[This post was written on the evening of Tuesday 6 July 2010, and posted the following morning.]

Hi, everyone.

I hope all is well with you all.

A new way of coping with borderline personality disorder

I thought I should begin with a quick explanation of why I didn’t blog yesterday. Due to some stresses I was experiencing I began to present with a psychosis i.e experiencing auditory and visual hallucinations. Part of my therapy was to be in a low-stimulus environment and have an early night, hence no entries to the blog. You may ask why I’m being so public about myself on a subject which sadly today is still a taboo subject. Well, my reason is so others with borderline personality disorder (BPD) will no longer feel alone, and it also reflects the fact that I have discovered a new way of coping.

Derogatory voices

Normally when I’m distressed I feel helpless, and because of this I push what limited services there are away, saying they are useless and can’t help. When I started with my symptoms this time, instead of reaching for the drugs and trying to knock myself out I decided to face the horrible symptoms head-on, and whilst I was feeling rational I kept telling myself they were not real. I then told my named nurse quickly before anything got out of hand. Together we formulated a staged plan, focusing on recovery instead of avoidance. I kept myself in public areas, was allocated a member of staff to stay with me to try and talk through how I was feeling. I used methods of distraction and my elastic band (see the end of this post). In my head I spoke to the derogatory voices, telling them to go away and that they were not real.

The Mansfield Chad article on my experiences.

This was how my story was recently covered in a newspaper. It will give you some idea of what lies beyone my present circumstances.

Verge of self-harming

In the afternoon I spent some time alone and, recognising when I was on the verge of self-harming, I sought help again and asked to see a doctor. The doctor came and prescribed some injections to dampen the voices and the anxiety. We agreed that although drugs can be sometimes an avoidance technique; it demonstrated to me that drugs are not the immediate answer and, in a way, experiencing distress also helped me realise that it can be dealt with in lots of ways, and the more I feel such symptoms for longer the more I will “desensitise” them and the less they will affect me.

Stopping and thinking

Tackling my illness head-on and “stopping and thinking” before I do anything destructive or maladaptive is a real way forward for me. I feel proud I haven’t self-harmed and that I dealt with things in a healthy way. If just one person reading this adopts my new way of coping then that will be one fewer person getting hurt.

Pampering and some hope

Today – Tuesday – has been a mixture of emotions. This morning I spent sleeping and then self-soothing by pampering myself a bit with lotions and potions. This afternoon I did some art and craft, which really helped take my mind off the MDT (multidisciplinary team) meeting between 14.00 and 16.00. I eventually saw my consultant, who was adamant she was going to continue to keep me in a very contained “well”, due to EDT (Nottinghamshire County Council) influence. My named nurse was with me and really supported me when I challenged my consultant’s decisions and actions. I wanted some leave and the section lifted. After a big debate, she agreed that I could be on a lower level of observations and that she would review leave tomorrow, discussing it with Andrew (my husband). While I was disappointed, a quick tug at the band on my wrist helped me stay positive and focus on making arrangements for tomorrow’s meeting.

I hope tonight, by expressing my own feelings and way of coping, I can help other people do the same or understand others.

Night night, everyone!

Love and best wishes

Angela

P.S. You may wish to read about other people’s experiences.

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