This is a book for those diagnosed with BPD to give them knowledge and hope.You can do it!
Everyone has events in their lives that have a profound effect on them. Those events shape the person they are in this moment in time. In life an event happens, we react, we hold onto what happened, and we learn ways of coping.
I want to start with what Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is not. BPD is not a death wish and it is not a chemical imbalance in the brain. If it were, there would be a medication that directly treats BPD. Right now there are only medications designed to manage the depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, moods, and other symptoms a patient with BPD suffers with.
BPD occurs when a susceptible child’s developing brain creates connections other than where they are supposed to be while the brain is growing. Health professionals are finding out more and more every day through studies conducted on the BPD patient1. Some of these studies suggest in a BPD patient the amygdala and the hippocampus structures of the brain are notably smaller than those without the diagnosis of BPD2. There are also studies indicating there areas in the prefrontal cortex that do not fire correctly3 in a BPD patient. Medical professionals are conducting studies and analysis of whether genetics plays a key role in the development of BPD as well4.
A person diagnosed with BPD will display outward symptoms of extreme emotional outbursts. Much of the literature we have available focus’ on the emotion of anger. With me, it’s any emotion that is greatly amplified and displayed in my life. Our relationships tend to suffer. There is either a low self-esteem or no sense of self. We feel like we do not fit in and we are not loved. Many BPD patients cut themselves as a way of coping with emotional pain. Sadly there are a number of patients who attempt to commit or succeed in committing suicide. We are not “doing things for attention”, “being drama queens”, and we are not “toxic”. It’s really sad, in my own opinion, what society accepts about any mental illness much less BPD. It is not “all in our heads”. It is a very real and devastating condition that we must learn to cope with and accept, within reason, our limitations. It causes a severe disruption in the patient's lives and relationships.
For those of us diagnosed with BPD there will be additional mental health diagnoses. I am diagnosed with BPD, CPTSD, MDD, and I am in PM. I add the PM because hormones play a key role in a person’s emotional regulation. Some people will not have CPTSD and will be diagnosed with PTSD. Some may have the diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, or any number of different mental health disorders. For this reason it’s important to note here there are a vast array of other symptoms we can display due to our other mental health diagnoses.
It is highly critical to work with your personal Primary Care Physician (PCP), Psychiatrist, and therapist to develop the exact plan for you. No one other than those three people can lay claim to knowing mental health inside and out nor have the proper amount of schooling to be able to tell you personally what you must do to overcome your condition. Many people will offer advice and actually have every intention of helping, however, they do not possess the knowledge needed to help you. It is very important to make that distinction right at the start of your diagnosis. There are also others trained, in general, how to help a mental health patient in a medical crisis situation, like our Police Officers, and medical staff in the emergency room. Their role, however, is very minimal when it comes to our care plan.
With this book it is my hopes that what I do to promote self care and healing will help numerous others, provide hope and encouragement, and a sense they are not alone. All that is contained within these pages are suggestions by myself and if something doesn’t work for you that is OK. Take what you can from it and throw the rest away. I have been doing research into certain areas to make sure some of the things I speak about are true and accurate to the best of my knowledge. I will do my best in wording controversial things as such as my opinion only or will place any other word to describe the fact that it is not proven definitively to be one hundred percent accurate.
In the following pages I give advice to the newly diagnosed BPD patient. The first steps that I recommend to be thought about and followed. This is to ensure you be at ease and have hope following the diagnosis. The second part of this book will be dedicated to a glimpse into my own personal life to provide others who suffer with BPD a sense they can relate and then grow from the knowledge that I attained through my own struggles. The third part will be focused on self-care and what I do to help myself. I still struggle on a daily basis. It is not as bad.
If you are diagnosed with BPD do not think its a death wish and do not let it make you more depressed. You, like me, are a WARRIOR, and warriors conquer! There is hope.