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Managing Borderline Personality Disorder

AGrace
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi,

I was looking through some of the posts and couldnt find any related to Borderline Personality Disorder. 

I was diagnosed at the end of the year along with Anxiety and Depression. I was hoping to reach out to anyone in a similar situation to get some advice on how to deal with living with this condition.  I left my employment last year so I could focus on my health which has been useful but now I feel anxious about ever being able to go back to work full time, having children, and doing day to day things whilst managing my illness. To add to this, not doing those things leaves me feeling a little useless. 

Does anyone have some advice, or personal experience with this?

Thanks. 

98 Replies 98

hope4joy
Community Member

Hi xmin,

that's great to hear that your psychologist is so supportive of recovery from BPD. There are a lot of strengths that come with the condition - sensitivity, empathy, creativity, deep thinkers... when put to good use can be real pluses! Like anything it depends on moderation and how its expressed.

Yeah i hear you xmin about the fear of long term relationships - the hardest part of bpd for me has been instability in my friendships and relationships - and the extreme difficulty in feeling safe and opening up to people. I hope that having healthy kind people in my life today as well as trusting therapy relationships will help me keep healing in this area, but it sure is a slog. Groups can be really challenging - and yet I also love the feel of being involved in a group or community space... its just so beautiful.

Anyways nice chatting, good to connect with other bpd'ers πŸ™‚

Christina 

xmin
Community Member

Hi lh and Christina,

The diagnosis definitely helps explain why I deal with certain things a certain(mostly negative imo) way. Thanks for the book suggestion, I'll have a look into it. 

I definitely get the strengths of bpd you mention Christina, I can relate to them somewhat. I'm a little blurry on how bpd affects my friendships though. Like, in my mind some things are justified, and I will explain them to another friend and they'll agree. Confusing. 

Hmm.. it would be kinda nice if there was a Borderline section on its own. There are lots of issues to discuss with this disorder. I'll start with the emptiness/boredom feeling. How do you guys deal? I have in my head that I'm looking for an activity/sport/hobby that I will be interested in. Maybe not a full blown passion, but something that picks up mu interest and I'm excited about. I've dabbled in various things but nothing really excites me that much. 

xmin

Ladyhawke
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi xmin,

I understand that feeling of emptiness you mention. For me, it's a feeling that I have no defined personality or sense of self. 

When I was younger, I would attempt to create a sense of identity by taking on the personality, mannerisms etc of fictional characters in films or books or plays I'd read. Sounds crazy I know, but my psychiatrist told me this was a very common coping mechanism for those with BPD.

Fortunately, my psychiatrist knew I had a background in journalism and encouraged me to start writing fiction and plays. This is something I really enjoy and has been extremely therapeutic.

I know how difficult it is to find and stick with an interest. I tried many hobbies/activities over the year's and always ran out of enthusiasm very quickly.

Is there anything that you're drawn to that could extend into an activity e.g. if you love animals, you could offer to volunteer at an animal shelter etc.

I know what it's like to feel at a loose end - just try to think of something you naturally have an interest in and see how far you can go with it. I found when I tried to force myself into activities I had no interest, I discontinued it very quickly.

Best wishes and take care,

 lh.

​

Hi xmin and lh,

nice to chat with you guys, its good to have this thread to discuss bpd stuff. And thanks xmin by bringing up the emptiness thing, this has been on my mind lately. I've just started schema therapy with a psychologist and she suggested that the emptiness will dissipate over time as i learn to meet my needs more, and hence will instead become more fulfilled. In relationships (any sort) I normally ignore my wishes/ needs/ interests etc and can be left feeling pretty empty. I can also not pursue things of interest out of fear/ self limiting views etc.

I guess for me this emptiness trait is about a yearning for something more, something more wholesome and nourishing, and sort of feeling dissatisfied with everything and everyone that is in my life. Of all the bpd criteria i find this one the most confusing and confronting... somehow i can't see it clearly. But i do always seem to be looking for something... i can relate to having tried many hobbies and groups and dropping out of them quickly, feeling dissatisfied.

For me returning to uni last year to study visual art has been big, and has provided a sense of meaning and purpose in life. Its given me a reason to stop being suicidal and does make me feel more grounded and whole. But i've much work to do! My goal this year is to find more satisfaction (and less emptiness/ boredom/ loneliness) in my friendships/ relationships... I'm not sure how i'll get there yet, but i think schema therapy will help. And i've finally realised that i can't just go on meeting people and trying new things... i need to change how i approach them, so that i can get the feeling i'm hoping for. But at the same time i'd like to cultivate one hobby thats not a sport outside of art... but not sure on what yet! I'd like something that speaks to my inner nerd i think. Its hard though to connect to interests and passions when depression is around, it sort of dampens everything.

Anyways, enough rambles for me. I think you're right lh that this emptiness is tied in with sense of self. I often seem to put everything into one area of my life (usually work or studies) and am lost when this area is on holidays or not working out. How long is it since you've been working on bpd stuff lh? Its great to hear about your writing. Have you found interest in other areas of your life?

And how are you going xmin? any ideas on things you used to love that might be worth reconnecting with? 

Kind wishes, Christina 

Ladyhawke
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi hope4joy,

​I didn't want you to think i'd ignored your post; have been hit by intense bout of depression. Psychiatrist has changed dosage on meds etc. ; am riding it out till it passes. Will be in contact when I resurface.

xmin
Community Member

Hi ladyhawke

I definitely get that feeling of not having a sense of self. Sometimes I have no idea what my personality is like- except it's annoying. 

That's an interesting coping mechanism, I've never heard of it. I have wished before that I could have a completely different personality, but some days I feel I like who I am. It's great that you've found something you enjoy that helps channel your thoughts. 

Nothing I can think of. I'd love to do volunteer work when I'm retired and have time on my hands. Although during my last psych session my psychologist pointed out that I have quite a bad work life balance. 

I'm in the process of trying to purchase a bicycle. I know myself well enough by now to know that I'm getting really locked on and excited to be buying it, and thinking about riding it. But when I actually get it I won't use it as much as I should. Hahaha. But I guess that's maybe a common problem lots of people might have. I'm also looking into maybe doing some swimming after work, which is a challenge since I live far from work and I catch public transport in. 

One of the biggest challenges I have is wanting a buddy to do things with. I get very bored doing things by myself. 

hello again hope, 

I can definitely relate to that. Self care is really important, and it's kind of easy to neglect all that when you have another person. I find myself making excuses or having reasons- which are valid to me- to not do things because I'm uncomfortable. 

It's really great to hear that you're chasing your goals. I hope you find that thing despite all the distractions.

I'm doing alright, thanks for asking. I ordered that book on borderline, hopefully it will reach me soon. I'm going out to watch a movie and have dinner today with friends- it's been a while since I've been in a social group situation. And I've decided tomorrow I'm going bike shopping. 

I have other issues I want to talk about, but I'm not sure if I should be dumping them all here in a borderline thread. 

Hi all,

Unfortunately AGrace, the original poster of this thread left this forum some time ago.

This thread is a very important thread for those with BPD.

Can I say as a person with a mother with chronic BPD that resulted in many of my issues today, and is in total denial, if you seek treatment and stick with it, then you get all the accolades from me for your effort.

It is known that those with BPD often never get treatment and then when they do they don't stick with it. This is the worst thing one can do for not only themselves but their loved ones. I know this first hand.

So well done getting the help you need.

Tony WK

hope4joy
Community Member

Hi xmin,

i'm sorry you've been hit by depression. I hope the change in meds works. Its such a horrible feeling. I am still trying to get fully out of a depression I got over xmas and the ruddy thing wont go away. I guess for me my depression in part is also telling me my life is out of balance and that i need to focus more on building growing sustaining relationships with my self and others and less time on 'doing stuff'... but i find the latter so much easier!

You mentioned you have lots you want to chat about but not sure where to post it? You're welcome to post whatever wherever... I guess my experience is that the bpd traffic on this forum is pretty light - there are normally only a few replies. So if the issue is something that many people might face - which is most of bpd through maybe people use different words - than maybe the depression or anxiety sections - might get more responses. A few years ago I was on a forum that was mostly for bpd - it was really wonderful and helpful and i even meet some friends in person from it. But sadly its withered away and is not much in use anymore - i checked it out a few months ago and hence am on here. There is something special in connecting with people with bpd who have so many similar experiences in life. At the same time i've found this forum really safe and friendly and mostly people relate to what i share. Sometimes i feel i'm going 'too deep' than others... but then is part of my personality, so could happen anywhere. 

Anyways xmin, how has your bicycle shopping gone? 

And it sounds like you have a long commute to work. How do you pass the time?

I love swimming... love the feeling of having my head under water, but hardly go anymore. My skin has started reacting to the chlorine so i get stinging on my face 😞 but occasional visits to the beach and pool are bliss. I grew up near the ocean and spent much of my childhood swimming.

And yeah I hear you about wanting a buddy to do things with. I wonder if you have any acquaintances you could invite along for a bike ride? Have you tried meetup before?

Sending kind wishes your way,

Christina 

 

 

Hi Tony,

I'm not quite sure how to start off, i guess to say that I feel uncomfortable about how you have written about bpd.

Bpd is a mental health condition that nobody asks for, nobody chooses, but unfortunately a large number of people end up suffering from. There is a ridiculous amount of stigma against bpd. Much of the literature makes out that people with bpd are manipulative vindictive people who deliberately act in ways to harm themselves and others. The literature is so stigmatised that I chose to stop reading it - instead I read literature on 'complex trauma' - because this is another name that often fits the bpd diagnosis. I found the trauma literature much more compassionate and kind towards suffers and also fitted my situation accurately.

You say that your mother having bpd caused many of your difficulties. For me it was having a mother with depression that caused much of my early trauma. My mother has never recognised or accepted her depression - which she still suffers from - and has never sought treatment for it. Yet i just see her as part of a continuum, she had a pretty emotionally devoid and challenging childhood - which contributed to her problems. My grandparents dies before I was born but I guess they also had difficulties in their upbringing - that they passed on to my mum. I strongly believe in not blaming others for my difficulties - yes it has led to years of pain and mental illness for me but mum did the best she could with the resources she had, and I'm an adult now and it is my responsibility to change. It is not for me to judge others on their journey or lack of journey.

I guess what you wrote about many people with bpd not seeking or sticking with treatment - the same can be said for depression and anxiety and perhaps every mental illness. Society still has much stigma about seeking treatment and it is only in recent years that compassionate treatments are becoming available - compared to the barbaric asylums of the past. But to imply people with bpd wilfully deny treatment does not sit well with me. I can only speak for myself but a lifetime fear of people and huge issues with disassociating under stress have been major barriers to my self awareness and getting help. Nobody in their right mind would choose to suffer bpd if they new that treatment could help.

I hope it is okay to be this frank Tony. I am tired of discrimination against bpd. Like everyone else, we simply need kindness + acceptance.

Kind wishes, Christina 

Ladyhawke
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Christina, 

​Yes, no one would choose to have BPD and.I think most people would want to seek professional help rather than deal with this hellish disorder alone.

The problem I had was being given a diagnosis only last year when I now realise I have had  the disorder for decades.

I originally sought treatment for major depression/anxiety disorder 20 years ago, then a diagnosis of ADD was made three years ago. My psychiatrist did mention a few times that I displayed a few traits of BPD but didn't seem to think it was sufficiently serious to warrant treatment.

It only when I had a psychotic break last year that I had a full evaluation and was diagnosed with BPD. Had I been diagnosed sooner, I would have recognised that my behaviours were symptoms of the disorder.

Basically, what I'm saying is, perhaps some of the symptoms mimic other disorders and therefore a diagnosis may be difficult or quite late in coming.

I am actually agreeing with what you said; I just wanted to give a perspective of someone who was clinically diagnosed at a relatively mature age, unfortunately.

lh