I’ve been struggling with my emotions for over ten years, unable to deal this raw intensity, tired of being too sensitive and tearful. I came across the symptoms of BPD in a short pamphlet that I picked up from a doctor’s surgery in Heywood, and upon reading about the criteria for BPD, I couldn’t believe that this was me, this was what I had been experiencing for so very long. I hadn’t heard of this before.
I went to my GP, who dismissed me and just said it was my personality. I told my psychologist from the start that I thought I had BPD, and she too didn’t validate me. Instead, I was forced to push it to one side and just had to cope with being ‘depressed’, but continued to behave in the disregular ways that I would, unable to hold onto a relationship, paranoid about family and friends, coping with the internal pain by compulsive skin picking, real or imagined fear of abandonment or rejection, feeling anger, shame and guilt toward self, and waking up with chronic emptiness and moments of loneliness, even when I was around people.
Sadly, I’ve been given all of the wrong therapies across ten years, tried four different anti-depressant medications, and I still feel misunderstood by the mental health community. Emotional disregulation is not the same as depression or sadness. We actually have no control over our emotions in those reactive moments. The emotions take control over us. I’m no way trying to say that I’m special or anything like that. I understand the grandiose symptom of bipolar disorder, but I just want to be understood and validated. I’ve tried over ten different alternative therapies to try to fix myself, especially the compulsive skin picking disorder, even before I knew what was wrong with me.
It was only after attempting suicide three times in the space of about two weeks that I finally saw a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with EUPD. I’ll never see the psychiatrist again. I no longer know how to cope with this disorder because the diagnosis has come too late when I’ve lost my partner, so I’m considering taking another anti-depressant that will probably just make me just want to stay in bed for most of the day again. I want to get better, but I just don’t know how to. I’ve even been to my doctors to ask for shock therapy – that is how desperate I have felt, but he said that it was torture. How about being unable to regulate emotions. Is this not torture, Mr GP?
Now that I understand that BPD is actually being unable to regulate emotions, the diagnosis of BPD has come too late, because when I’ve reacted to something, I have absolutely no way of controlling it. I still don’t know how to control it. I’m tired of having to explain myself to the professionals. Really really tired. The guilt comes afterward when I can think rationally, but then I’ve destroyed both my life and that of my partner hundreds and hundreds of times.
It really is the end. I’ve lost my partner and I wouldn’t even know how to make the peace anymore. The poor guy has had to put up with my turbulent emotions and abuse for five years. I want to send him videos and tell him that “hey it’s not my fault because I honestly don’t know how to control my emotions when I get like that” but then I just tell myself that I am not going to get better anyway, so what’s the fucking point. Is DBT really going to help my BPD, if I ever receive it?
It’s sad to actually know what’s wrong with you, but then for professionals to just shun you and invalidate those feelings. Every time Christian would tell me to just do something else to feel better, he was invalidating my emotions at that time. What I needed from him was validation that it was okay to feel the way I do, because I’m mega sensitive to the world around me, and if I act out of character because I fear rejection or abandonment, it is very real to me. I’m hyper sensitive and I can read body language over the phone, or on someone’s face and know when they don’t want me around or when they’re bored. I’m not a witch either. My emotions get hyperaroused to the point where I can’t actually think logically, and if only he could see that deep down, apart from the volatile words and actions that are occurring from my overactive amygdala, I need love and comfort and to be told that I will feel okay again, but then I’m left alone. No one wants to be around Helen when she’s acting in this way, but inside I’m crumbling and I don’t want to be left alone with these thoughts because I just want to die. I don’t want to feel anymore. I”m drowning in fear, and no one will put me out of the darkness. No wonder I don’t know who I am. I am constantly feeling the need to have to fix myself, or else no one will ever want to be around me, and I can’t keep up. No wonder I feel like suicide is the way out.
This video is very helpful if you want to understand Borderline Personality Disorder, but as a woman diagnosed with BPD, it doesn’t provide me with the solutions on how to regulate my emotions. Even though the lady in recovery of BPD says that she has found that DBT has helped her, what if it doesn’t help me? I already experience despair, and to despair about there being no hope for me to ever be normal again, is difficult to ponder.