So last week I asked if you had any questions about Borderline Personality Disorder, today I will answer them to the best of my abilities. Im going to try and do this kind of post every so often, sk if you ever do have questions, ask away! This took a bit longer than I had anticipated, and I do apologize for that. I have been working about 50+ hours a week, I had a cold, and have trouble sleeping so I kept coming home from work and just slept/was lazy. As some of you know, I’ve also been going through a rough patch, which youre welcome to ask about, but for now I am not going to post about it. Im currently posting using my phone, sitting by the water (my favourite place) and I’m ready and excited to answer your questions.
- The first question is about how I handle my diagnosis and if I use completely natural methods to help. I am currently not on medication, I tried in the past, but it didnt work for me. Medication is tricky with BPD-as far as I know there is no medication specific to BPD. For me, because most of my BPD symptoms are all based in trauma, I find it best to face it head on. I use yoga, music, therapy, exersize and things like that to help. Practicing mindfulness has been life-changing for me. To answer the second part, knowing my diagnosis helped me to have the ability to face it head on. Knowing that there are reasons and symptoms Im working with (and what they are) has certainly allowed me to heal, learn to work with and embrace myself for who I am. Ive been able to be more compassionate with myself and allow me to open up.
- What was your path like re: getting a diagnosis and learning about the condition? Were there medical professionals who insisted it was a different personality disorder, etc? I had known something was really wrong for years. Something beyond just the Depression and Social Anxiety that I had first been diagnosed with in high school. Whenever I tried to get help it never felt like the right fit, and it was especially tricky because whenever I had an appointment with someone that might have known, I would be in a good mood, and be completely unaware that there was even a problem in the first place. A little over a year ago I went to my doctor because things were getting really really bad. All my symptoms of BPD were heightened, I often felt suicidal, I was in a lot of pain. Most of the time my regular doctor would brush it off and say its just the depression, and to take birth control for thr cramps. I went with the nurse pratitioner, who helped me see the in house pychologist and an ultrasound. I had been seeing the social worker while this happened to help decrease my self harm and manage suicidal thoughts. I went in when I was fairly dissociated and was so certain both of the problems were connected. I refused to see most of the syptoms and problems I was having. Near the end of the appointment she asked about borderline and explained the symptoms. I started to crack a bit, because they fit so well, but I stayed stubborn, there’s no way I had a bigger problem, my personality was fine! I googled it on the bus home and it felt like someone had peaked into the dark parts that I hid away from the world, someone understood me, and I made sense. I never saw the pychologist again, she didnt do a follow up or tell me my diagnosis. When I saw the social worker I asked. She was reluctant to give it to me, what difference would it make, why does it matter? I explained that there was no way I would ever get better if I didnt know what I was healing. Its like telling someone with a broken arm to heal without knowing its broken, dont attach to thr diagnosis, stupid. Anyway, she told me that I had traits of BPD. I asked how that waspossible, when it was a very obvious full thing to me, she said the doctor never fully diagnoses anyone with bpd. So they told me, a black and white thinker (part of bpd) that I was in a grey area, from an hour session only, where I could see clearly I was holding back a lot of information. From there I knew I had to embrace it, I have borderline personality disorder, fully. If i stayed in that grey area there was no chance of getting better, healing, no chance of facing it head on. That was probably the best, wisest choice I ever could have made. It was true. Those closest to me knew for years already. There is no way you could tell in an hour with someone who wasnt aware of herself, especially when theyre dissociating from half the symptoms.
- Regarding depersonalization/dissociating/memory loss aspect: how often and to what extent do you experience it if at all, and how is it handled? I dont remember about 75% of my childhood, so most of the memory loss aspect happened when I was younger when I was in the thick of all the trauma. Now i have a hard time remembering little details. The dissociation varies. Its like a scale of 1-10. 10 happens only in really extreme scenarios where I just cant handle whats happening around me and I completely check out. I dont really move or anything, Im not responsive, further than that I dont actually know; but that hasnt happened in years. Most of the time its more mild, on average maybe a 6.5? I often can pass without anyone noticing, because Im on autopilot or cruise control. But my reaction time and engagment is low, I’ll usually stare into space and not really look at anyone. I dont have any idea of whats going on around me, it feels like i have blinders on. Its really hard to put words to the feeling. It happens more if I’m going through a hard time as it depends on my stress level, if I’ve eaten or slept. Yoga helps, any kind of movement or focusing on my breath. Mindfulness can reconnect me to my body which helps bring me back. That and music, but I have to be careful because the wrong kind of music will actually make it worse.
- Last question for today: what is one thing that you wish your friends and family knew about borderline? Especially at first, I am just as confused as you. When my mood swings abruptly it freaks me out and confuses me too. I dont need you to fix me, and please dont try. All I need, if I’m asking for help is for you to listen, and remind me (more than you might think is necessary) that you care.
Thank you so much for your questions, I hope that I have helped to answer. Please know you are welcome to reach out with questions or concerns at any point. Especially if youre going through BPD yourself and just want to feel less alone.
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