“I Had An Appointment Today” and musing upon why we hate the BPD label

Courtesy of Prozacville

Edit:  Ooh, Mind already linked a post on this topic.  Anyway…

Hello! I made my last post about youth work private as I got some hassle via the lovely medium of email and I cannot be arsed to deal with it.

On that note, I seem to be adept at starting hassle unintentionally because of my colourful language and gung-ho ness. For the record, thank you and as lovely as it is that people care enough about me to stand up for me, please don’t feel the need to defend me anywhere, I’m quite capable and it creates needless drama.

EDIT: Whoever you are, you clearly didn’t listen to me. Will you stop, please?

I had an appointment today. We went outside and I chainsmoked my way though it. There was a squirrel family innd I met two cats!

It rained like hell today, which I was grateful for.  I like the rain a lot better than the sun.  It clapped out when me and Robert were hiding outside Kings Cross after googling Spanish breakfast and ending up eating churros.  He’d been on his night shift and wasn’t exhausted yet, and I was wide awake, so it was nice to spend a few hours together before he got his hibernating bear sleep and I did my thing.

My mood is good right now- good enough that my social worker is ringing me to check I’ve not been arrested on Monday. I’ve been having issues with agitation and ARGH! shakiness for a wee while.   And some fluttering, constant anxiety that’s been affecting me, ahem, physically, so I need to be within sprinting distance of a bucket or a hole in the ground.  I was quite low, but I think a lot of it was to do with the flueyness and feeling awful-ness of shingles.  It pissed me off and it hurts!  The agitation and a bit of irritation remains while my mood has escalated a little, partly, I imagine, due to lack of sleep. Which was a relief, as my tiny high spikes lately have been rather enjoyable, if not also vaguely silly (Just ask my poor, awful, recently chopped off hair.  After spending half my life avoiding looking into mirrors even in a good mood I can’t do it, thus have no fucking clue what the hairdresser is doing.  My third haircut since I moved to London and apparently so bad that the stylist didn’t want me to pay for it.  It’s growing on me, a bit, unlike my poor hair). She’s not particularly worried and neither am I.   It’s a good mood and if it goes tits, well.  No point worrying until there’s something to worry about.   I’ve been a lot more productive (16000 words in the past week,  been writing a lot, although my social worker said, “Did you read over them? They might have been, y’know… manic nonsense…”  Nope, never do, but Robert did) and have a lovely clean and tidy bedroom, hurrah. The kitchen still does not exist.  And weed helps calm me down.

I think I’m okay without, but it’s a kind of insurance, I guess.  There’s little urgency on either side, which is a good thing.  It’s all mild suggestion.  I told her I knocked my last high mood on the head with a fuckload of Seroquel and Lorezapam, so that was fine.  She rightly pointed out how could I knock it on the head now since I have neither of those medications?  Ah well, people can duck then, I might meet the new psychiatrist when he starts, and I might not.  I still want to be discharged, four years is enough and I don’t think I’m unwell enough for the CMHT.

As for the BPD thing, who knows!  If I recovered then I’m skeptical.  BPD doesn’t just “get better” on its own without treatment. It’s ingrained, and while it can lessen as you age, usually you need some sort of therapy to recover from it as far as I know. I got nada, and yet I don’t have symptoms of it any more. My own theory is that I had traits-self harm, which, although scarred and I hate those, I often fail to see the problem with,  fear of being alone, insecurity, self hatred and etc- to cope with things as a teenager- then I learned to cope better.  I don’t have the problems with unstable relationships (I have social anxiety, lessening, but I view that separately, it’s not fear of rejection, it’s embarrassment!), emptiness, etc. I can see why I was diagnosed with it, but not a full-blown disorder.  It’s more complicated than that, I know, but in short, I’m no longer concerned. I’m a lot better in a lot of ways so I yay that rather than want to question too much why. Since I stopped throwing up what little I ate and stopped taking laxatives for the rest, I’ve gained 20lbs, but I steel myself, and it’s okay. I eat healthily, my body deserves that and so does my loo, it’s important. It’s all good. I repeat this to myself if I feel panicky. No scuffed knuckles, no blood in my mouth. No self harm, less insecurity. This is good and analysing how I got here isn’t helpful.

If things go tits and I end up in hospital at some point, it’ll likely be quite clear what’s up, whether it’s a manic thing, depression, BPD madness or Other. If not, then even better. I’ve been reassured that if I become really unwell, nobody will consign me to the bin. That is what I was terrified of.  I’m not concerned, but I am interested in it.  It’s been quite a, “Hmm, that’s interesting” thoughtful time. Well, to me, anyway, probably boring as balls to anyone else.  I’ve gone on and on about labels and identity here before in my chin stroking moments, but now I’m curious as to the rather quite visceral way me and others refute things.

We talked a little about blogging today. We’ve never really discussed blogging, even though it’s part of my life. In mentioning the borderline thing (in context of medications), I told her a few other mental health bloggers previously or concurrently diagnosed with BPD had resisted it violently and were distraught about it. One blogger was diagnosed with schizophrenia and then BPD, and the BPD thing threw her most. I think it says a lot about that diagnosis. “Phew, schizophrenia…hang on, BPD?” I was, as you know, massively upset with the BPD diagnosis. I’d finally kind-of-accepted bipolar disorder, and that’s apparently a lifelong disorder that’s mostly controlled with medication that makes you fat, sexless, gassy and bald. But borderline personality disorder, well, that seemed like a giant kick in my beautiful, bipolar balls.

I mused on why some people are so resistant to the label, even though it’s all fluid and will change from person to person, doctor to doctor, and is sometimes quite subjective and only useful as far as treatment.  It was the, “instead of” rather than, “the and” that threw me.  I was quite obsessed with it for a few weeks in that intensely focused way I’m capable of occasionally. I read absolutely everything about it that I could find (including this article on end of life care with a patient who has BPD.  It’s fascinating and it literally never occurred to me that such a situation could exist) and tried to find myself in there.  I found little bits.  Was he right? Was it all really… and here, I think, is the rub… my fault?

There is stigma at work here- inside and out.  I like to think I’m a groovy accepting person, but my annoyance at the borderline comment shows I’m not entirely free of stigmatising attitudes myself, which annoys me because my rational mind understands it.  The so called “biological” mental illnesses (that is, Axis I disorders in the DSM-IV) are kind of blameless. They’re still unpleasant and joyously murderous, but nobody really blames you for having manic depression or schizophrenia. They blame your genes. Axis II, well, that’s you. You’re just fucked up. Even the moniker, “personality disorder” is accusatory. It’s oft said, but it’s true- your personality, your fault. You’re fucked up. Piss off. DBT handbook will be in the post! Axis I is real, Axis II is made-up. It’s crap. This is stuff that has been classified in a certain way; they all exist with each other, because they are all descriptions of behaviours, and that’s all the names are. Behaviours that exist and that I believe can be classified, named and treated if needs be, but that’s all. Sociopaths exist like schizophrenics exist.

The cruelty of this perspective cuts me to the quick, even though I know on a deeper level, I fear there’s truth in it and that’s why I run from it.   Personality disorders- and the dreaded, hated borderline personality disorder in particular- are often shaped by abuse.  There’s the “good” abuse victim (hello, PTSD) and the “bad” abuse victim (hello BPD).  And she’s usually a young woman.  The pain is too visceral, too visible, and thus terribly frightening and threatening. It makes people want to wince and look away, or to expel your from their presence. But in a sane world, people with things like BPD would be treated more sympathetically, not less. I don’t read many mental health blogs anymore (it starts to get bad for…well, your mental health) and I had to stop reading some BPD blogs because the descriptions of abuse that they’d suffered were agonising for me to read. To read, so imagining how they actually felt every day is horrible. And makes me a wanky little coward.

I somewhat intellectualised my protest- labels, pah! I just want the right treatment, pah! You didn’t read my fecking notes properly, pah! But really, one sentence summed it up- “Please, please do not tell me that I have done this to myself!”

Bollocks, this got long.  SNIP!

I’ve written before about my occasional bouts of grief over the things I’ve lost in the past…oh, twelve years. In my (privated) entry I mentioned my teenagehood, which was a terrible, scary and sometimes hilariously idiotic time. It was when I became ill, quite suddenly. I had no fucking clue what was happening to me, and it almost destroyed my family. It did destroy my education, most of my friendships (which, when I’m being the armchair psychologist, because I am insanely (ahaha) interested in mentalism from a non-me perspective, I think was the start of social anxiety; I was fine when I was hyper, if not scary, then withdrawn and scary and paranoid when depressed, then normal, I didn’t know how to speak to people. I’m still mostly a bit of loner, and nervy, but I’m learning), then later, my work history.

I mostly lied to or ranted at doctors (one reason being that at one appointment I thought I was being set up and filmed secretly) because I wanted to be left alone and I’m still glad I escaped my teens with only a social worker who thought I was an attention seeker (protip: never self harm), a counsellor I lied to, a doctor who told me off for swearing, a “mood disorder” diagnosis, a handful of Carbamazepine and then leaving the country as a referral to the outpatient mental hospital plopped onto my doormat. I wanted to skip on my merry way into my twenties and when I finally summoned up the courage (well, when Rob summoned up my courage) to speak to someone, I was petrified I’d be told I did it to myself. I felt like I would dissolve, cease to exist with the guilt and shame and loss of the years, if I’d done this to myself. And I was a baby, only twenty, and had newly lost my dad.

The bipolar diagnosis was actually what bought me back to family because they finally had an explanation for some of my crazier behaviour, and it was the one they had always thought. Making it official and getting treatment was a massive relief for all involved. The CPN even wrote a letter home to my mum explaining what it was, like a teacher. I remember my sister excitedly squeeing down the phone, “You’ll be able to concentrate! Think of how much you’ll write! You’ll be able to read! You can go to sleep! SLEEP!” I resisted it a lot at first and yelled at the crisis team that I had depression at worst and to fuck off and I’m not taking Lithium. When I did accept it, though, I started to deal with it. I call my mentalism a few things: Egbert (he is depression) and Rob called it the Spiky Sea Urchin who lies to me. But bipolar disorder, well, that was what they called it. And nobody blamed me.

Manic depression also didn’t feel like a judgement. Hell, in some (stupid, fucking annoying) circles, it’s a compliment. People (stupid, fucking annoying) want to have bipolar disorder. When I was diagnosed I was told to go read everything I could about it. What did I get? Kay R Jamison, biographies of artists, touching documentaries that seem to forget that there are incapacitated people out there (those not writing these florid blogs).

Who the fuck wants to be borderline, except briefly me when I watched Girl, Interrupted as an impressionable teen? Who wants to be told they’re emotionally unstable, manipulative, empty, destructive, incapable of controlling themselves, someone who can’t see someone as a whole person, or themselves as a person and all the other stereotypes attached to it? What do you get to watch? Fucking Fatal Attraction and Single White Female? There isn’t going to be a polaroid with a cheesy grin and thumbs up sign at that appointment.

For some people, it’s a relief to have that diagnosis, because it fits, and if it’s accurate, you hopefully have access to treatment.  But if you feel it doesn’t describe you, or had previously been diagnosed with something clean and shiny and blameless, then it’s like being told, “Sorry, now it’s time for you to piss off”.  BPD is notoriously ill-treated in the mental health system and a lot of it is, as Mental Nurse once put it, it’s treated as, “Asshole Personality Disorder”.  I’ve only been in hospital once but since coming off medication, my moods have been quite unstable.  I’m managing, even quite enjoying the little highness, but the thought of being chucked into hospital and written off as an asshole if I got ill made me want to grab a randomite and throw them into my place.  Such is the frightening power of psychiatry. Because doctors are authority figures, it’s difficult not believe what they say.

But it’s all bullshit.  It’s no more a judgement and no more someone’s fault than bipolar disorder.  Bipolar’s image is cultural, as is borderline’s.  Maybe it’ll get its makeover, too.  Maybe one day the borderline people of the world will be able to turn around and punch those who sigh, “God, you’re so lucky, I just have boring old depression, I’d love a bit of emotional lability”.  Before the Stephen Frys of the world, manic depression was feared and misunderstood, like BPD and schizophrenia (once thought to be related, and now BPD is the incurable yet unsevere illness whereas schizophrenia is the “cancer” of mental illness- go figure) are now.  And they are ALL, without exception, names to describe behaviour.  That’s it.  Framework for possible treatment.  Once I got that into my skull, I felt better.  People suffer and sometimes they need help.  And it takes all the balls in the world to go through it.

Another issue here is therapy versus medication.  Therapy’s aimed at the inner workings of a person, the implication is something is being dealt with badly, so we’ll fix it with painful therapy.  Whereas most people with manic depression, depression and schizophrenia could benefit from therapy, it’s mostly medication.  You take it like you take painkillers.  Therapy is different.  Therapy says, “This is all you”.  And therapy is harder than medication.  And if it doesn’t work as well as it should or if it’s too painful, we’re back to, “this is all you”.  And if medication for bipolar doesn’t work, then you’re also back to, “this is all you”.

So, no small wonder that me and others like me kick against it.   I never thought I’d want to be manic depressive as much as I did when I got slammed with BPD.  So stupid to admit to it, and it was only one doctor’s opinion, but I thought, “THEN WHAT THE HELL WAS ALL THAT, EH?”  But I felt like crap about it.  Why was I ducking it?  Why was I being so defensive?  What was so wrong? Why did I care? All of the above was the answer.

I may sound like she who protests too much, but I think BPD was a misdiagnosis.  I did a bollock load of self examination and came to that conclusion, one that everybody around me agrees with.  Frankly, I don’t want any more fucking letters after my name.  Seaneen, GCSE, BPAD, AvPD… But if I did… so what?  It wouldn’t be my fault, and the mental health services would pull their heads out of their holes if more people realised that.  If you were straining it, you could even say that my self examination after the BPD thing was unstable identity thus and ETC!

That’s not to say that if something isn’t your fault you can sit on your arse and blame everyone.  I go through my WAAAH FUCK YOU periods but I know nothing gets better unless you do something about it.  Things are what they are, and you kind of have to live with them.  I’m still in diagnosis limbo so have a valid and delicious excuse to avoid medication and treatment, but if I become ill- either in an emotional storm or with a huge mood swing- then I’ll have to deal with it.  I don’t want to have to start from the beginning again.  It’s annoying and tiring and I also don’t want to die yet.

We also talked about the very fact that writing a blog might prejudice a doctor.  Blogging is narcissistic, let’s admit it.  It’s something I’m still uncomfortable with, but fuck it, if I bore my cats with this, they will up and leave and I like them.  I am narcissistic to blog.  I like getting comments and input.  Via the interweb you can be whoever you want to be.  I write in quite a similar way to how I talk (Oh yes, I am this long winded in person too) but, I’m probably more HEY! and COHERENT! here, and wittier, and so on, when in real life I’m kind of clumsy and alas, cannot edit what I said so put my foot in my mouth often.

It can make you obsessive and overly focused on mentalism- which I totally agree with and which is why sometimes I take a step back from blogging and reading them.

Blogging about mental health is often dramatic, too. Mental illness is by and large boring but you get the big events like crashes and suicide attempts- popcorn out. Crude, but true.  I think there can be a tendency to overstatement sometimes- which is natural, and something I’ve been guilty of.  Describing things in GREAT DETAIL lest anyone think I was lying.  It’s partly because of writing- it’s a descriptive, reasoned way of communicating- and literal and metaphorical get mixed up.  Also, lots of people with mental illness have spent a lot of their lives being told to get over it, so there’s a tendency to kick against it because it gets annoying.  Someone commented here before that if I kept this blog going, then I’d feel the need to perform, to not recover, because then why would anyone read this blog?  I’d lose my “audience” if I just posted, “I feel okay today” every day.   I don’t feel the need to perform and when not much is going on I say so, and I often use this blog for more, “I’m thinking about this, what do you think?” stuff but I can understand that rationale and I think there’s an element of truth in it.  It’s something I question often when my finger hovers over the delete button and when I stop finding it personally helpful to bullshit here, I’ll stop bullshitting in here.  I don’t think I’d have gotten this far without blogging, pathetically.  It’s helped me worked out a lot of my crap, find support and comrades and understanding and often just silliness and someone to talk to.  But I do think it can be counterproductive, and I do think that the focus of blogging should be the message, not the medium.  (I can be a hypocrite, here)

Because mental health blogging-anonymous or not- is inherently attention seeking, then you have a personality disorder!  This is crap, as we know, because there are millions of blogs out there about other topics that are not indicative of a personality disorder.  And I think mental blogging is one of the more understandable and valuable forms of blogging. Lots of people with mental illness are isolated, or find it difficult to talk to their loved ones about their problems (hello) or feel plain weird or need somewhere to vent in, without judgement or intervention.  I’m sometimes afraid to talk to people close to me in case they worry.  I don’t like people worrying about me, because I don’t like people intervening, I prefer to sort my shit out alone.   And, y’know, what’s bloody WRONG with attention seeking?  We’re human! We’re social animals!  I think they can also be mad valuable to outsiders.  It’s difficult to understand mentalism unless you live with it.  In my own life, my family say my blog has been really helpful in helping them understand where I’m coming from and what I’m feeling.  I like reading medical blogs of doctors, nurses and social workers because it helps me understand where I am in the mechanism, what’s happening in the wider picture, and to not fear them.

But… I think it’s a wee bit true, though.  Aside from my CPNs and social workers (who aren’t allowed to read this, naughty naughty), everyone I’ve encountered, the doctors, the therapists, have been uniformly negative about me keeping a blog.  I understand their concerns; validating bad behaviour or choices, normalising stuff (dude, it is normal), cutting of the real world and so on, but I never really listened to them.  Ah well!

Anyway, buggery, this is long.  Hello!

28 Responses

  1. “There was a squirrel family in the trees and I met two cats!” My favourite sentence, EVER! Thank you!

  2. I have nothing useful to add, but just wanted to say that this was excellently put – I agree entirely with everything you’ve said, and totally relate to the ‘borderline’ shite (especially the BPD v PTSD thing – I got lucky when my current psychiatrist accepted the latter as much as the former; many poor sods don’t).

  3. It was so interesting that I read it all. And oh, its big!

  4. Hi,

    In Australia people with BPD are often refused treatment on the grounds that they don’t have a mental illness. It’s very confusing because many times they seem to have been abused as kids.

    I am blogging on bad rehab on http://stopthrashingaround.wordpress.com and have a particular hatred of strength cards.

  5. Good post. I’ve come to accept the BPD diagnosis but when I’m going through a bad arch I feel it’s all my fault plus I have to do all the work in therapy and it’s hard going. I really hate the stigma around bpd
    X x x. X

  6. I am bipolar and BPD and yes, I was abused. Fortunately (?) no one in my life has ever paid enough attention to distinguish bipolar disorder from BPD from me being ‘difficult’, an ignorant ***, and plain old ‘b**ch. They ‘know’ I am bipolar (didn’t bother telling them when I was diagnosed BPD), but they treat it like a personal choice rather than a disease. They apply tough love like I am an alcoholic; as if I can make this all go away by avoiding my ‘triggers’ and working some steps. pfft. Or they just leave. I had serious abandonment issues until I stopped letting people in enough to care if the stay or go. When you expect everyone to bail, it doesn’t come as a surprise when they do.

    Sorry so negative; but when it comes to the issue of support and understanding, I have found that there is no such thing. At least not in my life.

  7. […] ”I Had an Appointment Today’ and Musing on Why We Hate the BPD Diagnosis’, The Secret Life of a Manic […]

  8. Hey, look on the bright side, at least you don’t have the Paranoid Personality Disorder label consigning you to a completely different species. The Borderline tag is tough enough though. it basically sums up society’s ambiguous attitude towards damaged individuals, as you probably know. Your correct label by the way is human.

  9. “But borderline personality disorder, well, that seemed like a giant kick in my beautiful, bipolar balls”

    For some reason, that sentence fills me with awe.

    Moving on…

    I agree that mental health blogging can often be a “popcorn out” kind of thing. That was my personal “project” with my blog, to be different to that. There is so much more to living with mental health problems than OMG ambulances attempted suicide overdose drunk cut myself again let me die, and that’s what I’m aiming to achieve in my writing.

    The BPD label sucks. I’m 16 and since my diagnonsense of it in January, I get dirty looks and absolutely unacceptable comments off doctors and nurses in A+E when I present there. I don’t blame you for not wanting the BPD diagnosis. It’s crap, I’m not going to make it sound like a bed of roses.

    “I had to stop reading some BPD blogs because the descriptions of abuse that they’d suffered were agonising for me to read. To read, so imagining how they actually felt every day is horrible. And makes me a wanky little coward” – You are so not a wanky little coward. People have to look after themselves, and yes, some descriptions of abuse are just too painful to read. That’s not being a coward – that’s being realistic and aware of what you can and can’t handle.

    Summary: Post good. BPD bad. Go with gut. You are win. Bye.

    outwardly x

    • You’re 16 and they diagnosed you with BPD?! Everyone is BPD at 16!

      • I was also diagnosed with BPD at 16 and was thrown into adolescent DBT. They teach you in DBT what is called the bio-social theory, which essentially says that BPD is caused by a biological sensitivity to emotions and an invalidating environment interacting. This is all well and good except that it’s only the people who practice DBT that think this way.

        I am now 24 and am currently diagnosed with Bipolar, BPD and PTSD and I find everything you said to be completely true. Out of all the labels I’ve been given over the years the BPD label is the one that I dread seeing the most and I automatically feel defensive every time I see it. I am always afraid that anyone who sees my information will disqualify the Bipolar and PTSD because of the BPD.

      • Haha, I know. The doctor on my ward was a tosser. It was BPD or very mild depression.

        outwardly x

  10. I came across your blog recently, and have been finding it very interesting. I hope you don’t mind me commenting here.

  11. “Therapy says, “This is all you”. And therapy is harder than medication. And if it doesn’t work as well as it should or if it’s too painful, we’re back to, “this is all you”. ”

    Yes. You have expressed something I have struggled to say for a long time in very few words.

  12. I feel that perhaps people are often diagnosed as BPD if they stand up for themselves and resist some aspect of the mental health system. The psychiatrists don’t know what to do with them so they put them in the BPD category which is a catchall for people they see as “misbehavin”.

    Maybe the reason for people standing up for themselves more than others is that they have been bullied at school for example and just “aren’t going to take it anymore”.

  13. Health insurance is one of the debates raging about the moment he is all over the country freely.

  14. In my mind, your blog is the most informative one going. I’ve been thinking about labels and diagnoses a lot lately. What happens to people who have say, four out of the five criteria needed for any mental health diagnosis? What are they, then? Just mad as a hatter, sorry, nothing we can do for you, now be on your way. Without a clear treatment plan or material to read to help them understand, I can see why labels are important to some people.

  15. ha. i needed this so badly this week and i don’t even remember how i stumbled upon it – thank you!! i was ‘diagnosed’ with bpd after (i shit you not) a 20 minute appointment with an assessment psychiatrist who i referred myself to to tweak depression meds in the hopes of optimizing something or other.

    for me it felt like as opposed to ‘mood problems’ or ‘poor coping through inadequate unstable abusive parenting’ it was suddenly like ‘your identity is flawed’. sorry. it’ll be lifelong and all-pervading, so you may as well take your books and smokes and go away now. so angry. so belittled and disempowered. then i’m like, ‘you should have known better than to seek help from these professional assholes! bad you!’ go read your szasz cause you’re alone in this, baby baby.

    anyway, i don’t fit the diagnosis, but my mother does. maybe the ‘disease’ should be ‘child of a shameless but deeply hurting asshole’ syndrome. your talk about the stigma really makes me think, as well. bottom line – i don’t want my personhood/agency/identity taken away. just fill the effexor script once a month and i will laugh at you with my radically stable partner of 10 years, k?

    okay, though, also, medical profession, can you deal with self-injury in some (any) other way? really, though. it makes perfect biological sense and literally releases a neurotransmitter. but, oh! the beautiful nubile young female bodies with SCARS?! omg it is clearly the worst pathology ever in a society where these bodies are the aesthetic masterplace all strive to fuck or be so clearly if you mess with that you are DEEPLY DISTURBED FOR LIFE.

    it’s so easy to rant about bpd, isn’t it?

    i am so grateful for you tonight. xox. mad love. -kellista

  16. the nursies at my hospital said, in response to my little-girl-voiced ‘i do hope you don’t think i’m a horrid attention seeker,:

    ‘That’s what we’re here for – to give attention.’

    i thought ‘arsehole personality disorder’=’antisocial personality disorder’.

  17. I really hate the mental health services! After 30 years of depression, they swiftly discharged me and left it to my GP to tell me I had untreatable personality disorder.

    there are patients they like who are given all the support there is and people like me they don’t and get rid of. I’ve had that shit all my life.

    so now I have to live with my crazy brain and it ALL JUST ME! No support, no treatment, no job, No nothing! My husband and children are my rock, I really don’t think I’ll survive without them.

    How dare anyone label you with something and then tell you its untreatable! I have all the symptoms of bipolar but I can forget about getting any help with that! Far to expensive to treat an unpopular patient with proper medication and support, much easier to blame their personality and tell them to fuck off!

  18. Hi,

    I don’t know if this is relevant but I’ll add it just in case. A friend of mine was diagnosed with BPD but her psychologist said it was more likely a form of PMT and treated her with a hormone implant. She said it saved her life. Her implant is acting up now and she says she gets spurts of anger. I have had bipolar and PMT and the PMT was the really crazy making one. It ceased once I went through menopause.

    PMT doesn’t have to only appear every month, I was getting symptoms 3 weeks out of 4.

  19. This is the first time I’ve ever read anything you’ve written and I loved it. As someone with both bipolar disorder and BPD, a lot of what you say really resonates with me. This is a bit of a drive-by comment as I’m off to bed, but I just wanted to let you know you reached out to someone, here. 🙂

  20. it’s horrifying that there is a hierarchy among the mentally ill with bipolar (because of its associations with ‘creativity’ ) etc at the top and bpd at the bottom because it’s almost exclusively diagnosed in women. O where have all the feminists gone, got secure tenure every one.

    come over to my place. i do tea.

  21. I was diagnosed with BPD in my teens (yes I was abused) and only recently, actually just approaching the grand old age of 40, was given the Bi Polar diagnosis.

    I think given the fact my psychologist of 10 years retired in January and the fact I only EVER when to see him when I was depressed may have helped me to carry the label of BPD for so long.

    Having now a CPN (who is wonderful) and having to make myself bankrupt due to the £80,000 odd I owe for ermmmm cars, holidays, UGGS (all 4 pairs) and of course the more crazier things like boxes of wooden puzzles and key rings which are all the same – made the diagnosis so much easier.

    Cracking blog btw 🙂

  22. I needed to read this post, happened to see it via Confessions of a Serial Insomniac. Well said.

  23. […] splattered all over my fucking file. Once again, I found myself reminded of Seaneen‘s fitting comments: to paraphrase, the ‘good’ abuse survivor gets PTSD, the ‘bad’ gets BPD. I […]

  24. Only just found this site today. I love your writing Seaneen. I’ve been labelled intolerant and obcessive personality disorder and I just hate seeing this right in my face on the computer screen every time I go to the doctor. I’m 54 and got labelled at 17 and it still hurts. I haven’t seen a psychiatrist for 24 years so my file’s been destroyed but there’s still a lot on my GP notes. Includes that I hit several people without me having any right of reply and nothing about what actually happened to me.

    Linda; ‘there are patients they like who are given all the support there is and people like me they don’t and get rid of. I’ve had that shit all my life.’

    Took the words right out of my mouth Linda. Some of us are just left on our own to sink or swim, no help with housing, no sick notes etc.

  25. It’s instilled, keeping in mind it can decrease as you age, typically you require a treatment to recoup from it the extent that I know. My own particular hypothesis is that I had attributes self mischief, which, despite the fact that scarred and I abhor those, I regularly neglect to see the issue with, dread of being separated from everyone else, shakiness, self-loathing and so on to adapt to things as a young person then I figured out how to adapt better. I consume strongly, my physique merits that along these lines does my loo, its critical.

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