Archives for posts with tag: borderline personality disorder

[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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An extract from the coverage my story received in the Mansfield Chad newspaper.

An extract from the coverage my story received in the Mansfield Chad newspaper.

Hi, everyone!

Following my entry yesterday… writing the blog made me feel good and more positive. My job as a paramedic involves helping others and I’m hoping that writing this blog will go some way to helping others. Hey, maybe it could develop into a kind of support network for fellow survivors, carers and healthcare professionals?

Over the past week I have had a real battle on the ward. The ward staff here are fabulous and really caring and supportive. However, when they are ruled by Notts County Council and Higher Management in the hospital they are unable to care for me properly.

Absconded

I’ll briefly explain. I came into hospital just over a week ago. Since then the emergency duty team (Notts County Council) gradually, over the week, ground me down to the extent where I could take no more and absconded from the ward (which is against the rules of the section).

Forbidden to see my daughters

Anyway, the week started well. I had loads of support from my named nurse, A, who was trusting. That, and continuing support from my husband Andrew, began to provide me with the safety I needed. By Thursday, however, things had deteriorated. I couldn’t have any section 17 leave, had to remain on ten-minute observations (they checked me every ten minutes, depriving me of privacy), I couldn’t leave the ward to go into the garden without a member of staff, and contact with my children was prohibited. I decided to abscond (or as fellow service-users would say, “leg it”) and insisted that I would not return to the ward until the ridiculous constraints were justified or resolved. I informed Andrew I was safe, a police search party was organised, the police searched my house and stayed at the address until 3.00 a.m. They rang my friends and family and continued the search until the next day. Meanwhile, I was with friends offloading my stress over a glass of wine. I can hear you all say that is shocking and irresponsible of me. However, Andrew constantly told the police I was safe, at a friend’s and would return to the hospital once I had calmed down and he had spoken to NCC social services department to find out why they were controlling my care and failing to provide a therapeutic environment.

Portrayed as a child-killer

Friday 3rd July 2010, 9.00 a.m. I rang Andrew straightaway to say I was still safe and well. By 11.00 Andrew had spoken to social services, the Notts Healthcare NHS Trust Manager, the Chief Executive of the safeguarding team at the hospital and the ward manager. It transpired that NCC emergency duty were interfering and portraying me as some kind of child-killer.

At 11.30 I returned to the ward, to be greeted by M, my other named nurse, who is also fab, and he and the ward manager informed me that contact with my children was back on and I could see them off the ward. I agreed that due to my consultant being on leave that I would have to remain on my section and my observations would remain the same until 6th July 2010. I would have agreed to anything so long as I could see my girls!

Painful memories

Over the past few weeks I have been conscious of the 4th of July being my Grandma’s birthday as well as American Independence Day. For those of you who haven’t read my book, I was very close to her and she died a few years ago. I understand fellow survivors find significant events and dates are a real negative trigger that affects our mood. Whilst most people feel a little sad and then move on, we spend a lot of time dwelling on painful memories and struggle with what to do with those memories and emotions which then leads to destructive/maladaptive behaviours. We internalise our feelings which then causes further pain. The actual trigger itself is no longer painful; it’s the emotions that come with that trigger. That’s my take on it anyway, and I hope it makes sense.

Being positive

Yesterday I decided to deal with the emotional trigger of 4 July in a different way. I read Dr Chris’s chapter (in Disruptive) and took his advice of trying to move on and focus on the positives instead of the negatives. I turned that round and decided to make a conscious decision to be happy on my Grandma’s birthday and keep reminding myself that she would be disappointed if I was distressed.

All day I have had to force myself to be positive and happy, and do you know what? It really has worked, and right now I’m feeling good and proud that I have got through a difficult day without harming myself emotionally or physically.

Elastic band therapy

The moral of my story tonight is no matter how hard things are, you have to keep fighting in a positive way. Anyone reading this who can relate to some of what I have written, can I ask a big favour? From now on, can you go to bed and tell yourself no matter what you are going to have a positive day and do positive things and enjoy what you are feeling or doing? If need be put an elastic band round your wrist and just twang each time you get a negative feeling, and make sure you tell yourself you have to “crack on” and “keep smiling”. See how long you can do it for, and I’ll do the same and report back soon.

Take care everyone and love and best wishes to you all!

Angela
P.S. Please feel free to post a comment. I’d love to have your responses!

This is me in my place of work - an ambulance. I love my job, have every reason to believe I am good at it, and want to return to it as soon as possible.

This is me in my place of work. I am a paramedic. I love my job, have every reason to believe I am good at it, and want to return to it as soon as possible.

My first book ended on quite a high note. However, it did say things have been a bit up and down “but I’m getting there”. I’m trying to come up with a happy ending for my second book but at the moment I’m finding that really tough due to the lack of services and help available to me. I thought I’d start this blog by discussing my present circumstances instead of talking about the past as of 2005 (the ending of my first book); I don’t want to spoil the story for the second book.

PTSD and borderline personality disorder

Since moving to the Notts area, all treatment at the Retreat was stopped by my local Primary Care Trust (PCT) and referred to local services. Apart from my diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and an eating disorder I’ve now been given a new label: “borderline personality disorder”. Initially I was horrified to hear such a label, but having spoken to Dr Chris with whom I regularly keep in touch, I now understand what the diagnosis means. According to National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines they have now recognised it as a mental illness. They say it carries the highest suicide rates. Amazing, then, that there is very little help available!

Suing Notts County Council…

Talking of suicide, I am currently in hospital and over the past two weeks have been on the brink of suicide again myself. As some of you know, I am suing Notts County Council for “failing to protect” whilst I was in their care. Coincidentally, Notts County Council work in conjunction with Nottinghamshire Health Care, who are my care providers.

…and now sectioned by them!

Two weeks ago I was feeling very low and quite hopeless, so I wrote to my psychologist expressing my feelings to him. In the letter I talked about suicide and how I wanted to die and stupidly said I wish I could take Andrew and the girls with me. Obviously, I wasn’t feeling rational and due to having no support from services it caused me to feel quite helpless. Anyway, I managed to keep going and do my shifts at work until 22 June 2010. I began my days off, and before I knew it I was suspended from work, arrested by police on suspicion of threatening to kill and then placed on a section 2 and detained in hospital. You probably wondering why. Well, I am doing the same thing myself. All I know is that Notts County Council rang my employer to say they were concerned about my mental health and then rang the Children and Young People’s Services department to say I was going to kill my children. To finish off, they also rang the police to say the same and then a social worker from the same authority sectioned me and I was admitted to hospital.

Now that I’ve set the scene of my predicament I will leave you to digest what I have written and will come back soon to talk to you about my treatment, the future and how services are treating me.

Anyone who is a fellow sufferer please hang in there and keep fighting. If we campaign hard enough we will get the treatment we need and deserve as set down by NICE.

Love and best wishes

Angela