I have Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, formerly known as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
Even though I have suffered with mental health illness for almost 25 years, it wasn’t until January 2018 I was diagnosed. I was oblivious to any mental health conditions other than depression, which I have suffered with on and off for many years, so I began to research what this condition meant and what it meant for my future.
As I began to look into it, I found out that it can stem from childhood trauma and genetics. It’s main symptom was an inability to deal with emotions appropriately. It’s a scary thought, because I always thought there was no proper way and that everyone reacted differently. This was true to some extent, but most people react to situations naturally. I spend a long time watching how others respond to the same situation and try to emulate it. I then try out each method I have seen, finding different ways to respond and then spending hours, days, or weeks analysing what I did over and over again, trying to find the proper way to act or behave.
Another symptom which ties in with this is not having a strong sense of myself. Not really ever knowing what I want to do, where I want to go and always awaiting reassurance from others. I find it difficult to trust, and I believe everyone either loves or hates me, nothing in between. I worry about constantly being abandoned or rejected, losing my job or friends.
My moods can vary rapidly in a day and anxiety is always rearing its head to tell me what might go wrong and what will happen because of the bad person that I am. I have an inner critic too, as I am sure many of us do, telling me what everyone else thinks of me and it’s never nice or positive. At times mine can be so hurtful, cruel and downright nasty. I can spend days not wanting to leave my bed, let alone venturing beyond the front door. I can burst into tears for no reason and can completely withdraw from everyone and everything I know and love.
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Some days it’s about getting through the day, with no joy or hope and getting in bed at night knowing that you have to do it all again tomorrow, and you don’t want to. I want it to stop sometimes. I want to switch off, zone out and sleep, sleep until my cloudy head has cleared and I can regain my perspective.
The hours I’m in bed I spend worrying about the day just gone and the day ahead. I worry what has happened and what may go onto happen. I’m exhausted constantly and feel like I’m fighting a battle against myself and my thoughts every day. It’s draining. I beat myself up mentally for everything, believing I am at fault and failing when things don’t plan out in my perfect design.
There is therapy out there and it is likely I can learn new ways of dealing with my emotions and make a full recovery, however this treatment is difficult to source. I am on a two-year waiting list for this. It’s called DBT (Dialectal Behavioural Therapy) and my care team are very sure it will help, but the next two years is tough while I’m just waiting.
I am Sarah, I have Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder and it’s not nice.