Borderline Personality Disorder

Yesterday I went to go see my therapist, whom I have been seeing for only about 2-3 months every other week. She gave me this survey to take. And based on the survey I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Basically I have extreme mood swings, I have fears of being abandoned, feelings of inadequacy, and have difficulty keeping relationships. It is very common in women and my mom believes that she has it too. I have been seeing my boyfriend for about 7 months but we just got back together about 4-5 weeks ago. This is my longest and most serious relationship ever and I do not know how to tell him about this. I do not know how he will react or what he will think. It is 100% manageable, it doesnt mean I am "crazy" or anything, but it obviously has a negative connotation when people hear "personality disorder", I thought the samething when I was told about it. Communication and support is something that he and I take very seriously and I am going to need his support in trying to manage this. So while I know that I dont NEED to tell him I feel like I need to tell him because not telling him would be counter intuitive to that communcation and support aspect of our relationship.?

I honestly do not know what to say to him or how to explain it.?

I knew someone with BPD. She was not like you. I know another person with suspected BPD. She would have this sudden change of mood if she suggested something and I said Well no I didn't feel like doing that, she would suddenly fly off the handle and go on this verbal rampage.

I'm skeptical of the diagnosis only because I'm biased because the first person I knew who was truly BPD would have never talked about taking steps to manage her disorder and benig concerned about managing her disorder and asking for help from other people the way you are here.

Bypassing the label issue altogether, I think your prognosis is good, because you recognize there's a problem, you desire to take steps to mitigate the problem, you appear to be very intelligent, you already have a therapist helping you.

You mention extreme mood swings. Could this be bipolar disorder? Have you discussed this with a psychiatrist doctor? There might be some mood stabilizing?medication you could try. (You might need to try several different ones before finding one that actually works for you.)

Another thing that's been known to help this kind of issue is Mindfulness. You can look it up. Or here's a link to a free book on the subject:
http://drspencersherman.com/Mindfulness.html

http://www.spencershermanphd.com/id4.html

OK the first link is a brief description, and the second one is the free book. (The free book is also available on Amazon if you want to read it on Kindle for 99 cents.) There's also a free app called "Headspace" which gives guided meditations that's pretty good.

(Mindfulness Meditation is part of DBT, and I think it's a part of CBT, and other therapies that have 3 letter acronyms. The point is, you can use your brain to train your brain to strengthen your brain like a muscle, and you'll gain more control over these mood swings and emotions, and it will ultimately help with relationships too. I know it seems like "What does sitting quietly doing nothing have to do with learning stuff?". Notice people who train in the martial arts do this meditation stuff all the time. It's probably the most important part of their training.)

You could also do Yoga, Qi-gong, or Tai-Chi, which are Mindfulness motion exercises.

[Technically, from what I understand, these Mindfulness exercises activate the body & mind's Parasympathetic Nervous System (feelings of safety), and deactivate the body's Sympathetic Nervous System (feelings of fear). Achieve that, and fear of abandonment disappears, fear of inadequacy disappears, the mind/body's "social engagement" mode gets switched on so relationships go better, it's healthy for the brain, just like exercise is for the body.]

You can also look into the Wellness Action Recovery Plan book and workbook by?Mary Ellen Copeland. The basic idea is to write down what you are like when you are well, so others know what you are like when you are well. Then write down what you are like when you are starting to go downhill, so others can recognize the signs, and come up with an action plan of things you can do when you notice that happening, things that can help you recover and get you back to well. (You actually don't need the book, as I just gave the whole idea here. The book however describes the idea in much more detail and gives examples.)

The book (or actually the workbook where you actually write down the answers) is then useful for your support people, such as your boyfriend, so they know what to watch out for, and how to respond when they notice something. It's totally tailored to you because it's totally written by you.

In summary:
1. Medication may help smooth out extreme moodswings. Consult doctor (psychiatrist if possible, otherwise regular doctor)
2. Meditation may help one deal with moodswings, and may help one become more calm and focused, and may help decrease moodswings, or at least help one better ride out moodswings.
3. WRAP book & workbook may be helpful for boyfriend and mother and any other supportive people and also yourself, to act as a plan.

OK that's everything I know! Yup! Brain is dry! Best wishes! Prognosis is good (whatever the label, you've got the self awareness and smarts and determination!)

 

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