How to deal with my mental illness on top of overlapping personality disorders?
Greetings Jason, I read your question, and because you have not yet received treatment, it is not yet know that you are dealing with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). It is important that you find a therapist who specializes in mood and personality disorders. Other mood disorders such as OCD, anxiety, and depression can also be challenges that accompany this condition. We call these co-occurring disorders.
As a therapist, I would like to provide you with psychoeducation regarding BPD. First, let's look at BPD and the signs and symptoms:
People with a borderline personality disorder may experience mood swings and display uncertainty about how they see themselves and their role in the world. As a result, their interests and values can change quickly. People with a borderline personality disorder also tend to view things in extremes, such as all good or all bad. Their opinions of other people can also change quickly. An individual who is seen as a friend one day may be considered an enemy or traitor the next. These shifting feelings can lead to intense and unstable relationships. Other signs or symptoms may include:
Efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment, such as rapidly initiating intimate (physical or emotional) relationships or cutting off communication with someone in anticipation of being abandoned
A pattern of intense and unstable relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, often swinging from extreme closeness and love (idealization) to extreme dislike or anger (devaluation)
Distorted and unstable self-image or sense of self, impulsive and often dangerous behaviors, such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, and binge eating. Please note: If these behaviors occur primarily during a period of elevated mood or energy, they may be signs of a mood disorder—not a borderline personality disorder.
Self-harming behavior, such as cutting, recurring thoughts of suicidal behaviors or threats, intense and highly changeable moods, with each episode lasting from a few hours to a few days, chronic feelings of emptiness, inappropriate, intense anger or problems controlling anger, difficulty trusting, which is sometimes accompanied by an irrational fear of other people’s intentions, feelings of dissociation, such as feeling cut off from oneself, seeing oneself from outside one’s body, or feelings of unreality.
BPD can be challenging to regulate, however it is possible with becoming proactive in continuing with consistent mental health care. I suggest that you seriously consider ongoing therapy in order to receive a proper assessment and diagnosis of your symptoms. If in fact you are diagnosed with BPD, there are effective treatments such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which have been proven to be successful in treating BPD.
DBT uses concepts of mindfulness and acceptance or being aware of and attentive to the current situation and emotional state. DBT also teaches skills that can help with controlling intense emotions, reducing self-destructive behaviors, and improving relationships. CBT will help identify and change core beliefs and behaviors that underlie inaccurate self-perceptions as well as, perceptions of others, and problems interacting with others. CBT may help reduce a range of mood and anxiety symptoms and reduce the number of suicidal or self-harming behaviors.
Because the benefits are unclear, medications are not typically used as the primary treatment for borderline personality disorder. However, in some cases, a psychiatrist may recommend medications to treat specific symptoms such as: mood swings, depression, and other co-occurring mental disorders.
Just know that you can find balance, and improved mental health with the right interventions. I hope this information will be helpful in creating greater awareness regarding what you may be experiencing.
Tami Robinson, LCSW/Therapist SoulPath Counseling and Therapeutic Services, LLC