Hope Of Recovery?

I’ve heard people refer to BPD as a “dead end diagnosis” that its not treatable or even a mental illness. I’ve also had people tell me that’s bullshit and recovery from BPD is possible. It’s hard to handle these conflicting POVs especially when they come from mental health professionals. BPD is a controversial topic in psychology, some psychiatrists/psychologists believe that people with BPD don’t have empathy while others believe they do. It’s pretty much the same in all round psychology, when I studied it in college, there was always a case for a theory but also a case against it so it all boils down to the professional’s personal perspective.

Now, I can’t speak for everyone with the disorder as we’re still individuals so we may or may not believe in recovery, taking medication or that the diagnosis is a real one. Again, it really depends on who you ask. Mental illness is a personal battle that we fight in whatever way works best for us. I believe that we can research and theorize about the human mind all we want but not everyone can fit the label or box that we tend to get put in with a diagnosis. This is my story so far but don’t think you have to feel the way I did or do the things I did because you’re an individual, much more than your diagnosis.

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Personally, I was relieved to have the diagnosis of BPD as it meant I finally had an explanation for what’s wrong with me. This was before I realized how negatively stigmatized the disorder is and how invalidating people can be because you have BPD. I once had a psychiatrist ask if I attempted suicide for attention, when I brought it up with the crisis team (which I’ll talk about in another post) they just said its the diagnosis and unfortunately even professionals are going to be dicks about it (ok that wasn’t their exact words but you get the gist). I mean, how can professionals talk down to and about their clients because of something they are supposed to understand but clearly don’t?

I’ve been lucky compared to most though, I managed to get access to neurofeedback therapy and I’m now doing DBT therapy thanks to my supportive parents. I know not everyone with mental illness has such a supportive family. In fact,even now, mental illness is still met with ignorance from friends, family and professionals so, how the hell are we supposed to recover from BPD when met with such stigma? When we’re told by professionals that what we’re experiencing is a stupid diagnosis and there is no hope of recovery?

tumblr_n49jkd8fYm1tz8okxo1_500Can I recover from it? to be honest I’m not sure I could ever recover completely but I have been learning to manage it through DBT and my mental state has improved after roughly 6 months of neurofeedback therapy and the right medication. Things aren’t perfect by any means. I’ve definitely not fully recovered but things are better than they were last year. I’m better at processing things and calming myself down when things get bad. Doing my own reading about it and connecting with others who have BPD online has been a sort of self help/ peer support therapy for me.

The diagnosis can be isolating and lonely when you think that no one understands how you feel and people IRL can make you feel worse because of misconceptions they have about the disorder. So meeting people experiencing similar issues can be really uplifting. Honestly I think if it wasn’t for this blog or the people I’ve met on twitter I would still be so incredibly lonely and ashamed. But reading about others’ experience gives me hope and a reason to fight despite people telling me there is no hope for people like me.

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As I said before, your journey is a personal one so if you can find a way to recover from the disorder completely, that’s awesome. If not and you’re just managing to get through each day that’s okay, I’m still learning too so I don’t want to preach a certain way of life like its the cure-all.. The best I can do is encourage you to try different things and not give up on yourself even if others try to shame you or say you’re hopeless. Only you can decide what works best for you and recovery looks different for everyone.

TW: This next part contains reference to suicidal ideation and self  harm

For example, recently I had a terrible interview that left me wanting to die and cut myself.  It was hard battling that storm of self hatred and rage and I ended up snapping a hairband on my skin. This may not seem that much of a change to you, you may even consider this a relapse but considering that I’d been dealing with the urge to self harm on and off for weeks and at that point gave in to temptation, that’s pretty good for me. Even in crisis I resisted the urge to the point I couldn’t take anymore but instead of grabbing something sharp I went for the hairband which caused significantly less damage while also satisfying the urge. It may not be as good as not self harming at all or going for a run instead but it is an improvement for me 🙂

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Thanks for reading and do feel free to let me know your experience with BPD ❤

 

Recommended Reading:

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/borderline-personality-disorder-bpd/treatment-and-support/#.XJ0YB_ZFzIU

https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/both-sides-the-couch/201309/borderline-personality-disorder-the-power-recovery

https://bpdtransformation.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/how-did-i-recover-from-borderline-personality-disorder/

http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/visions/borderline-personality-disorder-vol7/borderline-personality-disorder

https://themighty.com/2017/04/my-journey-borderline-personality-disorder-treatment-and-recovery/

 

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2 thoughts on “Hope Of Recovery?

  1. Enne says:

    This was such a good post! First of all, I’m really damn impressed and proud of your progress. Combating self harm isn’t easy by any means! (I’ve been angrily drawing lines with red markers on my arms when I got smacked in the face by the urges and that’s been working pretty ok so far.)

    I also know how annoying it is to be brushed off by professionals, been there. I actually talked about all this with my old doctor (sadly she retired a while ago, she was great). She taught me that a diagnosis is just a fancy word for a collection of symptoms or traits. And that those traits are only symptoms if they cause you trouble in your daily life. For example being very sensitive and afraid of rejection and such are normal and even good personality traits when they’re “under control”. Risk taking to an excess may be bad when it goes overboard, but a bit of risk taking is needed to try and discover new things. These things are not the problem, the lack of impulse control and ability to regulate emotions are. And both of those are things one can learn. So in a way, yes, I think one can recover from BPD. Sure, you might always be a bit more sensitive and quirky than average but there’s much less “average” people in the world than one might think!

    This doctor also told me she does see BPD as a disorder, because it causes a lot of trouble in the patient’s life, but also that the term “personality disorder” has given some of her colleagues a skewed vision of BPD. This is what she told me, and it really stuck with me:
    “They think the term means there’s something wrong with your personality, and as that’s something you can’t change, they think it’s impossible to recover. But all a ‘personality disorder’ means is that it’s a disorder that develops alongside your personality as your brain matures. You aren’t inherently broken, you simply lack the skills to cope with the traits you possess.”

    Sorry for the long reply, it’s just a subject that’s very close to my heart!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. normalistoomainstream says:

    No need to be sorry I enjoyed reading your reply! Your old doctor sounds amazing, shame she retired but it sounds like she was doing a good job ❤️ I think there is some debate about having BPD’s name changed to something like “emotion regulation disorder” which I something I can get behind as you’re right the term personality disorder can make people assume you have a faulty personality that can’t be healed. I think the name change would be beneficial as it doesn’t have those heavy implication the current name has.

    I’ve been reading a book by a woman who used to have BPD and she talks about how learning new skills in DBT helped her recover from the disorder, while she still identifies as “emotionally sensitive” she no longer meets the criteria for BPD so I think you have a point about the traits only being symptoms if they cause problems.

    Thank you so much for your comment it’s really helped, sending love ❤️

    Like

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