BPD who really suffers

Posted: June 20, 2011 in Mental Health

This may seem an odd question, especially if you are knee deep in the mire and know for a fact its you suffering but thats not what the question is about. I have BPD, its what it says is my diagnosis and the mental healthcare is aimed at my recovery towards some sort of normality, as it should be for any of us who have BPD. what I’m really asking is about those who live with BPD who are never going to get a diagnosis, or the offer of help, why? because they live with someone else who does have all those things. If you are the partner of, child or family of a BPD sufferer life is no picnic

The whole problem with us is we are quite self centred, not in a selfish way, we are locked in an internal struggle against our own better judgement and that is both distressing and terrifiying for our nearest and dearest. Put simply we do not suffer this disorder on our own, we pass on its complications to everyone who is involved in our lives and they do not get any special help or consideration, no one writes off their bad moods as part of their condition, forgives them their faults, through lack of sleep or just plain old stress because they are not suffering from any condition themselves. I have tried in the past to minimise the exposure of my family to my peaks and troughs, going as far as disappearing for months at a time into the American wilderness to allow them to get on without me as the millstone around their respective necks.

Not everyone agrees that what I did was useful for my wife, children and father, they were equally as worried by my exclusion, in a far off country without any professional help on offer. My children missed me and at the time couldnt understand why I didnt want to be with them my wife was coninually worried I would get into trouble and be incarcerated without any chance of having my mental health taken into account. I was fine on my own, My own company was enough and the anonimity I enjoyed allowed me to deal with things at my own speed and without fear of causing harm to anyone I cared for. I had that luxury and in the end it did help, it wasnt a cure it just delayed the inevitable but it gave everyone some time to prepare for the coming storm, although it did me good I think it caused as much if not more problems back home for my loved ones and thats my point. Those who live in someone elses life by very definition experience that persons problems, to a greater or lesser degree, a drug addicts family will have to bear the theft and dishonesty if not the actual effects of the narcotic and so do BPD sufferers familys have to deal with wild mood swings, desperate paranoid behaviour and dark insufferable depression. OK the dont actually have to feel these things but what can be far worse is to be victim of the fallout.

I shut my older children out completely for nearly six months, I spoke to them but couldnt face seeing them, I think I was doing the right thing as a child shouldnt be exposed to their parents worst behaviour just because they are related but it was hard for them, they worried and struggled to understand what a mental health problem is, “is he mad” was the only thing they could think of. In the latter part of my treatment I was asked to explore the effect I had on the world around me, something you would think was natural for someone to do but I truly hadnt put that much thought into it, after all I had thought that being out of sight was out of mind and while i was going through hell they just went about their normal business, easy peasy.

As I have undergone this process and understood more of my effect I have to examine what I am doing in more depth and try to engage the sense of the other when I do things, that may sound very psycho babble but its the way it was put to me and I can see the meaning of the words quite clearly. When I dip into a pattern of behaviour that is caused by my BPD I try and mitigate my thoughts and feelings with the perspective of the other, whether thats my wife, children or fellow therapeutic members and to a degree it works to mediate my mind, I have to realise the possible reaction to my behaviour and decide if its an acceptable one, I dont always do the right thing but I nearly always consider the possibilty that its not what I’m doing and that can shame me inot changing, as I said its not 100% effective, after all I have got a disorder but its certainly better than just going with my base emotions and letting everyone else deal with the results.

  1. Hey,I totally agree with what you have written. It’s not just us who have the wretched illness but it’s our families too that have to suffer the consequences,like you said about the mood swings, depression, disappearing. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels for our families as well. Good Post. Katerina

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