2 days ago I got diagnosed with bpd.
This comes after a night when I rang nurse on call in the middle of an extreme anxiety/emotional episode of pain. I live alone in a very isolated rural property in northern Victoria. After discussion which I made the error, (or trying to be honest) of mentioning that I did have suicidal thoughts,(which have been continuous since 8yo), an ambulance was called even after I asked her not to. The paramedic was wonderful and I was reluctant to go, but I felt safe with them. I told them there is nothing they can do for me at ED as I don’t know what’s wrong. I had attended many, many, times before. I told them I wasn’t going act on suicidal thoughts as I never had. I knew I would be stuck in town at night with no car, money or friends to get home.
I reluctantly left with them. So true to form placed in room for 2 hours, given 2 nurofen headache tablets and a blanket over my head in case anyone saw me that I knew. After a brief phone call to a MH nurse to establish I was not going to act on suicidal thoughts they said you can leave now. That’s when I exploded again, smahed my glasses. Big beefy security guard tried to step in. I think I scared him. Another trip in the back of a police van and self harming followed for next three hours slamming fists in the ground screaming &$@?. Yes low functioning In-acting type bpd. I never want to hurt anyone, except myself.
Next thing psych assessor turns up to analyse me. With me secured in a bulletproof interview room, I was then informed that my behavior was scaring her. Well off I went again. What have you got to be scared of I screamed. I’m the one locked up for seeking help, besides I’m behind bullet proof glass. I said just sign the papers to let me out. The police drove me home.
The stigma and realisation which comes with a bpd diagnosis is profoundly confronting.
Social media allows a subsequent and immediate bombardment of knowledge. 45 years suddenly becomes explained in an instant with some quick google searches and reality crashes into your life like a wrecking ball.
Although he nailed it, I must be aware not to put D (new psychologist) on a false pedestal. He is just another person who happens to know his stuff. This may also result in disappointment and a negative impact on my behaviour/emotions/thoughts if I end up hostile or emotionally challenged or rejected by him. This would have the usual result of rejection and a negative impact on recovery.
I am cursed by the knowledge that in my idealised world that someone else actually understands me better than I do myself. I am afraid that I will be caught out or challenged or that I will be “manipulating to illicit nurturing”. The conflict internally, now comes from this knowledge and associated shame, guilt and self loathing consistent with bpd.
In hindsight my life appears to be one progressive step after another towards extracting emotional responses from empathetic people with the inevitable consequence of ultimate rejection and further isolation and self loathing. This knowledge obviously distresses me more than a normal person. As bpd sufferers experience normal emotions with much more intensity for longer than the norm. Yes it is physical pain. I am balling like a baby and typing through blurred eyes.
I understand now that I am very sick.
This statement in itself is both an example and realisation that this bpd diagnosis is both correct and real. Furthermore, I am apprehensive as to what treatment options will be best for me, this includes my financial situation and manipulation to illicit nurturing (nurturing not only means to me emotional but also financial.) I am hesitant regarding dbt group therapy even with both the knowledge that this cbt or schema therapy are the best options available to me. I have also looked at recourses online including bpdrecovery.com which has been helpful in outlining recovery steps.
The very nature of bpd is that I will attempt to self sabotage proper treatment which will make me very difficult for others to treat me, and I to maintain focus on treatment of myself. My apprehension is that I will be exposed by others and rejected for the very nature of my personality and illness, as has been my lifelong experience to date. Additionally, if I fail to see immediate reward for efforts I’m aware this will inhibit recovery.
I understand now why I have been rejected by most people I have ever known. I understand that my difficulties in obtaining appropriate treatment/diagnosis/assistance is due to the very nature if this insidious disorder. Others are not to blame for their own misunderstandings of my condition. This is an obvious human response to attention seeking behaviour. I have made gross errors of judgement of others due to their lack of empathy or understanding.
The irony is this situation is sickening, as although in my idealised world I knew I suffered both long term chronic depression and severe anxiety, I was never certain why, as I had never received an informed diagnosis. I was of the misconception that others felt both emotions and empathy as I physically and emotionally felt them, to the severe extremes that I felt. I was both bewildered and constantly dismayed and felt rejected by their lack of empathy and understanding.
Diagnosis presents the conflicting feelings that I want to scream at these people and tell them this is real and the excuse for my behaviour is that I was sick, I want them to understand. I want my doctor to understand. The Police, I want all I have ever erred or who had the misfortune to ever experience this behaviour first hand to understand, perhaps to illicit nurturing or perhaps to just educate them. I am not sure at this stage. I want to ring them all now and explain, but never would.
I told my brother, I tried to just pass on the diagnosis, yet still have that sickly feeling of both deep guilt and shame it is physically hurts the centre of my chest as usual. I now know this is caused by this disorder and made a conscious effort to ensure I tried to avoid conveying this need for nurture, I asked him to read about it on Wikipedia before he helps me anymore, the very nature of this disorder prevented the matter of factual description that I had intended to display to a degree.
I am writing these thoughts; as if I write them down they are then concrete and can be referred too later. They also evoke emotional responses that I can now view within the context of bpd ie shame, self loathing, internal conflict.
Physiological aspects now fascinate me, including hippocampus and amygdala size, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis and cortisol production as there-in lays the key to this disorder. Yet, I know recovery using current practices will be a long and hard road.
After a constant 25 years on the mental health merry go round. I am feeling a real hatred to many a charlatan and quack that appear to diagnose you depending on their particular expertise. I’ve been hypnotised, analysed and anaesthetised. I have been very pro active in trying to obtain a correct diagnosis. It feels like and endless cycle when you end up seeing the same psychiatrist at 3 different health care providers and you get the same BS. If another quack tells me to take 3 deep breathes, I think I will explode.
The old clichés haunt me “just grow up” pains me, as does the abuse that I suffered at those who could never understand, especially those young kids from my youth who could have ever known the emotional impact their normal human nature response of rejection to someone with bpd.
I am bitter at people who I had previously placed a lot of faith in GP, Dr S (psychiatrist) and (drug councillor) R, for getting it so, so, wrong. I’m aware this sense is strong in me but just another example of this disorder.
Yet, am also humbled by those who in vain attempted to help, but with limited knowledge and inaccurate diagnosis were always destined to fail. I will be forever grateful to Chris.K.
My brother has always stuck by me unconditionally, throughout my life. For this, I owe him everything.
Although I must concede that perhaps a Dr S may have identified aspects of this disorder – compulsiveness, chronic dysthymia and anxiety any one could see that, even I.
I now am aware that this is more about bpd than his competency or treatment of me, perhaps he does not know? Or perhaps my own behaviour towards him ultimately led to my inability to obtain an accurate diagnosis, Perhaps he is incompetent, do I need tell him or others that have failed me in treatment that my behaviour or presentation was due to bpd.
Probably not as this would be self serving to illicit emotional response to somehow internally justify to myself that, this is not my fault or I am not weak, just sick.
How to let this go and stop the incessant internal dialog is now my challenge or submission I need to accept in order to get better.
A resounding statement in my head is on Wikipedia under BPD Manipulative Behaviour “that if, for example, one were to withhold medication from a burns victim and cancer patients, leaving them to unregulated their pain, they would also exhibit “attention seeking” and self destructive behaviour in order to cope.
I witnessed this in my late step father who in 2008 died from a brain tumour, my mum and I gave palliative care to him at home. A blockage in a morphine drip a week prior to his death produced the most disturbing extreme behaviour, in a man who was such a dignified and proud man.
My medication only comes in the form of emotional expense to others. I feel like a chameleon that adapts to situational events to illicit emotion, an empathy vampire.
The obvious obstacle will be if I fail to see benefit I will give this treatment up. This action will only result in further illness, poverty and emotional pain.
By writing this I’m coming out, so to speak. As any hope I have is at least I know now what I am dealing with, warts and all.
These thoughts are my thoughts, I own them. No one else does.
No one else needs to hear or know what I am thinking, if they don’t want to. But if they have read this far perhaps they may want to hear or know.
Thoughts will effect, my emotions and behaviour, thoughts are not real.
I hope by writing my thoughts I could take some time back from them.
I hope to recover. This is the start of my journey. A