severe anxiety disorder sure doesn’t help with grappling with more difficulties.

I have to find ways to let some of the pressure out. I know that fretting is not only unproductive but the stress can acerbate all of my possible and known conditions. So, here’s to blogging to unload and here’s to hoping I can take things in stride, relax and not freak out so much!

Here are some of my inspirations to hopefully help me achieve a fairly calm state today.

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Reaching deep inside, here is my gift to all of you for today

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Feeling Grumble-Mumble-Sad-N-Empty

 

th (12)Very few people take the time to really look into my eyes – the doorway to my soul. What looks back at them is too unpleasant, too painful, too real and too overwhelming. I don’t blame them because I find it oh so difficult to deal with myself. I spend a great deal of my time avoiding how I feel because I have a very hard time not delving deeper into depression, sadness, mental and emotional fatigue, frustration, self- loathing and anger.

People keep telling me that I’m doing better – better? Who wants to feel better? I want to feel WELL!! I don’t want to feel this crap that inhabits me in a variety of forms; none of which are pleasant.


8956223Being bipolar makes me angry and frustrated.

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I feel like I am drowning in the sludge that inhabits my mind. Screaming and struggling to extricate myself from the psychological muck and mire.

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The mask is on but it’s starting to crumble and show serious wear as the
pressure of my illness pushes on and on. I have to keep it on because I can’t stand knowing that how I am and what I do affects other people and I have to protect my children.

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Living behind a mask is a very lonely place.

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I end up feeling like there is a great gaping hole in my heart and in my spirit. I stop doing all the tricks in my ”feel-good” bag and  I lose interest in taking care of myself because I don’t love myself… hell, I don’t even like myself.

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I give up. I don’t want to, but I’m just so worn out … does it have to continue?


 I AM 
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And I am realizing that if I want to feel any better, I have to believe that I can and give myself a good swift kick in the arse to get back on track doing the things that make little differences that add up to important changes. 


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I am all too aware that I don’t just have a bad attitude; I have more than one mental illness that affect my mood and my capacity for positivity and emotional strength. My illness makes me anxious, upset, depressed, angry, lonely, discombobulated … 

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But I can do little things to ease the discomfort and the pain and it can be better. Yes, it can!!
(I think I’m trying to convince myself as much as you 🙂 !) For one thing, I can stop thinking that I’m a failure of some sort and accept that I may have to struggle to stay at my maximum state of balance but that I have to stop striving to be like someone who doesn’t have any difficulties. Doing so is as pointless and frustrating; and brings on more self-hatred, as a woman with no legs trying to walk. It just won’t happen.



I found this original song that gave me hope. The musical quality is no heck,
but the essence of the message is.

Jessica Humphrey


a little something beautiful to end things with for all the beautiful bloggers who take the time to read what I have to share

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Depession – A Fantastic Rant

I came across this YouTube rant and having ranted myself about this very type of problem, I could easily recognize a powerful, poetic rant when I heard one. I want to share it with you.

Sabrina Benaim’s “Explaining My Depression to My Mother”


I say that if you have a smartphone, download the video to play for all the duffuses that ask those questions and seem determined to stay ignorant! I have no such phone so I’m emailing it to my mother – here’s to surviving the fallout! ;D