I was diagnosed with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) over 10 years ago. When I was diagnosed I was told that I also had anxiety, PTSD, and suicidal ideology. I Was scared and didn’t know what my future would hold. I didn’t know what to make of all this or what to do. I was put onto meds and for the first month I was dealing with not only my symptoms of BPD but also the side effects of the medication.
For a few years I was doing pretty good till about 2015 with the end of my marriage and the death of my father I began to go into a dark place. With having BPD your emotions are not regulated like someone without the illness. Your thought process is very different its either black or white there is no grey area. Your mind wanders and it goes either to good or bad and dwells there and convinces you of the good or the bad even though you know the reality of the situation.
With me losing my job in early 2015 due to issues I’d rather not talk about I was able to leave Ontario and head to BC where my parents had moved to a few years before. My dad had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and had requested not to go into a hospital. I moved out to help my mom take care of him at home. I went out in April and got things in order at their house to help him get around. I was out there for a bit and came home in June and less than two weeks later I was flying back out because he had gotten worse. I went out and helped with things where I could with doctor appointments and such. On August 9th of 2015 I gave my dad a shot of hydromorphone and he passed shortly after that. I still to this day struggle with the thought that in caused him to pass that day.
In the last few years I have dealt with my BPD in non productive was such as self harm. One night I self harmed and because of the actions of a loved one I didn’t do anything worse. She had made the right call and made contact with the right people. I ended up with the police and an ambulance at my door and they took me to the hospital. I was released that night into the care of my mom and my fiancée who made the right call. The next few weeks were a struggle to find help that I knew I needed and it was very hard to get. I was actually laughed at by my doctor for requesting that he refer me to a psychiatrist. At that point I felt hopeless and alone.
Eventually I got to see another doctor that was very helpful and concerned for my mental health. She referred me to the Bridge To Recovery program which is where they teach DBT. It took just over 3 months to get into the program which is to long for someone in crisis. During the wait I was also trying to figure out what meds would work for me. The doctor put me on seroquel at a low dose to start then we doubled the dose which did help quite a bit. Then they added in a new med called Abilify which was a nightmare for me. I ended up with severe panic attacks that I never had before. They were so bad I was unable to leave my house. I ended up talking to the doctor and we decided that I should stop that med. I did but to this day I still have residue panic attacks which can happen.
I finally got into the therapy and did the course and because I knew I needed this I put alot into it.
The combination of the meds and the therapy have helped me keep my BPD at bay but not all the time.
I still have my dark times but they are not as as they have been which I am very thankful for. DBT does help but you have to be in the right mindset to get the benefits from it and understand how it works. I am glad that I did the therapy and try to use what they taught but it isn’t always easy to do so. I still sometimes let my emotions control me which I know isn't good.
The last year or so I have embraced my BPD and have spoken to people that I have met and told them about my illness and helped them understand what it's like.
I would just like the stigma of men’s mental health and mental health in general to stop. If you look at the stats of BPD it is very high for women and low for men but I would say it is about equal. Men should not be embarrassed to talk about their emotions or seek help if they are struggling, we are all human. Please seek help if you are struggling or talk to someone, let them know what is going on. I did and I’m glad that I got the help I needed and am here today to tell my story. Please help stop the stigma of mental health.
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