Borderline personality and I have a very strange relationship, we don’t often see eye to eye. Nor do we feel comfortable in the presence of one another, however we attempt to be civil.
I received my official diagnoses of BPD a year ago; however it was a battle to get there. I knew I had a mental illness for almost ten years prior to actually being admitted to any adult mental health service. I had actually researched about mental illness as a whole for some time, and studied psychology in sixth form.
I remember seeing my first psychiatrist through the Crisis Team, he diagnosed me in ten minutes with Recurrent Depressive Disorder. Which I found strange, however couldn’t question him, as I was quite honestly intimidated by the man, and I was also severely anxious, I felt like I was trapped inside of my own head and unable to speak at all.
So I took the diagnosis away with me, and was offered support under the Home Treatment Team, as well as give Diazepam to sedate me for a month or so, with support workers coming to observe me every day to begin with, which soon turned into a few times a week. Unfortunately diazepam sends me into mania, and I was quite literally off my tits. I was also taking Duloxetine which I had been taking for two years at this point.
All of these medications were monitored and given to me a week at a time, so if I did attempt to end my life, I wouldn’t have a mass amount of medication. However, had I have wanted to end my life, like I had told the mental heath team, I had stock piled months of medication and hadn’t planned on getting rid of it.
Obviously I was unhappy with my diagnosis so I kept questioning the support workers who came round, asking why I had been given Recurrent Depressive Disorder as a diagnosis, I explained to a number of them I didn’t think it was right and I would like to see another psychiatrist. Eventually one person out of their team listened to me, turns out the woman who listened actually knows my dad, which might be why. Who knows.
I had to wait a month or two for another appointment, and I asked my dad to come along with me. Immediately I felt more comfortable with this psychiatrist and I raised my concerns about the diagnosis I had been given, I explained to him that I know quite a lot about mental illness and I thought I had borderline personality disorder. He nodded and we discussed events in my past and agreed with me.
You might be asking, how did you know the diagnosis originally given was wrong? Well, recurrent depressive disorder is when you have had at least two different episodes of depression, and I was stuck in a constant depression with rapid cycling moods, I knew I had heightened emotions, as well as episodes where I would split and I had a love/hate issue with certain people. I looked at the two mental illnesses and for some reason recurrent depressive disorder didn’t seem right to me at all.
There were so many unexplained issues I was dealing with. In fact, receiving the initial diagnosis made me even more depressed, because I didn’t feel like I was listened to, I felt like he had looked at the medications I was currently on and made a split second decision, it also made me feel like I was unimportant, and I would just be discharged
However, walking out of the second appointment with Borderline Personality Disorder as my diagnoses it was like the penny had dropped, the missing puzzle piece was found and slotted in. I felt whole, as stupid as that might sound for some, I was over the moon. I expected that now I had a diagnosis I could get the correct treatment suited to my illness, however I was referred to the Community Mental Health Team, I saw a lady one a month about my mental state, where she offered me a number of services and got my hopes up about getting help, with things like family and couples counselling support groups and what not.
She later admitted to me, she couldn’t actually offer or provide any of these services; she wanted me to attend a group therapy group. I instantly explained I didn’t do well in group environments and she looked at me with no expression and explained there was nothing else. I either accepted this, or I would have nothing. I also repeatedly asked for a medication review (I actually asked for this for nine months and only saw this woman for 4 months) as I was still struggling, badly with my mental state. She kept insisting she had requested for a review and referred me onto group therapy.
I received a letter to attend STEPPS a group therapy purposely for those with BPD, I fell into a massive financial crisis, (which those of you who follow me on twitter is still an issue) and I was unable to make 5 out of 9 sessions due to transport costs, I had asked for help from the Mental Health team and was promised some transport to assist me, however as you can probably already guess, that did not happen.
In fact, I was asked to leave STEPPS as I missed so many sessions also because I was passive aggressive and disruptive. Which I explained was due to hypersensitivity, I would listen to music in one ear, or scroll through my phone just to be doing something so I could concentrate on the session.
I did however notice, anybody who questioned what we were being told, or shared experiences, was also asked to leave. I obviously took this whole experience as a huge rejection and left the meeting crying my eyes out, because I was left with no support.
About a month later, I saw the psychiatrist (finally!) and was prescribed new drugs, Quetiapine. Which I am currently taking now, and honestly? I kind of hate it, I am constantly tired and low functioning, however I am more stable and sometimes find it easier to control myself. But saying that, I am also struggling with my mental health deteriorating quite a lot in a short space of time, which has resulted in me being signed off from work until July, which is a bummer.
But due to how my mental health is and my physical health at the moment, I need to take time for myself, to learn to function again, to learn to love myself again and then hopefully, I’ll be able to go back to work.