Being mentally ill is no joke. The author of this post tells openly about what it means to live with borderline personality disorder. - The reason why I want to write about this is because it is so painful to be looked down on, writes the anonymous author.

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A multitude of difficulties

When I was 19, I was first admitted to a psychiatric ward for suicide attempts. I have struggled mentally for a long time and I had my first suicide attempt when I was 16-17 years old. 

For those of you who are relatives and believe that you can think clearly when you have borderline, well, you must reconsider. Living with borderline is not easy, and during the most unstable periods, we can not think clearly. 

I was also 19 years old when I was diagnosed with borderline (emotionally unstable personality disorder). I have taken the SCID-II tests many times, and each time I have received the same diagnoses. And borderline personality disorders has emerged every time. I got 8 out of 9 criteria. So that became my main diagnosis.

In this post I will be open with everything. 

The reason why I want to write about this is because it is so painful to be looked down on in health care, by family, friends and especially it has been super difficult in relation to my fiancé. Because it is the case that we with borderline are very unstable in relation to others. 

I have experienced quite often that with borderline I am seen as a person who seeks attention when I need help. We only threaten to make suicide, according to doctors in emergency rooms and psychiatric wards. But is it really like that, do you think?

We need help too. And it will be a lot for us who struggle with this diagnosis. But as a rule, we not only have borderline, we often struggle with much more.

I have received these diagnoses here as well: avoidant personality disorder, PTSD, atypical bulimia neurosis, dissociative identity disorder (DID), anxiety with anxiety panic attacks, agoraphobia, and recurrent depression.

A person with borderline personality disorder often struggle to have good relationships with family and friends; instability in relation to others; abuse of pills; a black and white view of things (either or, no middle ground); major self-harm problems; suicidal thoughts and attempts. Sometimes I can seem very impulsive; I have large mood swings; get irritated quickly; hate to be criticized; I am afraid of being rejected and hurt; I dissociate a lot; I have extremely low self-esteem; and at times I can do things that are dangerous to myself without taking the consequences of it. I have uncontrolled anger at times, and sleep problems. 

In this post, I have chosen to be very open and honest. It's a little scary and a little okay.

 

Difficulties in relationships 

I can only have good relationships with others for a short time, then I start to get annoyed with them.

I often do not have long lived friendships with friends, or I cut contact with people and family over a period of time and take them back later on. This is how I have been doing it all along. I can often be very fond of them or hate them at the same time.

But of course I may also hate someone for the rest of my life, but that's because they've done unforgivable things.

Like my stepfather. And I also hate the two abusers. But there is only the last one I had a good friendship with before he raped me. But such people are doomed to be hated for the rest of my life.

But I'm talking more about having good friends or love relationships. Now, I have not had as many relationships that many others with borderline might have had. The relationship I'm in now is pretty tough. And I understand that it is very tough for him. It has been a lot back and forth with us. And every time I feel pushed into a corner, it's over.

I'm very happy that he understands that when I start to get worse, he has to pull away a little, because then I have to be alone for a while. I'm a little different than others, but when I get worse, I like to be alone. Others are the opposite. I do not want to bother others, be a burden, or ruin the everyday lives of others. I think more of others than myself.

 

Drugs and painkillers

Us with borderline personality disorder often abuse drugs and / or alcohol. I have abused alcohol, but it was only in the early 20s. On the other hand, I have been abusing painkillers for a long time.

I use it a lot at times and other times I use it maybe every other day. Others have asked me: What do I achieve with it? For me, it helps to calm down, dampen the large black lump in my chest, which I sometimes feel will explode or break my ribs. In a way, no one can control this. The only thing is that I might get ill from this abuse; with stomach ulcers or liver problems. I probably started with this when I was 19 years old.

I often struggle with knees, pain in my head and back, so sometimes I need to take it too. For me it is smart to say that I have to take it due to physical pain, therefore no one will make any notice of it. But when my fiancé sees that a whole pack of 400 mg Ibux is gone in less than a week, I am often asked. Sure stupid to say this here, but I would like to work on it now.

I want to get out of this, but when I have good hours / days I will always say that I need help, but when the bad periods come I will not admit that I need or want help. This is also quite difficult and complicated. And it's incredibly tough. It's either or. Either I cry for help, or I deny any need for it.

Many people forget that we that struggle mentally work 24 hours a day all year round, and it is incredibly tough and difficult. It is important that we are not seen as lazy when we need to sleep, relax or just be able to do things we like.

But I also do not mean that you around us should go around and contemplate about us struggling all the time. Just be there, do not stress us.

We do a job all the time. The job I am trying to do now in the future is for my boyfriend and me. I want to live the rest of my life with him, but I do not want to ruin him. I love him sincerely. I appreciate him so much, I want so much to have a good life with him and I want him to have a good time with me for better or for worse. 

 

Black and white thinking

I got a simple explanation for this when I was admitted in 2009.

We that suffer from borderline personality disorder are somewhat like an old light switch that you just turn on and off. Nothing in the middel. But you that is not affected by the disorder, may think like a dimmer switch that can be turned slowly. You do not think either or. 

It's like that, whether you like it or not, whether you love someone or hate someone, you do not see the middle ground. Sometimes it can be incredibly tiring for those around us.

 

Self-harm and suicidality

I was 14 years old when I started self-harming. I have been injury free for a year of 14 years of self injury.

My self-harm has been my salvation through life. Sometimes I do it to punish myself, save myself from difficult situations, feel pain elsewhere than in my heart, sometimes cry for help.

In the last few days now there has been a lot. Incredibly much. I use many methods to hurt myself. Is not just cutting, as many believe. Many times I do things others do not see or notice.

Before, I banged my head against the wall or the floor. I have stopped with that, as I got so weird in the head eventually.

But I pound other body parts in the wall, squeeze hard on the bruises afterwards, so sometimes it looks like someone has abused me. However, that's rare. That is why many people think that I do not hurt myself so much anymore, because nothing is visible.

Or I starve myself, overeat with or without vomiting. I bite or cut my nails all the way down to the bleeding. You could say that my pill abuse is a form of self-harm. I also stab myself on the body with sharp things.

As I said, I was 16/17 years old the first time I tried to kill myself. I was rescued by a random phone call from uncle when I was about to cut the carotid artery. After this time, I have had some attempts, many suicidal thoughts and not least countless many plans. In recent years, I have had a plan that in a way has become safe with me and it is a bit scary. I have been open about it to most of the team around me and my fiance. I have usually been admitted to care every time due to suicide attempts or specific plans.

But there is something that scares me when all this happens late in the evening. At such occasions, I have often been told then that I can either take some sleeping pills with me and go home, or contact the emergency team the next day. But it is NOW I need help I have told them. The only times I have been admitted to hospital is when I have gone through my GP.

I have also heard in the psychiatric ward that "you who have borderline do not benefit from being hospitalized. It is out there, in the community, you are going to live. We do not think you are so seriously ill. We do not think you are about to kill yourself." What kind of comments is it to make to a sick person who can not take care of himself?

Many times I have thought that I must die before they take me seriously.

It does not suffice to say that I am afraid that if no one helps me now, then I do not know what I might do. You can imagine when the head is filled - you do not see any light in the tunnel - you feel that everyone is against you - they laugh at you - you feel that you are a burden to the family because there is always something with you - and the only thing you meet are closed doors all the way, even in the health services that were supposed to help you. It can be difficult to live many days, weeks and months with this.

Why then does no one understand that those sleeping pills won't suffice?

Health services are entitled to help those with borderline as well. It should not go so far that we have to be forcibly admitted because no one listened to us a week earlier, or because we did exactly as you thought we merely threatened. 

 

Indecisiveness and impulsivity

Often I do not know what I want in life. Sometimes I want to work, get an education, move, become a care worker, finish my apprenticeship, take lots of courses and measures in the work rehabiliation service, and so on. Other days I want something else or not any of this.

This is how I can go on forever. I want friends, then I want to be alone. Yes, as I said. I am very indecisive. In the end this is worst for myself, but also burdensome for of all those around me. I have had many friendships, many I have cut out, and some I have taken back. I have cut my family out, one by one, and I have taken them all back a few times. But the one who means the most to me is my fiancé. 

I have taken a lot of education, and worked a lot.

Impulsive? Well, it's been a long time since I've been. Or badly impulsive then. I am, at times, rather impulsive. But not the way I was before.

It's not that I am jumping into the road in front of cars or similar things, but at times I do things impulsively that can be dangerous for me. Other times, the impulsivitiy is not related to dangerous things, but may be like shopping a lot online when I do not really have money... or shopping a lot of food or things I do not need.

 

Mood swings, anger, irritability

I can sometimes get very angry for nothing, small trifles for others are often big for me. I can be aggressive, but often it only hurts myself.

I often do not tolerate criticism, I have difficulty taking advice.

Sometimes when I'm really bad, my fiancé tries to give me advice and try to do things that can make me better. It is often very difficult for me. Often I think that no no one else are entitled to get me in a better mood. It is me who has to do that job. Sometimes it takes a little longer than those around me want.

I am very aggressive, even violent at times. I'm like a roller coaster. 

 

Dissociation

I have dissociative identity disorder (DID) too. Often I get distant. Dissociating. Sitting in my own world and afterwards I do not remember any of it. This can happen even when I'm outside. Sometimes I do not remember how I got home from things I have been on.

I do not even remember that I have been on my appointments.

But because I have dissociative identity disorder, my dissociation becomes a little more serious than those who only have dissociation. I sometimes have 3 personalities with me that I have started calling them now, who are with me at times.

And these three have been with me ever since I was 12 years old. But I have had more than these 3.

When my life was at it's worst, I had between 20 and 30 personalities. 

 

Self-image, self-confidence, self-esteem

Sometimes I ask myself, yes what is it? What is a good self-image?

The only thing I'm happy with myself is my eyes. What do I see in the mirror in the morning? Yes, you do not want to know. That's not a good sight. I have absolutely awful self-esteem at times.

I hear so well what everyone else is saying about me. I hear you say I'm sweet, kind, have a lot of resources. But I do not see them.

Or..., on the other hand, I have actually started to see them a little now a days. I was enlarging two photos I have taken myself, and I must be honest to say that both were incredibly nice. I have managed to see that I take a lot of nice pictures lately. But it's not going to be that much.

I have a lot of demands on myself, and they are often huge, and when I do not meet these demands, I become super disappointed in myself.

Then I often think that I'm a bad person, so that's my self-esteem. That's not much to brag about either. So I know I have to work hard on this. And sometimes I'm very good at getting things done that I'm happy with.

But I have worked with this all my life. And I do not often look very positively on myself. I often see a lot of things in a negative perspective, because then I am not so disappointed either.

- From the blog My life as a mentally ill person