Friday, 18 July 2014

A Glimmer of Hope

So, yesterday I saw my GP and found out that;
1) I apparently have BPD
2) Antidepressants won't help me because my depression's "too ingrained"

But let's take a step back to Wednesday when I saw the mental health nurse. She gave me a few handouts on mindfulness - how to practice mindfulness, attitudes to bring to mindfulness, that sorta thing. 

But alongside was a handout for mum's benefit (though I found it quite enlightening) - "Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder". She's mentioned it a few times, and at the last appointment she said she thinks DBT would help me when I'm well enough. But no one's ever mentioned BPD to me before recently. Sure, I figured I had some Borderline traits as a part of C-PTSD, but I've never actually discussed it with anyone. Mum had no idea what she was talking about - she'd never heard of it before.

So I had an appointment with my GP the next day, yesterday, and I told her about the handout on BPD, and that I was a little confused because no one's ever mentioned it before the mental health nurse. She said she thinks it's very likely I have BPD. All the symptoms match. I don't remember ever talking to anyone about that sorta stuff though.
Is it that apparent?
How do they know?

The mental health nurse did ask the psychiatrist about antidepressants, but they won't give any advice unless they can actually see me. I know I should, but I can't. She thought the GP might be able to talk to the psych, but the GP was even less help.

The GP said she was happy with my meds, that she thinks she's helped with the anxiety and mania over the last 18 months. I told her I still don't think my antidepressants (mirtazapine) are helping, but she doesn't seem to think anything else will help either. She said it's "too ingrained".

Too sick for antidepressants, not well enough for therapy. They've always said medication isn't meant as a cure, but as a crutch to help you engage in therapy and make real changes. But I can't even have that.

Sorry for being so miserable guys. It all just makes me feel hopeless. The BPD part doesn't really bother me; obviously it's been lurking for a long time, so it's nothing new. But not being allowed to try any new antidepressants? That is fucking devastating. I don't know how much longer I can deal with this depression. I've been holding on until the next appointment, or until my meds can change and maybe something will help and make slightly less unbearable, but now what? I've just gotta wait until one day I'm magically stable enough to do therapy?

Currently, I'm on;
Morning - 200mg seroquel
Midday - 1mg lorazepam
Night - 200mg seroquel + 45mg mirtazpine
+ 1mg lorazepam as needed
On the upside, she's said I can take an extra 200mg seroquel on nights I can't sleep, which is a relief. "As a treat", she said, hah.

I think I might be getting sick again. It's probably just me overreacting so I didn't mention it to the GP yesterday, but I'll keep an eye on it. Two days ago I started getting painful twinges in my back, which was the first symptom with the last infection. Yesterday I started getting pains in my chest when I cough or breathe in, falling into coughing fits whenever I walk and taking forever to catch my breath, using my puffer multiple times a day opposed to never. The last two nights I've had sweats and chills and have woken up coughing every two hours. My temp was 38°c just before and today everything aches. I just feel awful and exhausted and sick and in pain and ugh, sorry I'm just complaining now. I'm hoping it's just a cold, but I'll see how I feel next week and go back to the GP if it gets worse.

Last week I did 60, 90, and 120 minutes on the aerobic step. The two hours killed me for the day. I did half an hour yesterday, but I think I'll be taking it easy for the next few.

The title's a bit misleading, I guess - I don't have any hope. But I have wine (just two small glasses on Tuesday). I bought it for the label. Effective marketing is super effective!



  1. There is always hope dear sweet Bella
    I promise you that
    Just don't give up
    Don't ever give up
    You are too smart, lovely, talented and caring to be lost to this cruel illness

    I believe in you
    And will do so until you can believe in yourself

    All my love x

  2. BPD is easy to get diagnosed with because you only have to fit 5 of the 9 possible criteria... so 256 possible versions of it. C-PTSD isn't included in formal diagnostic systems like the DSM and ICD but they overlap quite a bit. DBT is helpful for me at least in combo with ACT.

    As for meds: I'm on a whole whack of them but they include seroquel and lorazepam. At some point a doctor decided to up my dose of quetiapine to 600mg and it helped enormously. Basically it numbed down the gigantic emotions and anxiety, so that I wasn't constantly overwhelmed. It isn't great to be numbed out either, but raising it up and slowly reducing it (letting in more emotions slowly in as, my ability to tolerate emotion increases) ...that's what worked for me.

    I hope that's helpful. Sending you loads and loads of love!

  3. BPD?
    i'm not shocked. not at all. makes a lot of sense i suppose.
    "2) Antidepressants won't help me because my depression's "too ingrained"" <--i think this makes sense to me as far as i'm concerned.
    well, we'll see if they know or not. the thing with mental diseases is they clash and present as one or the other. S. and i had the same exact mood changes and the same exact reactions, and she was a supposed type I bipolar. you should see how many people "diagnose" me with bipolarity. it's quite hilarious. another one of them thinks i have PTSD, which i think does not fit me at all. it's like a clash of all the mental diseases. i call it depression as depression could be the disease itself or a symptom of the actual underlying illness. either way, i'm not wrong. i cannot get any of it diagnosed due to the fact that my Father thinks i'm bulimic but doesn't think it's a problem and thinks i think i have it because i've studied it (either way i've not even studied depression or really thought of it until someone believed i had it).
    "I've just gotta wait until one day I'm magically stable enough to do therapy?" that's bollocks. i want to punch something. i think that is absolutely insane.
    please take it easy.
    i hope that things get better for you.
    see. you misled me darling. i was getting prepped up for good news. bad Bella. but i love you too much. i just wish you all the good things.

    -Sam Lupin

  4. I don't know if you have explained this before or not, but why can't you have therapy? I thought these things went hand in hand..

  5. I felt similarly hopeless and crushed by my own diagnosis of BPD, but I'm starting to believe that there's hope, somewhere. I think the most dangerous part was feeling like I could act on impulses and explain it away by saying, "Well, I'm BORDERLINE, I'm always going to be this way!"

    I still don't take my medication as regularly as I should, but practicing mindfulness techniques, such as identifying a mood I'm getting stuck in and listening to music of the opposite emotion, or absorbing myself in something like bead-stringing (and lucky you, you're already a brilliant seamstress and cross-stitchery-witch!) when I'm focusing on negative thoughts are really improving my overall... balance.

    Don't let it get you down... and don't let it make you feel broken.
    The nature of the disease is to make us feel isolated and estranged from the "normal" people around us, when we're up, we're superhuman, when we're down, we're monsters.

    You're Bella, lovely lovely Bella, and you have us fellow monsters to remind you that you're not alone, and that you are loved, no matter what the diagnosis. *hug*

  6. Let's hope it won't get any worse and it's just regular cold. Hospitals are not nice :/
    You're definitely right, meds won't solve a thing, they just help you to do what you're supposed to do for yourself. You're incredibly strong woman Bella, you can do anything no matter who gives you what kind of letter code and tries to make themselves to understand the way you think. It's weird though that the world is filled with pills, some of them cute, some less cute or less colorful, but i find it hard to believe that there wouldn't be any which wouldn't work for you.... this brings me back in time when i was helping my anxiety with pills that were actually meant for cold and coughing. They tasted really good... like candy and it actually helped me to relax. Doing tricks to my mind that one, there was not one thing in that pill which should have done that. They weren't even cute like pink antibiotics a fried of mine got in Thailand. They were dull brown.
    Anyways I hate the thought that you wouldn't have anything to support you with your head going wild or anything that wouldn't knock it down one or two stages... if those are helping just a bit then... well idk but anyway that other stuff is not good either.

    Hugs honey, what ever happens don't dwell thinking why it happened -you will find out eventually. It's ok to be confused but the sooner you accept the situation and that it happened the sooner you'll be able to do something about it.
    <3 <3 hugs filled with love, there's always hope. It's not going anywhere.

  7. I was diagnosed BPD at one point and then future psychiatrists changed their mind. It's really pretty vague diagnosis. Mine it was the self harm, suicidal thoughts, and then some issues I was having with my psychiatrist (strange power struggle). I've heard it's over-diagnosed.

    As far as DBT, my therapist recommended it, but there weren't any groups that fit my schedule or budget. If they don't think you're well enough for therapy (which I think is ridiculous) maybe look online at DBT workbooks. I know has some I had looked at. It might help you learn some of the skills.

    I also don't agree with them about medicine not working. I've been on meds for 12 years and pretty much everything in existence. One psychiatrist essentially gave up on me and wanted me to do ECT (electro-shock) which I would not do. Since then my meds have been changed several times, and while no set has lasted long term, there were combinations that made life manageable. Is there anyone else you could ask about medications? I've ended up on 2 antidepressants and a mood stabilizer, which were working well before the drinking got so out of hand.

    Thanks for your comment. I'm really determined not to fully relapse. I feel like even if I keep drinking once or twice a week for now, it's better than everyday even if I'm not fully sober. I hope my psychiatrist can change some things to make sobriety tolerable emotionally.

    My parents dog is a mixed breed. They adopted her from a rescue group who said that she was half shetland sheepdog but the father was unknown. It was weird she had a sister who looked like her, and a brother that was completely different colors. When we got her, they said she was "shy" which apparently meant scared of everything. She's a lot better now but still nervous. She likes to follow people around, and if you're not paying enough attention, she will come up and hit you with her paw or her very cold nose.

  8. I'm reading up on BPD now - I don't know much about it.
    There's always hope for you dear.
    Maybe you should talk to your nurse about the antidepressants helping you?
    The seroquel helps you sleep?
    I hope you're not sick. Be sure to check a doctor if you need to.
    Easy on the exercise if you're sick sweetie.
    Get well soon. As well as possible, at least.


  9. I'm not incredibly familiar with BPD, but I know the gist. I guess it's because I've only seen it in combination with other mental illness, so I don't know what it looks like first hand. The too sick to get better idea, it's bullshit. Like, there doesn't have to be a whole nation of doctors and appointments to make the suffering worse. Or at least I wish it wasn't that way. I love you dear. I also have wine, it's probably the only good thing about this city.

  10. Hmmm, in the US they tend to overdiagnose BPD so I hope it's not the same down under. I'm sorry I'm a shitty blogger friend at the moment but I have been reading. And I hope you don't get sick again. I would hate for you to end up in the hospital. And I hope your mood lifts soon dearest Bella! Love you!

  11. Hope you feel better soon.


  12. honestly, it's not the communicating that's difficult as much as the indecisiveness that comes with what i say. it is like...i am completely unaware of what i'm saying half the time? yeah? "I won't take it personally or be offended if I don't hear from you for a little while, but I'll always be here when you can/want/need to talk." that goes the other way around too, angel. i'm always here. you are my Bella and i love you. <3
    ah bloody hell, that hugpile will kill me one day.

    -Sam Lupin

  13. "Too sick for antidepressants, not well enough for therapy. They've always said medication isn't meant as a cure, but as a crutch to help you engage in therapy and make real changes. But I can't even have that."

    I am at the same place. My medications barely keep my nose above water and therapy is just useless when I'm like this.

    But now, that I stopped taking my anti-psychotic, I feel... alive. It's been three days and I already feel. Feel, as in, "I'm sad", or, "I'm happy". But the pills are still there. I am not going to gamble with insanity, Lord no.