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 Post subject: New and needing support
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:17 pm
Posts: 21
Hello, all.

I've never been diagnosed, though I've seen psychiatrists, therapists and the like. The focus was mostly on treating my symptoms, rather than distinguishing a diagnosis. However, my last doctor mentioned personality issues, and I definitely identify with BPD symptoms. So... I'm here.

It's been years since I've been in any kind of treatment... but I've actually improved a great deal in that time. I never did well with any of my doctors. My last had good intentions and, had I listened to him, I may have done better. In the end, he told me I was wasting my time. I was. I didn't really care to improve, at that point. Afterward, I took some of his advice and it did help. Plus, recognizing my behaviors has helped me overcome some of my issues.

I was a wreck before... completely. I'm so, so much better now. But, I'm not without occasional problems. As everyone is, I'm sure. I just tend to go back on my old behaviors when things are hard, you know?

I don't have much in the way of support, and I could use some. Right now, I don't have anyone I can talk to... no one who would understand the types of feelings I go through. My first thought, my solution to every problem has always been suicide. And, I don't want to die. I'm just under a lot of stress... physically and mentally, and I haven't been dealing with it well. I'd really appreciate the support of those who can relate.


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 Post subject: Re: New and needing support
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:55 am 
Community Member
Community Member

Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:01 am
Posts: 1007
hey hey :)
welcome onboard :)
you've arrived at the right place. here, people listen to you and respond to you.

happy working on your recovery and hope to see you around on the boards here :)


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 Post subject: Re: New and needing support
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:53 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:15 pm
Posts: 39
Hello,
I am new too. I was struck by what you said about reverting to old behaviours when things got bad and the suicidal feelings.

I have those experiences too but have noticed that practising skills I learned in a DBT therapy group has helped. It has not made all the bad stuff disappear but I am noticing a lessening of anxiety and even periods of happy feelings recently.

So. I think practising skills has worked for me. When I am in a crisis period I talk to helplines as often as I need to and I find this can get me through the difficult periods.
It is not nice to feel alone with this stuff.

Look after yourself..


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 Post subject: Re: New and needing support
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:41 pm 
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New Member

Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:17 pm
Posts: 21
Thanks. I appreciate the welcome. I know I still have things to work on and I think encouragement from likeminded people would definitely be helpful.


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 Post subject: Re: New and needing support
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:04 pm
Posts: 137
Practicing definitely helps. How can you just reverse a lifetime of momentum overnight? I know that I couldn't. I do notice how much progress I have made though. It helps to remember that when I am having a hard time. Each hard time has made me stronger. It has given me a chance to hone my skills at remaining peaceful in the middle of a shitstorm.


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 Post subject: Re: New and needing support
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:22 pm
Posts: 23
I am 63 but just discovered this year that I have BPD. I knew I always felt “bad” about myself, felt unworthy of love, and felt worthless with no identity, but I didn't know why or what was going on. After realizing that my underlying fear/terror was fear of abandonment, things began to fall into place. I was in therapy for about 25 years, but no one diagnosed me or helped me, but rather made me worse. So, I read everything I could about BPD and wrote up my own version of how it played out in my life. I had an affair over 2 years ago that destroyed my family. My husband still loved me and was willing to work with me to find out what was wrong, help me, and keep loving me while making me feel safe to unravel my problems. I certainly had my BPD well hidden. None of my therapists had a clue. Neither did we! Since Learning that fear of abandonment was my largest demon, that led me to BPD. There I found myself well defined. The amorphous emotions of feeling bad, worthless, unlovable, empty, no identity, no self-esteem, impulsiveness, and just not being able to read people got me into trouble as my grown kids began to leave home. I had the affair around this time with a man I had known long before I met my husband.

Here's a sketch of what I have been doing to “fix” myself when I feel I am reverting to my old behaviors. I have written out all of my problem areas, looked for the trigger points that set them off, have put in place a replacement behavior (even if it's taking some deep breaths, closing my mouth and not talking, or revealing my impulses or whatever to my husband. I realized that I was lying to cover over the affair and all the phone calls and emails that made me get home late from work. After about 6 months of dealing with all the lies, coming clean on everything and answering all my husband's questions, I realized that my lying was only the symptom to cover over a sense of PRIVACY, where I could hide things that I didn't want anyone to know about. This caused me to have even lower self-esteem and put distance between an open relationship with my husband and grown kids. I decided the day I figured this out that the truth was far better than keepying lies and secrets. This was the real beginning of my recovery, since I kept none of myself hidden from my husband. (My kids didn't want to hear anything about me or my recovery, so we no longer have personal relationships where they talk to me about their lives. At least they talk to me now.)

Some of my issues were impulsiveity, black and white thinking, lying, misreading people, projection of my anger, lack of identity, emptiness, mood changes and depression, stress, wothless, unlovable, FEAR OF ABANDONMENT, wanting to be dead, etc. I realized that this originated when I was an infant and my parents cound't connect because of their own disconnected backgrounds and abusive behaviors. I worked the 12 steps as a way to work though this, even though I am not an alcoholic, and began my recovery. What I learned about my BPD is that each behavior has trigger points. I have worked to isolate the trigger points and replace them with something else like deep breathing, prayer, a short exerxice, an alternative behavior, etc. I then wrote up my BPD as though it were a physical illness called Border Mal Seizure and listed all my symptoms. Why did I do this? Because I think if I approach this as a physical illness, I won't get so down on myself even though I am making much smaller mistakes in my behavior than before as I get control over this. I then wrote out a “treatment” plan that involved asking my husband to keep me safe during my “seizure” by wrapping his arms around me tightly, which is also what he does when he hugs me with a sense of safety and closeness. I thought if I could break up my behaviors into a list that we might both be able to stop my behavior in its tracks by doing something that includes attachmment, safety, and love. Hopefully, this will help me bypass some of my self-loathing and treat it as an illness with a treatment. In fact, I will paste my list here in case you can use any of it for yourself.

Diagnosis: Border Mal Seizures

Symptoms:
Change in voice
Anger
Confusion
Argumentitive
Throw objects
Leave the room
Sarcasm
Facial expressions
Projection
Moodiness

Treatment:
Safety first: put arms around patient and squeeze tightly and with a sense of safety.
Discourse: pronounce, one safely in arms, that patient is inhabiting borderland and is not in a safe place to be. Tell patient it is time to leave borderland and come back to reality. If this fails, take patient to sofa or bed and hold until the symptoms subside.
Touch: Petting and stroking take the sting out of the underlying thoughts that cause symptoms and allow the opportunity for discussion in a normal tone.
Underlying thoughts: Humiliation, failure, emptiness, fear, lonliness, crazyness, confusion, grey zone between black and white, impulsiveness, neediness, lost, can't find way back.

Aftermath: Guilt, sorrow, grief, self anger, frustration, loss, failure, lack of control, fear of permanent loss.

Note: These symptoms, process, and aftermath are primarily directed at self but present as projections. Feeling out of control and lost instigate a sense of extreme fear, loss, and anxiety that are self-directed but projected onto others as a sense of preserving what is left of self. Please not that extreme shame and sorrow follow these border mal seizures which may, if untreated, last for an hour to two days. Treatment can be very effective, with few negative side effects for the patient. It is the caregiver who experiences the side effects, which also last up to two days or more, depending on the the severity of the seizure. Do not leave patient unattended and do NOT engage with seizure behaviors, however much one wants to offer “help.” The only help is to stop the seizure in a manner that keeps the patient safe from self harm or harm to others.

I know this is long, but I hope you can find something out of this that may help you in your road to recovery. I have found that it is perhaps most difficult for me to control my impulsivity (especially when I want to talk to my kids or explain what to watch out for, because I know I passed some of this onto them and they don't even know they have it). The step that has allowed me to recover the most was giving up my privacy so my husband and I could be totally open and close, even if I told him I lied or felt anxious and so on. We have rebuilt our relationship (so far) so that it is better, more intimate, and just closer than ever. I still get so upset with myself when I fall into a BPD behavior and I have to work on that. '

I also realized that too many things were working out in a way that neither of us could have planned for, and this brought prayer and grace into the picture. I was never sure of my relationship with the Lord, but now I feel we have been handed so much grace that I can't ignore it. Prayer, gratitude, asking for mercy and strength and to soften my childrens' hearts are part of what I do when I get close to BPD thinking. I also do it every day.

I hope you will find what you are looking for in this forum. I know I sometimes think other people do not give enough details to really know what they are going through, but it helps me to write out what I am going through and how I am learning to deal with it. By sharing, I reinforce my own plans for recovery. In fact, I just a few days ago I had a bout that last two days because I had misread two different people I knew from my borderland times, who leaked into the present. I get down on myself, project my anger, and start a whirlwind of painful agony for both my husband and me. This is when I made up my “diagnosis” list.

Take care and know that you can improve, even if little by little, but it does help to build a foundation and begin to form an identity based on reality, which was something I could easily drop in the past. If you are committed to getting better, chances are good that you will if you make it a priority in your life. I know I want my relationship with my husband to grow more intimate and fulfilling each day and I would love to get my kids back someday. I am also tired of hating myself, being afraid and angry, and out of control with my impulses and moods.


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