BPD Awareness Month Q&A

bpd awareness month q&a; me & jasper on the beach at sunsetMy second post for BPD awareness month is a simple Q&A. I haven’t actually done a Q&A in years so I thought why not. As someone who is quite open with my mental illness I tend to get a few messages a month asking questions so hopefully this helps a little.

Don’t worry it’s not a jam-packed post but I got a few questions so here goes.

Disclaimer: once again this is my personal expierence of BPD & may not apply to everyone.

BPD awareness month Q&A

1) What made you aware something was up, how did you get diagnosed?  

From my distant memory (which is shocking) I got diagnosed around 19 by a lovely doctor who referred me properly for once. The thing is I have been in & out of mental health services from about 13 because one day my mental illness seemed to just appear (probably those damn hormones) & it was a whole journey to get to my diagnosis.

I have been treated for depression for as long as I can remember because when you’re young they don’t like to diagnose you with things like BPD or bipolar. There’s too much to weigh up but I do know whatever they were trying to fix wasn’t right.

Antidepressants weren’t for me. They helped me sleep & they did something for sure but they didn’t fix the real issue. It was just subduing everything.

But things changed at uni & well my mental health was so bad that when I left the GP referred me & finally I got a diagnosis that made sense. I basically had a chat with the mental health team who agree I had emotionally unstable personality disorder which is essentially BPD.

2) How do you know you’ve got BPD?

This is a tough one because I really don’t believe in self diagnosis. I think you can really convince yourself something is there & display symptoms if you do. I personally just knew it wasn’t depression. I knew my moods weren’t just low. I felt the highs & lows all the time. I recognised something deeper going on but I had no idea about BPD so that was something I researched after.

3) What exactly is BPD?

Okay so BPD is Borderline personality disorder which is essentially a mood disorder & affects our interpersonal relations. It causes frequent mood changes & affects how we react & relate to other people. I always say its like bipolar in the sense you get highs & lows but rather those being prolonged they are jammed into one day.

People always mix up those two disorders & they are very separate things but sometimes its easier to explain. Bpd is becoming more well known & a lot more diagnosed though.

4) How can family & friends support someone who has it?

Simple be informed.

Do your own research.

Take it seriously.

Ask the person suffering about it.

Be understand & if you can’t take it tell them!

5) What are some signs/key characteristics of BPD?

Okay for this question I am using the NHS website so if I sound a bit medical thats why.

There’s four main “characteristics” emotional instability, disturbed patterns of thinking, impulsive behaviour & unstable relationships.

Basically our moods are very erractic & our emotions very intense which can be both good & bad. We can have a very negative inner monologue which can then progress into hallucinations & voices (I’ve very rarely experienced this).  We are very impulsive so we can spend a lot, change plans, quit our jobs, sleep around, binge drink & even do harmful behaviours like self harm (I am very impulsive & I have a long history with self harm). Our relationships with people are very odd; we fear rejection & abandonment so we are a little much. We also see things in a very black & white fashion so we can one minute be very in love & the next want to leave.

It’s a bundle of fun!

6) How does it affect your day to day life? 

Basically I’m one big ball of emotion so my day is very controlled by them. I am triggered by stress so I can be easily set off & get in a state. I like to be busy all the time otherwise I feel like a complete failure.

My life isn’t bad I’m just in a constant state of worry & stress. I get overwhelmed a lot.

I’m very tired. I’m always exhausted & that’s never going to change.

7) How does being a mother & have less me time affect your BPD?

Lord this is a good one because it’s very hard. I need my personal space because I actually hate being touched & I’m not very affectionate naturally. Obviously with my son its different but I need time to regroup & refresh so it does get very stressful when I don’t.

Plus because I’m really impulsive I like to do things as they spark in my brain which you can’t when you have a baby so I can get quite worked up.

8) How have you coped with the negative stigma surrounding BPD?

I’m not going to lie I haven’t had that much negativity around my disorder mainly because not many people understand it. I’ve had crap friends & bad relationships but usually that’s because the person is toxic & like to use it against me.

The main stigma I worry about is the notion we’re bad mums which we aren’t so I am very vocal about it. Not that anyone has expressed it to me but I don’t like that being a thing!

So there’s a mini BPD awareness month Q&A for you. Hopefully it answered your questions & wasn’t too waffly. I always feel a but weird talking about my disorder cause I’m no expert & I only know it from my experience. My first post is what a bad day is like for me so here’s a link if you fancy reading it.

Shelley xx

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