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borderline woes
January 26, 2006
1:52 pm
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ianandris
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So, after much research, I believe I've come to an understanding of just what it is that's wrong with me: I have borderline personality disorder. It's not been officially diagnosed, but if what I've read is accurate, finding a doctor familiar enough with the disorder to diagnose it is a pretty big challenge. At any rate, it's been pretty bad lately. The intensity of the challenges were what prompted me to research BPD in the first place.

For the past week, I've been to only one of my classes at school, neglecting homework, scheduled quizzes, etc. I've been late to work, leaving early, etc. At home, I retreat to my room and waste time, either playing computer games or otherwise piddling around on the internet. It's not entirely an addiction, because I get bored with both activities. I don't go anywhere, do what I need to do, though, when I get bored. Those activities serve a different purpose than mere indulgence. I don't want to go anywhere because my car is such a pain in the ass to drive.

When people request my attention, I cordially oblige, but at first opportunity I return to my world. I guess its the only place I feel safe, which is sad. I guess I just don't trust people.

For a couple of days I had pretty intense thoughts of suicide. I won't ever do it, but the thoughts were there. Thought about writing a letter explaining how unfit for this world I am, how powerless I am to control the simple tasks of living in this modern society, etc. I take long showers, watch the water go down the drain and picture it as my blood. It's pretty sad.

I'm not gloomy, really. Just tired of failing at living. Or, at least, tired of not maximizing my potential (or even tapping into it, for that matter). I don't necessarily want to be the best at anything (though, admittedly, that would be nice), but I want to be the best *I* can be. I just can't seem to get myself to do what I need to, though.

I'm tired of not achieving success, tired of not being able to get myself to work hard consistently. I know that the only way to make progress, to become the best, is by steady, diligent effort, and *I am just incapable of that*. I know the answers; cowboy up, suck it up, just do it, put your shoulder to the wheel, etc. But *that* more than anything, is what I struggle with. I only seem to function where there is ease.

Life is not easy. I am not fit for life. (at least, that's what the limbic part of me says. I know otherwise, but knowing something, believing something, and feeling something are three entirely different concepts.)

My interpersonal relationships are rocky. The ones that work best are the ones where there is distance. I can't get close to people. Discouraging considering that, more than just about anything, I'd like to be close to someone. When I get close, I freeze up, appear distant and disinterested, they retreat, things end.

My financial situation is a shambles. I have hospital bills that have been waiting to be paid for months. I finally got insurance to cover some of it, but I haven't been persistant in relieving the financial pressure. I have no positive credit, and a few marks of negative credit, including a derogatory mark. I can't get a cell phone plan without a 500 dollar deposit.

My truck needs to be repaired, has needed to be repaired for the past few months, but I just haven't been able to get myself to do it. I don't have the money, I say to myself. I've made impulsive business decisions lately, purchasing business center from a network marketing company that I really didn't have the money for. It's not making me money, because I don't have the drive to do anything with it, so I more or less pissed away 500 plus dollars. I am a mess. The thing is, if you met me, you'd never know.

Any adivce would be welcome. I ordered a book online about dealing with BPD. Hopefully it will have an impact.

January 26, 2006
1:54 pm
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ianandris
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Incidentally, I am currently skipping class to write this.

January 26, 2006
2:04 pm
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ianandris
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Oh yeah, I've also had fits of rage, too. I would curse pracitcally everyone, primarily people who I knew moderately well, or didn't know at all. I wouldn't feel anything negative toward anyone who was with me. It was bad. It was a big fuck you to everyone. Especially anyone who made me feel rejected. The rage would last for a little while, then subside. It came in waves for a couple days. It's since receded to wherever it came from, but it may come back. I never expressed it to anyone, just raged in my car alone, shouting at everyone, everything. I wanted to get in a fight, but couldn't, partially because I had noone to fight, partially because I'm too dead to do it. Same problem as above.

January 26, 2006
2:06 pm
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kathygy
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ianandris,

that's great that you were able to write all of that out and you expressed your feelings very well. You are good at something, probably a lot more.

and you cared enough about yourself to come here for help and support which is a good place for that. So there is a part of you that is functioning very well here.

As I read your post I felt that there is a harsh critic inside of you. But I think what you really need is to feel compassion for yourself and how much you are suffering and can't get ahead of things. This may be a part of your BPD if indeed you do have that.

Which means you need to go for help and not beat yourself up. You are handicapped.

I believe that you can find a psychiatrist knowledgeable in BPD. Have you searched the internet? You may need to be on medication. I would seek treatment first and formost. You shouldn't have to be suffering so much. You deserve some relieve and encouragement that your life can be better.

love,
kathy

January 26, 2006
2:15 pm
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ianandris
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Thanks, Kathy. I really appreciate your support. You're right about the harsh critic. That's only there because I have high standards for myself. I don't want to compromise them. It would cause me a greater deal of suffering to lower them than to suffer the pain of not meeting them. I'm not about to do that. I'll look around for a psychiatrist. I heard that lamotrigine works pretty well for BPD. I'll see what I can do.

January 26, 2006
2:20 pm
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ianandris
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Furthermore, and unrelated to BPD, I just pulled a muscle in my neck. It hurts.

January 26, 2006
5:16 pm
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mamabear
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I have wondered about myself too, I don't know if I am or not, but I am somewhat of a hypochondriac.

Other people don't know what goes on with me either.

I can be different with different people or in different settings.

January 27, 2006
6:26 am
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gazelle
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Firstly, I truly sympathise - or should I say empathise with you, ianandris. Your beautiful, frustrated & sad description perfectly sums up how I feel much of the time too. You certainly have lots of talent for accessing & articulating your thoughts & emotions! And those are no mean feats. I just wanted to give you my heartfelt response, hoping that that, in itself, may help you feel less alone.

But what makes you think you have BDP? From my reading about it, and from the behaviour of a close friend who has been diagnosed with it, you bear little resemblance to a classic BDP sufferer. What you describe so far sounds like chronic and fairly severe depression.

Obviously it is silly & possibly dangerous for non-professionals to 'diagnose' from a few posts in a forum like this. I'm only trying to inject a teensy little doubt into your apparent certainty. Would seeing a doctor / psychiatrist help clarify? And possibly getting referred to a counsellor or therapist?

Personally, I doubt whether simply popping pills can 'magic away' our life-problems or heal our long-entrenched personality flaws. I suspect that I too need to address the core sources of my issues. I can't 'snap out of it' & motivate myself alone either. Though right now I have finally given to my doctor's repeated suggestion & agreed to take anti-depressants, just to balance my seratonin levels and give me a break from feeling acute misery so that I can step back and begin to address my life-issues more calmly. (So far, after a shaky start w loss of sleep & appetite, etc) the despair seems less urgent.

I warmly wish you the very best.

Blessings - gazelle.

January 27, 2006
6:29 am
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gazelle
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Sorry - we sometimes say BDP in England for Borderline Personality, instead of BPD for Borderline Personality Disorder.

January 27, 2006
7:16 am
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ianandris
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Thanks, Gazelle. I really appreciate your comments. Last night I was talking to my sister who worked as a nurse in the psychiactric ward of a hospital out here (ironic, considering she has myriad pschiatric issues herself), and she also expressed doubt that I have BDP ;). I could very well have depression. Maybe some generalized anxiety, or something, too. I honestly don't know. My sister' trying to find out what I need to do to get set up with a psychiatrist or psychologist for an evaluation, so they get me figured out. If they throw me on drugs, peachy. If they point me in the direction of a therapist who knows how to help me, grand. All I know is that something *must* change. There's no way I'll be able to support a family (I do intend to have a family at some point) with the current state of my psyche. So, again, thank you. Your empathy is welcomed with open arms.

January 27, 2006
12:39 pm
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Hi Ianandris

Here's another idea for you to consider. Have you ever heard of the HSP trait? It stands for Highly Sensitive Person and it's not a personality trait, it's about brain wiring and response to sensory stimulus. One of the main books to read about it is by Elaine Aron, called (sensibly enough) "The Highly Sensitive Person".

The reason I suggest it is your described harsh inner critic, high standards and unwillingness to compromise them, and feeling "unfit for this world".

We HSP's can get very overwhelmed by stimulus, of which there is a lot in this modern urban world. We notice details that others do not, and can get very depressed thinking about life. We can often be seen as underachievers because we have so much internal activity going on that we don't function in the outside world the way "normal" people do. About 20% of the human population has this trait, and our dominant society does not understand it or appreciate it, giving us more reasons to be depressed and feel like misfits.

I could write a ton more except I can't stay on the computer right now. But I hope you will check it out and see if anything seems to fit you. Elaine Aron gives lots of really good advice for managing the trait and living life with HSP as a gift rather than a burden.

I hope you do find some support and help with the things that are bothering you. Take care.

January 27, 2006
12:41 pm
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Oh, and P.S., there's a self-test checklist in Aron's book and I think there's a website too although I don't know the URL offhand. But Google should get you there pretty easily. Good luck!

January 27, 2006
2:08 pm
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kathygy
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ianandris,

What do you have high standards about? Where did these standards come from? Why would cutting yourself some slack cause you more pain?

You may have set yourself up to meet unrealistic standards.

What are you adraid would happen if you changed your standards so that you wouldn't end up feeling like a failure time after time?

love,
kathy

January 27, 2006
2:15 pm
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Anonymous
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okay, there is a website - http://www.bpdcentral.com - VERY informative.

want to say that I self diagnosed as borderline personality - I fit all the criteria - short of suicidal tendencies.

however, once I realized all the complications I create oN MY OWN - by being borderline personality - I CHOSE to turn it around. I scared myself straight, so to speak.

However - that being said, I don't think a TRUE BPD can "cure" themselves that easily.

And what I have to admit is that I started taking ZOLOFT (after trying seven other meds - including meds for ADD and bipolar) - and the zoloft is working magic, I suspect.

The meds are making me able to mentally turm my life around. I had the knowledge of HOW before - but couldn't do it no matter how much I tried.

once the zoloft kicked in, I was able to manage my emotions and work on turning my attitude around - it controlled my obsessive thinking and made me ENJOY life and smile for the first time in years.

I am currently in my fourth week of pure happiness and bliss. stuff has come up to challenge me and I have managed it with little effort and gotten thru it without all the typical stress and strife.

see a certified doc - be patient - try the meds they offer - be patient and keep trying until you find the right one - see a therapist to talk - keep a journal - read self help books - get to a support group - and know that being happy is a CHOICE - and you can do it - and you deserve it.

January 27, 2006
9:05 pm
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ianandris
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thanks everyone for being so... well.. supportive :). Kroika, I'll check HSP out for sure.

Kathy, the easy way to answer your first question would be "everything," but I don't think that's quite what you're looking for. Primarily, I have high standards when it comes to my ability to do tasks I know I've done well in the past. If I perform well in something, I assume comptence in the given task, and I assume that I have the ability to reproduce the result when I require it of myself This has not always been the case. (answering your second question; where did these standards come from. They came from my successes.) I have a harsh critic because I believe in myself. I believe that I have the capacity to do wondergul things with my life. I believe that I have gifts, talents, and skills which would enable me to be an asset to my family, current and future, and my society. I'm not thinking in terms of grandiose, all eyes on me sorts of things, more along the lines of exellence evidenced in the things I decide to do, both in end result and in the choice itself, if that makes sense. I want to do well, and I believe I have the ability to do whatever I choose to, well. So, given the unfortunate fact that I'm human, you can see why I get discouraged.

If by cutting myself slack, you mean just letting myself go, I can do that pretty well. If you mean compromising my standards as cutting slack, then yeah, it's very painful.
I *do* cut myself slack, but I don't make allowance for myself, if that makes sense. I guess I still have the lingering limbic belief that people are what the sum of what they do. That being the case, I want to be excellent. I guess I still have the Greek sense of virtue thriving within me. I feel that if I let my goals go, I wouldn't be developing in excellence (answering your last question; I'm afraid that compromising my standards would cause me to fall short of my potential. I've only got one shot at life.).
Again, compromising my standards equates to failure, just as surely as not reaching them equates to failure. So, you see, I'm in a catch 22. Damned if I do, damned if I don't.

So, there's kind of a picture at what drives me. I'm just lost as to why I can't perform. The abilities are there, but not consistently. So, yeah. There it is.

Alicat, I totally agree with you. All change is choice. All behavior is choice.

I'm in the process of locating a psychiatrist in my area. I'm going to talk to him, see what happens there. If I get zoloft or some other antidepressent or mood stabilizer, great. If not, great. We'll see. But, thanks everyone!

January 28, 2006
7:31 am
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gazelle
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There's 'excellence at doing' and 'excellence at being', ianidris. Do you perhaps focus too exclusively on measuring 'excellence' only by actions - by externally verifiable 'results'?

A more spiritual view held by some Buddhists & others of a more philosophical bent is that Being itself is enough: that once we are 'awakened' and at peace within ourselves, with our attitudes free offear & agression, then our relationships with the outer world & with others will naturally become the best they can, as a natural consequence.

Do-be-do-be-do! Blessings - gazelle.

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