Finding Hope

C. 22 year old female. Lives in Australia. Occupational therapy student at university. Battling depression, anxiety, anorexia nervosa and BPD.
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I showed my rash to the GP- she reckons it could be shingles which would mean it’s not caused by the lithium after all.

Really struggling with the BPD diagnosis lately. Though it was diagnosed about a year ago, at the time I wasn’t entirely sure as the doctor just said “personality disorder” and didn’t name a specific one when I asked him which one, and they never actually went through the criteria- they just based it on my history of self harm and suicidal ideation. But it’s only now that it’s really had implications about how I’m treated and certain assumptions that are made. And it makes me feel awful and hopeless :( 

Asked my GP to fill in a form for me for Uni. She used the hospital discharge summary as a guide and I had a glance at it. In it I saw the words “Borderline Personality Disorder,” that I presented in a “crisis” and that I’m “well known to the mental health service.” It’s still a bit confronting whenever I see “BPD” written down and it was even more confronting when she ticked it’s “permanent” and expected to be “lifelong”. Though I know it’s not true and used to be the common perception, it still doesn’t feel good :( #bpd #borderlinepersonalitydisorder

Had my first DBT group today. There were two of us who were new (I already knew the other girl from inpatient) and four other women who had been doing it for a while. I was talking to one of the women before group and she told me that it’s been life changing for her, and that she could now cope with things she couldn’t before. During group a couple of them also spoke about how at first they didn’t get what was being taught and thought it was stupid but as time went on they could incorporate it into their lives and really see the benefits. Still anxious about it, but it’s also interesting seeing the difference between us who are new to it and those who’ve already done over 6 months of it.

The other girl who I know from IP isn’t doing the full DBT program though- she told me she’s only doing the six months of the group component because she doesn’t meet the criteria for BPD. This must be the only time where having a BPD diagnosis actually has a use haha- you can access DBT which is quite possibly the most comprehensive and intense therapy program available in the public mental health service.

I’ve developed a rash on my hip- it occurred a couple of days after starting lithium so I’m not sure whether it could be related or just a coincidence? :/ #rash #medication #lithium #lithiumcarbonate #eskalith #quilonum

Asker Anonymous Asks:
Everything in psychiatry is based on research. As a branch of medicine they must use evidence based practice (which I assume you learn for your OT)
finding-hope finding-hope Said:

Yes we do learn about evidence based practice and about how interventions should have solid evidence behind them.

Asker Anonymous Asks:
OMG twins! I just started on lithium too! Don't know about the rash though :/
finding-hope finding-hope Said:

Ahh cool! Hopefully it works well for you :)

(Cont) can you call a nurse and ask if this is a side effect? I never really hear about people having lots of weird side effects on lithium (well... Aside from toxicity 😕) so I hope for your sake it's not that, lithium is a good drug. But yes, sjs is extraordinarily rare on things like lamictal and I'm guessing even rarer on lithium. If the rash starts to look nasty quickly, get yourself to hospital! Otherwise call a nurse and see if you should come in. Good luck whatever it is :)
finding-hope finding-hope Said:

Thanks for that. I am seeing my GP tomorrow morning and then the psych registrar on Thursday so I will mention it and see what they have to say about it x

It's probably a coincidence. My doctor is super super careful about telling me side effects (to the point where I actually wish he didn't tell me some of them haha) and he's not mentioned it. (Though I think perhaps you can get some photosensitivity with titration?) the rash that person mentioned is Steven Johnson, a very rare rash you can get on epilepsy drugs (big blistering reaction) if that happens on Li, it's rare enough that I've never been told, while other drugs I've been on the lookout.
finding-hope finding-hope Said:


Asker Anonymous Asks:
They should focus more on the individual, yes. But research is conducted in groups (eg people with bpd) and the research reflects that this group doesn't respond well to hospitalisations. I guess it's hard if studies don't include other factors to distinguish people who might benefit from admissions from those whose disorder may be exacerbated. Deviating from the current clinical standard can pose risks and isn't justified. I guess some Drs may feel okay varying treatment but others aren't
finding-hope finding-hope Said:

Interesting, I wasn’t aware they had research for this- I think I just assumed it was from anecdotal evidence they concluded that people with BPD shouldn’t be hospitalised.