Lucy blogs for us about her experience of receiving a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder.
Five years ago I was diagnosed with bulimia and depression, three years ago I returned to full time education to study theatre and although I was experiencing major mental health problems I got through it thanks to a college counsellor. Had it not been for her, I wouldn’t have survived even the first six months.
My love for drama helped me cope, for those ten minutes standing on stage I could be someone else, not have to face up to my problems, to reality. They were the hardest two years but I graduated and received good feedback on my work, all whilst struggling with intense suicidal feelings and depression.
For the last two years I always felt that depression didn’t explain everything I was experiencing, I started to have uncontrollable mood swings, I’d be perfectly happy one minute, then for no reason whatsoever I’d be irritable, frustrated, angry and suicidal, I couldn’t see any reason why.
It wasn’t until January 2014 when I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder that everything began to make sense. I have horribly intense feelings of emptiness and an overwhelming urge to get up and run away. I act impulsively; do anything to avoid change and potentially upsetting situations. I struggle to maintain a stable relationship with my family and friends and seem to have had every job under the sun.
I feel as though my life is often one big chaotic mess that seems to be at times unchangeable, but I thought I was the only person in the world to feel like this, the only person that feels suicidal and lonely yet there’s so many people around, but this diagnosis has made me see there are actually people who feel like me, who think like me and there is a reason why I think and feel the way I do.
My family only became aware of my mental health problems last year as I’d become so good at hiding them from everyone, apart from my poor boyfriend who has to deal with my lack of decision making skills, my intense need for control and my ongoing eating issues. I have become very aware of my feelings and emotions but I often find it really hard to control them, like someone’s taken over my head for a short time I then feel overwhelmingly embarrassed of my actions, and push people away to try and make myself feel better.
I wouldn’t wish for anyone to go through what I’ve been through but it has shaped who I am today.
I have recently been accepted onto a Health & Social Care Course and I hope one day to study Mental Health Nursing. If I could turn all my negative feelings and experiences into positives ones I would and I believe working within mental health will help me to do that. I have suffered the inconsistency of some health professions and been let down time and time again, but I have also had some great experiences and seen some amazing people who have helped me, it is the good and bad that have shaped my life and I hope I can help others.
If anyone is struggling at the moment please know you’re not alone, there is help out there and please don’t suffer in silence. I’m not recovered but today I can see a future, tomorrow may be different but I feel better able to get through it.
If you have been given a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD) our information on causes, symptoms and what might help may be useful. Take a look at it here.
Our Infoline may also be able to answer you questions about your care, or tell you where you might get support from local services. Find out how to contact them here.