Therapy woes and Personality Disorders

Not a happy bunny

I am not a happy bunny at the moment, although possibly less grumpy and more melancholic than the bunny in the picture. I do not know how to draw melancholy.

Some links that may help make this post make more sense – DSM for BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) DSM for Anorexia DSM for Bulimia DSM for EDNOS

The Eating Woman was not very helpful, although I am pretty sure it is a) my mindset toward treatment in general and b) the personality clash that seems to be going on, rather than any major wrong doing on her part. Nonetheless I have been sulking since I saw her and licking my (metaphorical) wounds..

Therapy is not easy, as I said in a previous post I saw my first therapist when I was 14 and have not really been ‘out of the system’ since then. Someone from an online forum today said to me it was hard when you have been in therapy since a young age as you are forced to take on a persona of a ‘miniature adult’ both in terms of responding to your immediate chaotic environment and in terms of beginning of the path to understanding yourself. I agree with this statement wholeheartedly, although I do feel I apply it too liberally to my own situation in an attempt to dampen down the more difficult parts of therapy…

Tips of Therapy (and BPD) from about.com

Why is it hard? Isn’t it just moaning about how you feel?

Yes, and no. I think that therapy is very much individual, even if you are under a specific ‘treatment programme’..therapists, also, be they psychologists, clinical nurses, psychiatrists or any other -ist, do seem to have their own expectations that they bring to the room. Even in behavioural therapies, such as cognitive (CBT) or dialectal (DBT) seem to vary from clinician to clinician and I think this is appropaite but slightly confusing. I spent nearly 24 months in a DBT treatment group while I was studying for my BA and the group would change significantly depending on which group leader was in charge. It always surprised me that this used to alter the atmosphere of the room more than the emotions of the ‘service users’..(other mad people in the group)..I suppose I adopted an ‘us against them’ mentality and thought our emotional distress would sway the agenda much more than the planning of a trained therapist.

I think that therapists often know a lot more than the ‘client’ thinks they do..and also has a much greater role in a grop context. It has always surprised me when I have had an opportunity to see my notes (not a very nice experience)…I think when you have been in therapy for a long time you (well, me) tends to think they already know what the shrink/doctor/whatever is going to think..this is wrong, contray to my understanding therapists are not robots, but actual people with minds of there own.

Well, that was a bit of a directionless rant wasn’t it?

I am lost in therapy at the moment because I am considered ‘complex’ with many ‘co-morbid’ psychiatric diagnoses.

The main aim of any therapy I have ever been in is to focus on my Eating Disorder, probably because it has the most physical health issues directly attached to it. I have also been labelled with Emotional Unstable Personality Disorder, more commonly known as Borderline Personality Disorder (EUP or BPD)..

As a population, patients with BPD are more likely than Joe Blogs to develop an ED, with 21.7% developing Anorexia Nervosa and 24% developing Bulimia Nervosa..(I beleive that the percentage of people with EDNOS..eating disorder not otherwise specified…would be even higher, but unfortunately this is still not as well known or respected as a concreated diagnoses as ‘pure’ ED’s) Info and statistics from about.com

It is a commonly debated chicken-or-egg type problem..if someone has BPD and an ED..which do you treat first?

I, personally, would like more of a focus on what, supposedly, translates as my BPD symptoms, as I think if the thoughts, the anxiety and my general lack of abiltiy to be normal is made magically ‘all better’ or at least just..slightly altered for the better..I may then be able to think more openly about letting go of my ED, which is my most prevelant coping mechanism. (I do wonder if this is just me using excuses because I am too scared though.)

Anyway, I think therapy is an interesting topic to input into Google. I am always interested in any changes that are made in treatment or any new articles that are released. I love hearing other peoples experiences of therapy, treatment and what works and what doesn’t.

Dr D, my current ED Psych (Eating disorder psychologist) constantly tells me I am being ‘treatment resistant’ in both talk therapy and because I seem largely unaffected by even gross amounts of medication. I think the medication thing is very common in people with underlying BPD and personality disorders as a whole. I agree with the element about medication but I do think she is wrong, to an extent, about the eating disorder. I am not anti-recovery..I am just scared, and feel like If I launch into good ship ‘meal plan’ and ‘weight restoration’ at the moment all my big-bad feelings that I beat down using my ED will come and bash me and leave me in a heap on the floor unable to move. I do understand that this view point is pretty contrary, there are so many people out there that are so pro-recovery, and I do not dismiss that or think it is a bad thing, I have the greatest respect for anyone who has taken on an Eating Disorder and won, it must be such a hard and unforgiving fight..but, I just do not feel as if I have the inner resources or i suppose, the hope, to embark on that perilous journey yet. I suppose I am a big wuss.

I cannot really imagine myself outside of the realm of mental illness. I have had a lot of therapy and I am sure it is my fault, not the fault of anyone clinician or therapist that I have not yet won this war..like I said, I am not a happy bunny at the moment and I think the overall atmosphere of this post reflects that..what I say now is not necessarily very indicative of my general attitude, I get very frustrated that my viewpoint on things and the amount of hope I harbor differs so very dramatically. Depression and the utter fight it takes to even get out of new newly decorated bed is exhausting, this is not always so.

I very much feel for anyone currently struggling with depression, eating disorders or any other mental-wonkyness…or even just plain old, run of the mill discontent. I am lucky to have a good support team; as I said before I have a very good CPN, an ED Pysch who makes me go and feel miserable (which I think does me good) an Eating Disorder Dietitian, a psychiatrist and a very supportive boyfriend/fiance and family. I know I am one of the lucky ones..but, still, it is difficult.

Sirius Project < if you have not encountered this website before it provides very good, clear information on BPD, self harm, ED’s and other mental health issues, I like it as it is very clearly written, check it out.

I am trying to find other Blog’s that deal with similar issues that I am facing, I know there are many out there so if you read this feel free to plug yours or others that you like.

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  1. #1 by fightinggenes on January 10, 2012 - 1:57 pm

    Hi idrawlikenick

    Just finished reading your post. I have BPD too, I have a pychiatrist and start my group therapy this week. I no longer have a CPN, I can’t (don’t) really talk to my family or wife. I wish I had a support network greater than I have. It sounds like you’re pretty well sorted on this side of things.

    I can relate to not feeling very well at the moment. This is a stressful time of year. It would be nice to have a little more sun shine and warmer weather. I started blogging to aid my recovery by monitoring my patterns. I hope it helps – perhaps you could let me know its helps you.

    I hope things ease up soon. Nice to meet you 🙂

    • #2 by idrawlikenick on January 10, 2012 - 4:31 pm

      Thank you very much for your kind post,
      nice too meet you too, I have been ‘over’ to your blog and like it :p I hope that group therapy works well for you..as I said, I did a long stint of it, but in a different area, I think it would do me good to revisit some of the DBT techniques but it isn’t available where I am living now. I hope to see you here again soon! Take care

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