E is for a rant on EUPD #atozchallenge

I’ll be honest – you may want to avoid this post if you’re not interested in a rant on various things, and my perspective (which is both personal and anecdotal) on EUPD, aka borderline personality disorder.

This post is under a read more because it’s got triggering topics.

A history of being a person with a border

I was first diagnosed as depressed in 1997/98. Even back then though, there was an odd one or two days of the year where I was totally out of control. I wasn’t sleeping for days at a time, I was taking stupid risks and I was not the person everyone knew. I did a couple of really stupid things back then – the biggest one of course was leaving the military. I was diagnosed as depressed because the periods of depression were far longer than the mania, and that continued until I had my son. Then, there was a bit of a shift, and some of those caring for me thought I might be bipolar. Which made sense, but I resisted meds for as long as I could. I took the positive as far as I could with it, obviously, because part of it was this site.

But, after being on antipsychotics in 2011, and then going back at the end of 2014, and discovering all support has changed, and slowly but surely, I started encountering psychiatrists I just didn’t agree with.

I have to say from the outset, I respect the professional effort, education and care that goes into becoming a psychaitrist or psych nurse or anyone with care of people with mental health. I just had a run of really bad luck. So, while I’m criticising the people that cared for me between 2014-2018/19

And this is where the rant starts.
I do want to say though, there is a happy ending to this story. Firstly, I was taught CFT, at least, the beginning of it, and that and the people caring for me now have made a *massive* difference to my outlook. I still struggle, but I’m doing better than I was, for the most part. My current team are amazing. We work well together, and though this year has been a challenge with Lockdown in the UK and CV-19, and trying to avoid making more work for them, we’ve managed. And I now also understand some more of the motivation of why I was labelled as I was.

I’m sorry to say, I still don’t agree.

I don’t live on the borderline

Over the following five years, I met one psychiatrist twice. That psychiatrist decided I was borderline, not bipolar, and when asking for opinions, only took them on board when they agreed with him.
Of the psych nurses and psychiatrists, I passed through in this time, advice ranged from ‘practice abstinence to prevent miscarriage, and we didn’t give you permission to have more children anyway’, ‘have a glass of wine before bed’, ‘if you have side effects from meds, it always means you don’t need them’. I was bullied, and at the core of it, was a refusal to reassess or explain the assessment fully of why I was changed from bipolar to borderline personality disorder.

Over the years I’ve tried to work out what diagnosis criteria they were using (the honest answer to that is basically all of them), and how to deal with them, but every time has left us with more confusion. And I gotta be honest, there’s been a tonne of things we’ve had to discuss with them, we’ve not been able to get to the bottom of it. But one thing I did do, is that I had to move to another county, and got to the place I needed to be, and with therapists I’m dealing with, and they’re wonderful.

One change – wide-ranging repercussions

I’m not sure how many other people with mental health problems know the stigma of having issues like mine first hand, but for the three years directly following being diagnosed as borderline, every single time I ended up in A&E, whether I was vomiting blood or had cellulitis, three questions always started most conversations about pain meds, all centring around whether I’d done it to myself, whether I was faking and was I drug-seeking. We discovered in the following few years after having it changed from EUPD to CPTSD, that the difference in how I was handled was stark. I’ve been in hospital within six months of the change, and even my partner was stunned at the differences.

No one asked me if I was attention-seeking when it was mentioned I had CPTSD.
No one took my meds off me that I’d brought with me to stay on schedule, and in fact, because I was badly triggered and wasn’t feeling my best, a nurse went out of her way to help me. Six months before in a similar situation, I was told to stop being a crybaby.

CPTSD isn’t something that everyone agrees is a diagnosis that can co-exist with bipolar disorder. We’ll see.

So…that’s my rant.