Back in July last year, I found out that I had been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. If you don’t know what this is, I recommend having a read of this – What is BPD?
I had actually been diagnosed with this 3 years previous to this, but was only told of the diagnosis last year after a dip in my mental health *sigh*. At the time of diagnosis I was struggling badly with my BPD, as well as Depressive Psychosis, GAD and Panic Disorder (I should add here that I no longer have Panic Disorder and I have no psychosis). My BPD now seems to be mostly under control. I don’t know whether this is down to the work that I have been doing, whether it is my counselling, medication, or a mix of the three. As it stands at the moment is:
- You feel very worried about people abandoning you, and would do anything to stop that happening – I do worry a lot about being abandoned still.
- You have very intense emotions that last from a few hours to a few days and can change quickly (for example, from feeling very happy and confident in the morning to feeling low and sad in the afternoon). – I do have some dips in my mood but not very often.
- You don’t have a strong sense of who you are, and it can change depending on who you’re with. – I’ve definitely started to realize who I am more recently. Its a working progress.
- You find it very hard to make and keep stable relationships. – this one has never really been an issue for me. I have great friends, one friend who I’ve been friends with for over 10 years, and I have been with my partner for 4 and a half years.
- You act impulsively and do things that could harm you (such as binge eating, using drugs or driving dangerously). – I act impulsively to get things done, although I think this relates more to my anxiety but I woul
- You have suicidal thoughts or self-harming behaviour. – No, not anymore.
- You feel empty and lonely a lot of the time. – I used to, but I can’t remember feeling like this for a while now.
- You get very angry, and struggle to control your anger. – My partner told me only last week that I’ve been a lot calmer recently and haven’t been getting angry. It has been a massive problem in the past but I can’t remember the last time I felt intense anger.
- When very stressed, sometimes you might:
- feel paranoid – not anymore, was never a big problem to begin with though
- have psychotic experiences, such as seeing or hearing things other people don’t – it’s been a very long time since I’ve had a psychotic experience
- feel numb or ‘checked out’ and not remember things properly after they’ve happened. – again, never been a massive issue but it has happened before
Looking at this, I can see that I only meet 4 of the 9 criteria, when last summer I ticked all the boxes. You need to meet 5 of these above points to be diagnosed with BPD, so it’s very interesting to see that I actually technically fall below this threshold now. I have another appointment with my psychiatrist in April so I will definitely re-evaluate this when I see him.
I have come so far though from where I was last summer. Last summer I had a complete mental breakdown, I was having multiple manic attacks a day and suffering from suicidal thoughts. I spent some time in hospital and then had what seemed to be endless outpatient appointments. My mind was in absolute turmoil. Now I no longer have Panic Disorder, or psychosis. My main issue is my anxiety, but that’s something for another day. When I first received this diagnosis, it took a while for it to sink in and then even longer for me to accept it. I felt like I was “wrong”. But I realize now that I’m not “wrong” and don’t have a bad personality, I was just dealt a crappy hand of cards when I was little which contributed to my mental health diagnosis. BPD isn’t a life sentence like I originally thought, there is light at the end of the tunnel – and hopefully I stay in that light now.