Let’s Talk BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder): Guest Post by Sarah – Life In A Break Down

I can’t work out looking back, when I changed from a normal mentally healthy child, to one who had a warped perspective of myself.

Sometimes I wonder if I’ve always been this way.

BPD or to give it is full name Borderline Personality Disorder, is somewhat stigmatized by mainstream media, as of course are many other mental health issues. So, I am hoping to break down those misconceptions a little at a time.

What is BPD?

I guess simply put it is a serious mental disorder which effects the way people who suffer from it process emotions.

There are 9 criteria used to diagnose people with BPD, although the way they are experience and to what degree is different between each patient:

• Fear of abandonment.

• A series of unstable relationships.

• Unstable image of ones-self.

• Impulsive attitude around things which are unsafe to such as drinking, drugs, sex, binge eating, reckless driving etc..

• Self-harm or suicidal tendencies.

• Extreme emotional swings.

• Chronic feeling of emptiness.

• Intense anger.

• A feeling of not being in touch with reality – suspicious and paranoid.

How BPD affects me

It’s been many years since I was diagnosed originally with BPD.

Over the years, things have changed. I have learnt in ways to find a way to live with some aspects of BPD. While those around me have learnt to calm and look after me when things get bad.

I’ve never been a danger to others, like media sometimes likes to portray BPD sufferers to be. However, I can be a danger to myself.

Through my teen years and into my twenties, I tried to take my life many times. It is perhaps only by accident I am still alive.

I don’t think I’ll ever stop self-harming in some ways and my gosh the emotional swings can be so tiring.

I’ve learnt over the years though I’m not alone.

That impulse to hit my head, to stop it. Is felt by many people with BPD.

The insane fear of being abandoned, which I suspect comes from the fact I was adopted, never leaves. But I am not alone.

Sometimes I feel like I’m on a roller coaster with the ups and downs of emotions and sometimes I feel numb like there’s no emotions left. And that’s normal too.

How is BPD Treated?

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Mentalisation-Based Therapy (MBT) are most often the way people look to treat BPD.

I must admit I’ve tried many therapies over the years and the only one, for me, which worked to any extent was art therapy. I am not a talker, I write, I create, but I don’t talk. As I fear what people will think.

Therapeutic communities can often help some people as well. However, place me with people who are feeling similar and I become a bit like a bomb, ready to explode with the emotions that are swirling around.

Sadly, medication doesn’t help BPD itself, but it can sometimes be offered to help any mental health conditions that co-exist with BPD. For myself this is depression and anxiety.

What to Take from this Post

People with BPD are humans too. We just have issues with processing emotions in quite the right way. This is often linked to something traumatic that has happened in our lives.

Don’t write us off, don’t be scared to be our friend.

Author Bio: 

Sarah - Life In A Break Down

Sarah is the creator behind Life in a Break Down, UK Bloggers and Simply Saving and one half of the duo behind UK Lifestyle Hub. She suffers from a number of chronic health conditions and is often found cuddled up on the sofa with a movie and her pets. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram too! 

Young Minds: #HelloYellow and I Did It… (10k) My Way!

Last month, I wrote about doing a 10k ‘virtual’ race for the charity Young Minds. I thought I should write a quick update post (it’s a little late, but anyway) to say that I completed it!

10k Your Way Young Minds Virtual Race

I took it slow, due to my current fitness levels and a lack of sleep (thanks for that, Squiggle!) but I did walk/ run/ walk for the majority of it, so I did still put the effort in! I did most of it on my own, Squiggle having considered doing it too but decided it would be too much for her, but a friend came to join me for the last few km (partly for moral support, for her own exercise and also because I was out alone at night!) At this point I slowed right down to chat and time on the clock quickly added up. But I did it, and that is all that matters!

Selfie of Katie (Living Life Our Way) during the 10k

I would like to say a huge thanks to those who sponsored me, I appreciate it. At the moment, my fundraising page is still open, so it is not too late if you haven’t done so already! Alternatively you can donate direct to Young Minds at anytime.

#HelloYellow Campaign

Today is also Young Minds #HelloYellow campaign as part of World Mental Health Day. I started the day by making a donation to Young Minds for t-shirt sales, as promised. I am very grateful to those that bought them, thank you!

Screenshot of donation confirmation to Young Minds

You can donate securely online through their website at youngminds.org.uk/donate

Or donate via text by texting YMHY00 £5 to 70070

#HelloYellow hair tie looking up at yellow leaves

We went for a walk in nature and spotted lots of Autumn yellows. I don’t have anything yellow to wear (and try to avoid buying stuff I won’t wear often!) but I made sure I wore a yellow hair tie in support of Young Minds #HelloYellow campaign today!

#HelloYellow hair tie selfie in nature, autumn colours

Keep talking about mental health. Not just today, but everyday. Check on those around you. And remember to really listen too.

It’s ok not to be ok. You are not alone. xx

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): How Light Therapy Can Help 

As the clocks go back for British daylight savings time, the darker evenings draw in are getting shorter and the hours of daylight less, many people begin to feel the affect on their mood. ‘Winter blues’ is more common than people might realise and full- on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can begin to hugely affect people’s lives at this time of year. 

SAD, seasonal affective disorder, winter blues, light therapy, Needlite

SAD is considered to be a form of depression. There is plenty of information available about possible causes and the treatments available; including CBT, talking therapies, light therapy and meds if needed. Light therapy is highly recommended by most experts on this subject. It involves being closely exposed to artificial daylight for substantial amounts of time, in order to produce chemicals in the brain that helps to improve mood and alleviate some of the symptoms of SAD.

SAD, seasonal affective disorder, winter blues, light therapy, Needlite

Needlite is a daylight lamp that can be used at your work desk. It provides much needed imitation daylight that is very close to the real thing, available at any time. It is useful for improving exposure to the amount of daylight on a daily basis, despite being indoors, which therefore supports wellbeing and can assist in the treatment of SAD. I previously wrote a review of Needlite a few months ago and I will be interested to see how effective it continues to be over the winter months too, when it potentially at its most beneficial.

Needlite is available to buy from Well Working. You can also try it out for free, check out the website for further details and availability in your area. 

*Disclosure: I was sent a pair of Needlite lamps for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

#TimeToTalk Mental Health 

As it is Time To Talk day, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share some facts about mental health.

Time To Change, Mental Health, #timetotalk, mental illness, Living Life Our Way

Mental health can affect anyone of any age, at any time. In the UK alone, one in four adults experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any one year. (The Office for National Statistics Psychiatric Morbidity report, 2001). Furthermore, one in ten children between the ages of one and 15 has a mental health disorder. (The Office for National Statistics Mental health in children and young people in Great Britain, 2005).

People of any age suffering from mental health issues need to be taken seriously and supported by those around them. The stigma that sometimes still exists around this subject in our society must be broken down, because people need to talk openly about mental health problems with the expectation of understanding and acceptance. Sufferers must never feel they have to hide their true feelings from the world, for that is the most dangerous thing of all.

However, as MQ Mental Health research suggests, the majority of young people are not in touch with mental health services and there is a serious lack of funding for such services too. In addition to this, around half of young people with mental illness are concerned about stigma and how they will be treated. This has to change.

As a parent of a child with an anxiety disorder, I know how important it is to talk about this subject and to ensure your child receives the treatment and support they need. Childhood mental health needs to be taken as seriously as adult mental health, and that also should be seen as just as important as any other health issue. But many people believe young children cannot possibly suffer from anxiety, depression or other mental health issues; this is simply not the case. And having a ‘happy childhood’ does not guarantee against it either.

As an article from The Guardian explains “depression (like all mental illnesses) typically doesn’t take personal factors into account. Mental illness can affect anyone….

…Smoking may be a major cause of lung cancer, but non-smokers can end up with it. And a person’s lifestyle doesn’t automatically reduce their suffering. Depression doesn’t work like that…

…Perhaps none of it makes sense from a logical perspective, but insisting on logical thinking from someone in the grips of a mental illness is like insisting that someone with a broken leg walks normally; logically, you shouldn’t do that.”

I’ll leave you from the following message from Jason Manford, written shortly after the death of Robin Williams:

“If you feel alone and down, anxious and low. If you feel deep sadness but can’t find a root cause. If people tell you to ‘snap out of it’ or ‘things can only get better’ or ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’, know that it’s simply not always true. Sometimes it does kill you. Please seek help. No one will think you’re being melodramatic, I swear. No one will think you’re silly or wasting people’s time. No one will say ‘what? But you’re always so happy, maybe you’re just having a bad day’. For some people, every day is a bad day and they get through it, but sometimes they stop getting through it.

If depression can (allegedly) kill Robin Williams, one of the world’s greatest funny men, well it can get any of us at any time. If the Genie from Aladdin can suffer and the DJ in Good Morning Vietnam can be affected by it, then so can you, or your child or friend or work colleague. I always remind myself of the quote from Watchmen: “Man goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life is harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world. Doctor says, “Treatment is simple. The great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go see him. That should pick you up.” Man bursts into tears. Says, “But doctor… I am Pagliacci.” 

Please. Ask for help. If you have no one or if you don’t want to to tell them yet, then ring Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 for someone to talk to, or talk to your GP. The world needs you even if you don’t think it does. I promise, we need you here, now.” (Jason Manford, August 2014)

If you need more information on mental health and/or where you can find help please visit mentalhealth.org.uk