Me + You + BPD = My Failed Relationships + Suicidal Ideation.

July 30th, 2014  3:04 PM

Recently, I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). I did not know what BPD was and how I developed symptoms for such disorder, but while I was hospitalized I was assessed using the DSM-V diagnostic criteria and an in-person interview with a psychiatrist which revealed several symptoms for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), bipolar tendencies (I did not show enough symptoms to be diagnosed with Type I or Type II Bipolar disorder but showed symptoms of manic/hypo-manic episodes) and the famous BPD.

What  exactly is Borderline Personality Disorder? BPD is a very serious mental disorder which results in unstable relationships with other people, instability in mood and behavior. This can lead to impulsive behavior and suicide. I do not want to give a full lecture on the reigns of BPD, but you can find out more information about the disorder here. I do want to acknowledge the key symptoms for my BPD that were found during my assessment.

At the end of my assessment with my psychiatrist from the psychiatric hospital he found the following symptoms:

**Note: Below is a summary of the diagnosis for my Borderline Personality Disorder from my psychiatrist. I am not a mental health professional and the symptoms shown below may or may not apply to you if you believe you may have BPD. I recommend you to use this as an informational and if you question whether you may have BPD I highly recommend you to see a mental health professional or a psychiatrist to follow-up with the symptoms and description listed on the website above for BPD.**

Patient shows:

  1. Serious fear of abandonment from loved ones, significant others, and people.
  2. Severe suicidal ideation/self harm behavior (may cut or bruise self due to abandonment, loneliness, insecurity, and lack of attention). Patient has made 2 suicide attempts due to unstable relationships with other people in the past.
  3. Impulsive behavior (Patient acknowledges and shows that she has engaged in excessive spending sprees, excessive eating, and reckless behavior).
  4. Struggles with self-esteem and self-image issues (Unstable self-image, believes that she is not worthy to live or be with other people in life due to self-image and perception of who she is).
  5. Variance in mood swings during short periods of time when she engages with other people who tend to upset her. Sometimes she gets highly agitated, sensitive, and annoyed by other people for no reason and tend to switch moods. She will shut down and push people away as a result of her instability in mood.
  6. Constantly feels worthlessness, hopelessness, emptiness, and constant loneliness; experience and show unknown sadness during different periods in a day or week which may be triggered by other people.
  7. Tends to lose patience quickly with others when she does not get her way and this results in loss of her temper and physical fights with other people.

After going over my diagnosis with my current out-patient psychiatrist, she asked me to walk her through some examples of times I experienced some of the symptoms I was diagnosed with above so she could get the feel of my BPD and the severity and damage it has caused me to function mentally and emotionally with not only myself but other people.

Below are a few experiences I’ve had in the past that were caused by my Borderline Personality Disorder. However, at the time I was unaware of my actions and did not know between the ages of 13-21 that I had BPD. After my diagnosis, I was able to connect the dots to some of my severe actions, self-harm, and constant suicidal threats/attempts.

  • My psychiatrist wanted to know if I had shown any signs of attachment and fear of abandonment as a young girl and since I could not recall my behaviors at such a young age she asked my mother to sit in on a session to walk her through my childhood.  My mom noticed that between ~8 mos to 5 years of age I was overly attached to her and had to be with her every second of the day; to the point where I actually would sit in the bathroom with her as she showered because I did not want her to leave me alone by myself. This showed some fear of abandonment but nothing too extreme where my psychiatrist could note the beginning of my BPD.
  • As I got older it was very hard for me to maintain long-term relationships with friends because I could not bear the lack of attention from them, their unwillingness to understand why I was “awkward” and “weird” at times, and my constant paranoia that they did not like me for who I was and that they ignored me for no apparent reason, but in reality they were not doing those things; I convinced myself that they were.
  • It was not until middle school where I noticed that I had a difficult time connecting  with my classmates and making friends. I felt embarrassed to eat lunch with the other students in the cafeteria because I perceived myself as “fat” and “ugly” and this lead to anorexia nervosa between the ages of 13 and 14. In 8th grade and parts of high school I would actually eat my lunch in the girls bathroom  (sometimes skip lunch) to avoid feeling that I did not fit in with others; I was paranoid and thought that everyone was looking at me because on the inside I felt “different”.
  • I had a best friend from 4th to 6th grade who lived in my neighborhood and that relationship ended abruptly because I convinced myself she did not like me for who I was at the time and talked about me behind my back to other people but in reality she did not. I would verbally fight with her and threaten our friendship, and threaten to cut myself, so she would not leave me.
  • 8th grade year I met a boy at a summer camp and became really attached to his personality.  We talked every day however I became overbearing, needy, and annoying because if he did not talk to me I would assume he was talking to other girls or ignoring me because I was “weird”. I changed my personality to become someone I was not to “make him like me” based on the crowd he associated himself with. Beginning of my freshmen year in high school we talked and I thought he was going to ask me to be his girlfriend but months later I found out he started to date another girl. So I threatened to kill myself to make him “come back” to me.  He called my mother and told her about my suicidal threats and self harm. I did cut myself for 2 months straight during this rough period because I was hurt and in pain. This lead to my first hospitalization in 2008.
  • In high school I met two girls at a summer program and we all clicked instantly. Months into our friendship they stopped talking to me and I felt lonely and angry when they did not include me in fun events they planned. Of course I found out about their gatherings via social media and this angered me and I became frustrated. So one night I drank a ‘small swig’ of bleach to try to kill myself because the two girls left me and did not want to be my friend anymore. But I also should note that during our friendship I did push them away because of my extreme sadness and rocky mood swings.
  • My freshmen year in college I met another guy in a class and from afar I was really attracted to him and approached him to get to know him. We talked frequently throughout my first two years of college. My feelings for him grew throughout the months , however I could tell he was not genuinely into me because I came off very needy, annoying at times, pushy, awkward, and weird. I would argue with him a lot about obscure things which lead to some impulsive and violent behavior.  One time during our friendship I took a kitchen knife and tried to cut and harm myself in his presence and he fought with me to get the knife back but I refused.  After that altercation I did self harm (cut) for a short period of time. One evening he took me to go babysitting and I started to argue with him in the car and I got really upset and angry to the point where I opened the car door in mid drive with the intention to jump out of the moving vehicle. With this person I made several suicidal threats throughout the duration of our friendship.

And the list of examples goes on and on and on. My psychiatrist did an excellent job using Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) to map out my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors during episodes where I began to feel the symptoms of my BPD. The examples above were developed by the CBT model to first knowledge the thought I had in the moment followed by how I felt due to those thoughts and how my thoughts and feelings affect my behavior in that specific situation.

Once my psychiatrist and I were able to map out those impulsive behaviors we moved onto using Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) a cognitive behavioral approach to help develop basic social skills and problem solving skills to use during my rocky relationships with others and extreme mood swing episodes.  Currently I am working on learning acceptance skills for moments where I feel like rejection or abandonment are coming on and emotion regulation techniques which helps me with my chronic suicidal ideation, threats, attempts and self harm.

I plan to continue my DBT treatment with both my therapist/psychiatrist and take my prescribed medications in hopes to build stronger relationships with people in the future and also mend my broken friendships from the past.

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40 thoughts on “Me + You + BPD = My Failed Relationships + Suicidal Ideation.”

  1. Wow this is really a helpful post. I am sorry for all that you are/have dealt with. I read what you wrote about your diagnoses and just understand it so completely. I can relate to so much of that and it is almost worrisome because most of those exact feelings and thoughts I have or hold on to myself. I have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety and PTSD, though I stopped therapy. The more that I think about it, the more I want to get back into therapy, but the thought is just so daunting…anyway, rambling. I just wanted to say reading your post really opened my eyes and got me to thinking. This is a great, honest post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so welcome . I am happy to hear this post helped you in your own way. Sometimes therapy is not for everyone I too thought years ago but now I see the benefit and due to the severity of my depression and personality disorder it is something that is helping me open up about those thought feelings and behaviors. Sending positive vibes your way and thank for your honest comment. -Phoenix

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      1. I understand and agree completely that therapy might not be right for everyone, though I think the main thing with therapy is first deciding if you need it and then finding the right person. I think for me it’s not about that it isn’t right, but that I haven’t found the person that I feel safe with and that is so hard. I tend to hold things really close to me and it’s hard for me to just be open and honest about it, but I am working on that…It’s encouraging to read your honesty and openness. Sometimes being able to read what others have gone through and seeing that they are able to face these kind of things head on, helps others to see that it can be done. This is encouraging. Thanks for the vibes, we all need them right 🙂

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  2. Oh I know exactly how it feels, and my story was pretty similar in terms of being paranoid about other’s thoughts. By 16 I had a drug abuse and cutting problems but things change over time so you don’t need to worry about anything! . Good luck.

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  3. Thank you for sharing and, ironically, I decided last night to write a post, very much like this one, laying out the DSM-IV’s criteria (I meet all nine), and giving an example from my own life for each of them….I could give thousands of real-life examples of each of them….the suicidal ideation has been with me for as long as I can remember. I have always yearned for and been fascinated by my own mortality. I have cut ties with absolutely everyone I know…even my own children…and that’s the hardest part of this to swallow, because I love my children more than the breath I breathe, so to think that I’m the one who caused myself to lose the only people I love is CRAZY..but, it’s the only thing that makes sense at this point….it’s me…it’s fucking ME…it’s not them, it’s me, but you can’t tell me I did not have a GOOD DAMN REASON TO AX THOSE PEOPLE FROM MY LIFE (I didn’t consciously make my children go, I never wanted that). FML. I am feeling anger rising now. Stay alive. You are loved. I love you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comment. You truly warmed my heart. I am so touched and I can relate to everything you said above I always cut ties off with everyone around me for no apparent reason even family which is tremendously sad. But I am trying to get through it. I know the anger you are feeling. You are you loved too. And I love you too. -Phoenix

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      1. You know what’s weird? I have a whole folder of Phoenix pictures on both my laptop and my phone. The Phoenix is a creature, that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE that I can think about which gives me hope and makes me feel strong.

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  4. I have a young adult child with BPD and appreciate your sharing. She has chosen not to continue with DBT, but I did the full cycle in a DBT Family Skills group — I mention this in case you have family or friends who might want to participate. I found the skills incredibly useful. Best wishes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Thank you so much for your feedback and recommendation. I will see how it goes I’ve only done it for two sessions so far it helps with my constant thoughts of suicide. Wishing you all the best with your family. -Phoenix

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  5. Hi Phoenix! Thanks for sharing this post, you’ve revealed a lot about yourself and even though it was probably quite daunting to write and release sharing it with the community is a big and positive step. I’m so glad that your BPD diagnosis is helping you to understand and want to change your behaviours to form new and strong relationships, so many people with this condition simply ignore it but by coming to terms and addressing it you are really and truly empowering yourself. Well done 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s good that you want to continue treatment and are listening to your doctors. Someone very close to me has borderline… For a long time we didn’t know what it was. With my issues and her own, it was hard living together. But the problem was, she refused to get help. She didn’t want to hear any of it, which made everything much more difficult. But I’m glad to say, after treatment and medication, she’s doing better than I am. And because you’re so willing, I’m sure you’ll see even greater improvements. Good luck- if you need to talk, I’m always around. You’re going to be just fine (:

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  7. This is so insightful and so useful for others to hear, especially those who have received this diagnosis, as well as those who love and care about those who have received this diagnosis. BPD does not have to be a death sentence. It is obvious you are doing the work that it takes to overcome the cognitive distortions that are so common with BPD. Bravo to you. Please stick with it. Sometimes your posts are almost too intense, but I don’t care. Because I’m thrilled you are still alive, writing beautifully about your real life.

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  8. Man, it looks like you have been through a lot. And, I am also sorry for your relationship issues. Many times I have felt paranoid about others’ behavior towards me, which turned out to be my own figment of imagination.

    Also, I became obsessed over a young woman in my sophomore and junior years of high school. She was the living thing closest to the ideal body image I obsess a lot. All I wanted was her beauty and for her to connect with me, but my intense staring and infatuation over her pushed her away from me. She never did reveal her true feelings to me, even though she often blushed at the sight of me, but I feel like she was genuinely disinterested in me. The way her friends treated me was cruel and poor in their rejection and handling of the situation with me. None of them came and spoke to me face-to-face about their concerns and brought in someone else who was not best to handle the situation. One of the guys I reached out to, who was the girl’s friend, abandoned and deserted because he said he felt he “need to separate [himself] from [me]. I felt betrayed by him because he also divulged deep feelings to the girl of whom I had a crush over. In the end I felt treated as subhuman and depicted as crazy, which my counselor confirms I’m perfectly fine. All of the unrequited feelings from the girl and her friends for relationship still hurts today, and for that I scarred for life. So, I am also still trying to work through similar pain.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing how you were able to connect and relate past personal of experiences of yours to mine I am really touched. I can relate to your similar experience. I am hoping through therapy I can develop the appropriate social skills need to form a stable relationship with others so I do not have to feel the hidden feelings and judgmental thoughts I have before getting to know them and vice versa sending you all my love and vibes your way as you move forward in life. -Phoenix

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  9. Thanks for liking my blog. I checked a couple of your posts, and I’m so happy that you are doing DBT. Marsha Linehan rocks. As far as suicide, you are welcome to share my suicide plan, which I am carrying out even as we speak. Here are the components:
    1) Eat healthy food;
    2) Get regular exercise;
    3) Read good books, both fiction & non;
    4) Connect with good people;
    5) Spend time in nature;
    6) Find & do spiritual practice ;
    7) Cheat on (1) sometimes.

    Do these long enough, and you’ll die– I promise. But before then, be open to the good times that come your way. And don’t look for trouble– it can find you on it’s own.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi I’m sorry its taken so long for me to post a reply.. I saw this come in and thought I would take it the next day and ended up in a bad period for me, sleeping all the time and one stint over 24 hours not awake.. not really sure why.. except maybe too much heat, depression, anemia, and a lot less caffeine in my system

    Its a very good post! Thank you for sharing your experiences! And congratulations on still being here! That sounds like a very rocky beginning to your existence..

    Liked by 1 person

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