As I said at the end of yesterday’s post, tomorrow is my first assessment with the NHS Psychiatric Service for people with Personality Disorder. I really don’t know what to expect. My Psychiatrist told me I was BPD about 10 months ago. Maybe I should have been doing more homework, but part of me is shying away.
It’s hardly surprising that it took so long for a Psychiatrists to reach this diagnosis because so many of the symptoms I hid, like shameful secrets.
At a guess, I would say I was somewhere between narcissistic and Borderline PD, but wouldn’t be a bit surprised if there is a bit of Schizoid thrown in for good measure. Although, I’m unsure if someone can be a bit of them all, that’s where my knowledge ends.
I don’t have all the symptoms of any particular PD, but seem to have a little of both, or all three. I used to think certain symptoms of PD were merely parts of me that were unsavoury, even disliked. They have always been traits I have hidden, personally challenged and tried so hard to change.
The limited knowledge I can relate to goes something like this… People with BPD
- Have difficulty controlling their emotions and impulses and find it hard to keep relationships (Personally, I gave up trying)
- Experience a feeling of chronic emptiness and suffer quick and extreme changes in mood (sometimes I make myself dizzy. I can change from A to B in the blink of an eye and be very influenced by whatever company I keep)
- Experience a lack of identity – not knowing who you are exacerbates feelings of “emptiness”. Even in secure relationships, they may still feel empty (I know this from experience and detriment)
- Have problems coping with abandonment (I remember this being an issue in previous relationships). BPD desperately cling to other people/relationships (In my own case, this caused me to back away from all intimate contact to save myself from future heartache)
- Have a rapid changing view of others – this forms a significant part of BPD difficulties. It can make it hard for them to engage in relationships, friendships, and on-going psychiatric treatment. Those who attend treatment, find it hard to stick to it (I’ve never been able to stick to therapy/treatment)
- Have issues with “splitting”. ‘Splitting’ is the term used for rapid change of view; all or nothing, good or evil, great or terrible, idealise or demoralise (this is a significant part of my own BPD and is one of the fundamental reasons why I have withdrawn from life). A BPD “split” depends whether others are meeting their emotional needs
- Have deep intense anger (and outbursts) when their emotional needs are not being met; believing others don’t care, people are not listening to them, and their core needs not fulfilled. Some people with BPD (and this is particularly true for me) do not get outwardly angry but hold in and express inwardly, which often manifests as self-harm and self-destruct (I don’t self-harm but I liken it to the “self-destruct missions” I’ve been on that have verged on the ridiculous and were extremely damaging)
The parts of the Narcissistic PD I can relate to are
- People with NPD value those who give admiration and approval
- Expect the best from everything, “on the take”.
- Would do anything not to be ignored
- Wants someone to call every day but then feels pressured.
This is not exactly a great admission of one’s personality. If it sounds weird and bizarre, think what it is like to be feeling it.
The little I have read of people’s own experiences, I think there are some that have their BPD on a leash and others that display behaviour that is out of control and certainly anything but pleasant. Maybe there is a little bit of hiding behind their mental health and using it as an excuse for some unsavoury behaviour.
I need to believe I can change, not only the person portrayed on the outside, but from within. I live in hope that with some specialist therapy, I can learn to understand the process of BPD and be able to conquer all the shit that has dragged me down and plummets me into a dark hole of despair; unable to live with myself and incapable of living with others.