Finding Hope

C. 22 year old female. Lives in Australia. Occupational therapy student at university. Battling borderline personality disorder, an eating disorder and depression and anxiety.

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Asker Anonymous Asks:
You seem a bit unsure to me whether you have the BPD diagnosis. I know from the past, dr's can just slap the label on because of my chronic suicidal thoughts, and even though I didn't meet the criteria except for that (I am just majorly depressed) he didn't take the time to understand me and my symptoms. There is nothing wrong with having it, but you need the diagnosis to fit. Have you had thorough sessions with a regular psych who can properly assess you to help you understand how and why you
finding-hope finding-hope Said:

fit the criteria for BPD. Diagnosis is annoying because it can be a bit confronting, but also stigma, but you can’t have adequate treatment without a proper diagnosis. I don’t know why I am writing this and feel free to ignore it. I had to find a dr who didn’t just put a label on me, and then say I was too hard to treat and kind of threw me in to the too hard basket. I hope I’m not out of line writing this- I’m curious.

No of course you’re not out of line writing this, and I appreciate you taking the time to do so. I agree that doctors tend to diagnose any young woman who has chronic self harm/suicidality with BPD despite that only being one component of BPD. 

Whether it fits for me, well I can see why some of it does.  Just depression causing my self harm, thoughts of suicide and issues in life doesn’t quite fit whereas BPD gives a better explanation for my issues. When I compare myself directly to the DSM criteria though I’m not sure, and it doesn’t help that some of the criteria is pretty vague. Criteria that I don’t see in myself are: besides bingeing and purging which is more attributed to my eating disorder, I don’t engage in impulsive behaviour. I do not have frequent displays of anger. I don’t alternate between idealising and devaluing people. I don’t have stress related paranoid ideation or dissociate. Though I fear rejection and abandonment, I don’t make frantic efforts to avoid it.

Besides the criteria, when other people with BPD talk about their feelings and inner experiences I can relate a lot to what they say. Things like wanting to have suicide as an escape, being very sensitive especially to other people, being hurt very easily especially if you think someone might abandon you, wanting to be taken care of, using self harm as a way to cope and communicate your pain and struggle, feeling lost in life, getting attached to anyone who shows you any kindness or care, not really knowing who you are and what you want in life and changing your mind about it etc…those are things that I have that aren’t necessarily in the criteria but are quite common amongst those with BPD.  

That was a long post, but in conclusion, I agree with having BPD when I compare my feelings and experiences to those traits that are common amongst people with BPD, but when I assess myself against DSM criteria I’m kinda unsure.

Dbt really helped me in so many ways! Good luck :)
finding-hope finding-hope Said:

Thank you, it’s good to hear from people who’ve done it and found it beneficial :) x

Asker Anonymous Asks:
Congratulations on starting DBT. I know it seems overwhelming but most of those contracts are only in place as a general guideline. It's not ideal but unfortunately there are many other participants that will use excuses to get out of therapy sessions. I'm sure the core issues of self harming will be addressed in your individual therapy sessions to avoid triggering fellow participants. Good luck and I have faith you can do this!
finding-hope finding-hope Said:

Thank you xx

Some patients with borderline personality disorder actually need to be suicidal — when they feel no power over life, they retain the choice of death. Clinicians should therefore be cautious about removing this coping mechanism too soon. Patients with borderline personality disorder may remain suicidal until they feel in control of their fate. The knowledge that they can choose to die allows them to go on living.
On Chronic Suicidality Among Patients With Borderline Personality Disorder – Joel Paris, M.D. (via lostinbetweenrealandfake)

(via borderline-ing)

Now that I’ve had both my first individual and group DBT session, I’m still rather apprehensive about it all. During individual therapy while D was giving me more information about the DBT program, as much as I didn’t want them to, tears started rolling down my face. D asked me about the tears, and I told her that I was overwhelmed with fear and anxiety about how full on the program seemed, and…

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Asker Anonymous Asks:
I'm the inpatient anon who's in love with another patient. I really want to get together with him and it's breaking my heart that I can't because (a) relationships with other patients are forbidden and (b) I don't know if he feels the same way about me. It's making me more depressed!!!!
finding-hope finding-hope Said:

Though relationships are forbidden while inpatient, if there is something between you and him, you can always see how things go when you’re both out of hospital? The only way to find out how he feels is to ask him and let him know how you’re feeling. If he does feel the same way you two can take it from there, if he doesn’t, at least you would have made your feelings known and won’t be left wondering what if? But for now, it’s probably a good idea just to be friends while you’re both in hospital.

discontinuiity:

finding-hope:

Had my first DBT individual session yesterday and I ended up crying like an idiot when she was going through information on DBT. I was just feeling so overwhelmed with fear and anxiety about how full on and strict it seems, how hard it feels and how much that makes me want to run away from it all….

DBT does seem overwhelming and kinda terrifying at first - my boyfriend who attends the sessions w me sometimes complains that it’s ‘too much like school’, with it’s regimented nature.

I can also understand your fear of having to lose all your coping mechanisms at once and be left without a paddle, so to speak, in the midst of your overwhelming feelings. DBT works with you and the units are structured so that they build on each other and you don’t have to take it all at once. Your pace is the pace it will go at.

Some modules may be harder than others - interpersonal effectiveness is proving to be a bitch for me and I’m trying to push through it. Maybe start small: say the next few times you feel overwhelmed, you’ll at least try a DBT skill to cope. That’s all you have to do. Just try, once. It gets easier and easier and soon cutting won’t be as much of a pressuring thought. Xo

Thank you, it’s good to hear from other people who’ve been through DBT and understand xx

What was wrong with me? I had a decent life. I was healthy. I wasn’t starving or maimed by a land mine or orphaned. Yet somehow, it wasn’t enough. I had a hole in me, and everything I took for granted slipped through it like sand.

I felt like I had swallowed yeast, like whatever evil was festering inside me had doubled in size.

Jodi Picoult, Handle with Care (via quotes-shape-us)

(via what-ed)