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PersonalEnigma

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  1. Thanks guys. That's what I was leaning towards. At least we can hopefully rule out any physical issues. I have talked to her about getting anxiety sick, but she keeps insisting that it isn't, this time. I think she believes that feeling sick because of feelings is less valid than feeling sick because of a physical cause. Things with her dad are... difficult... to say the least. He wants her to be with him, paints me as a demon who only wants his money... The poor kid gets stuck in the middle a lot and hears lots from his end she should never hear. I try to keep things positive at my end, but some of the stuff that comes home is heartbreaking
  2. My daughter, now 12, has high anxiety, ADHD, and past episodes of depression. She is at the edge of puberty. My own (serious) problems started when I hit puberty (though I probably had issues before that, it wasn't until puberty that I went out of control). Anyway, I worry a lot about my daughter. We have very good, open communication, but she is clearly struggling. My daughter feels sick every night at bedtime. Recently it has moved earlier and earlier until at this point she barely eats dinner because she feels sick. She's hypersensitive to any physical injury (has always been sensitive, but it is very exaggerated with her crying over even tiny bumps). Sometimes she pushes me away, but mostly she's super clingy. She has a pediatrician and recently started with a new counsellor (the old one was temporary and could see her less often than once a month). She likes her new counsellor, but is still learning to trust her. I am concerned about her physical complaints. Feeling sick all the time, some headaches, dizziness, generally feeling ill. She occasionally misses school because of it. No fever or sign of a virus or other illness. She doesn't want to talk about it. She doesn't want me to send her off to someone to look into it. She doesn't want me to tell her counsellor. I think it is stress-related, but worry that I may be overlooking some "real" physical cause (ulcers or... idk). It doesn't help that her dad and his side of the family are not very positive about mental health issues, and they are dead set against medication (and so is she). Her brother also had/has serious challenges, and I think he resents my efforts to help him. Doesn't help that their dad has poisoned him against me (long story). Anyway, I don't know what to do or how to approach her. I will talk to her regardless... but how can I help guide her through all this without coming across as interfering and problematizing something that she wants to believe is normal? I feel lost.
  3. To answer your question, this is what having an instable identity felt/feels like to me (I am not nearly as bad now, though some of the issues still exist, I see it more as being pulled contrary to who I am/want to be). For me, I would essentially get pulled into the gravity of anyone around me. For example, whenever I am with an emotional significant other, everything I do or think becomes focused on them - how they might react, what they want, who they expect me to be. My marriage was very difficult, for many reasons... He worked away, so he was only home on weekends and occasionally another day during the week. When my husband came home, everything rotated around him - imagine me as a small moon orbiting a massive planet. I could do nothing without it being somehow focused around him, his needs, or avoiding somehow bothering him. When he left for the week, I was a shambles, having no idea how to ground myself, my goals, or my desires for at least 3 days. I would finally stabilize into someone who kinda felt like "me" for a day, then the whole cycle would start again. Mind you, I didn't think of him or "miss" him during this time - for me, when a person is gone it is as though someone shut off a light switch. When they return, the light is turned back on and everything is immediately back to how it was with that person. When I interact with my parents, I become a different person. I know what they expect and desire from me. In their case, I feel secure in that they will never deny me. They love me, no matter how messed up that love can sometimes be. I am perhaps more "myself" with them than I am when with others. When I played the computer games I used to be addicted to, I became another person again. I was strong, a leader and tactician. Everyone respected me and trusted me. Time and time again, I was elected as leader of whatever alliance or guild the game centered around. Everyone saw me as string, and I felt strong. (This is a large part of why I felt so addicted to these games.) For a long time, I had no idea who I really was or should be. My thoughts and feelings about things would change drastically from one setting to another. I could describe myself in terms of my roles, but not really in terms of traits or beliefs or anything like that. Those things changed too much. These days, I do have a sense of self. It is battered and bruised, and still very subservient to others' selves... but it exists. It will protest internally as I bend to the will of those around me, pretending to be the person they think I am. It makes me feel dirty at times... I am rarely true to myself... It doesn't seem possible - at least, now without doing significant harm to everyone around me. I am unimportant. My will comes second to those who are important in my life. But, when I am alone, I can be myself. I can make life decisions that match who I am. It comes slowly, but it is there. Anyway, hope that makes some sense. I have gotten better, but am still affected by the gravitational pull of others, particularly those closest to me. I find it next to impossible to stand up for myself, even when I know they want me to.
  4. I agree that so many "symptoms" are merely degrees of normal. Hard to say how accurate my diagnosis is/was. I've changed, a lot. It took a ton of work. I used to be emotionally out of control. I self harmed regularly and uncontrolledly - I wasn't aware I was going to do it until I had already done it. I verbally abused myself and tore myself down as far as I could go. I tried to make myself "break" but some core inside me wouldn't allow it. I was never promiscuous, but I certainly engaged in high risk behaviours. I drank quite a bit (particularly due to the crowd I was in at the time), though the little bit of experimentation I did was short-lived and meant nothing. My mood would flip 5-10 times daily, usually huge changes. I would literally collapse on the ground screaming at times, or violently burst out at whatever or whoever was nearby (often verbal). My personality and behaviour shifted greatly depending on where I was and who I was with. I didn't believe I had my own personality. And I "passed" very well. Only those close to me really knew what I was really like. It was a living hell and all I wanted was to get out of it. But I refused to allow myself even that, because I was so worthless that I deserved the punishment and hell that I was going through. In fact, I deserved worse. Getting out was not an option. The flip side was the periods where I blocked all my emotions to the point where I didn't feel them. It was (and is) an attempt to control the chaos. I couldn't (often still can't) "feel" anything. Ironically, it didn't stop the mood swings or the severe reactivity... I was just internally blank and unable to understand or recognize the emotions. But the biggest loss was any feelings of happiness or joy, feelings of love or affection, essentially any positivity. It was my only way to survive, since if I "felt" anything, the pain would be unbearably raw. No one who knows me now would really believe that I could be like that. I am open and up front about my mental health challenges, but many can't wrap their minds around it. The fact is, I took control of most of that chaos and live a somewhat "normal" life (plagued by depression and anxiety). When under severe stress I have what I call "borderliney" moments. Even now, my trust in others is next to nothing; I push people away because it is easier to have them leave on my terms than take the chance they might leave me otherwise. I have no friends. My relationship with my partner is distant and cold, and I feel incapable of love. I put up walls to survive. If I dare think of loss (these days my parents are my primary concern) I become unhinged inside, so I stop myself from thinking of it at all. Geeze, I've made this about myself. Sorry, I didn't intend to. It's hard at times because I've had a history of people denying that there was anything wrong with me, even as I desperately cried out for help. It's all a matter of degree. And recovery is possible. It may not be permanent, and it certainly is not easy, but it can improve. Even in my worst moments I am nothing like I was 15-20 years ago... But the ghost of those times haunts me, as does the constant disbelief of others that what I went through was really "that bad".
  5. Hope you don't mind, but I trimmed the quote to show which parts of your post I am addressing. I can't figure out how to insert my responses between sections of your post quote, so I am doing it this way. First, your symptoms are a lot like mine, though I have experienced some of your non-experienced symptoms. But, I perhaps interpret them differently. I think that, like all mental health challenges, BPD comes in varying degrees. Mine is mild compared to some, though it is also reasonably well controlled after years of hard work. Anyway... here goes. As to the non-experienced symptoms, I wonder if you may be taking them too literally. For example, SI does not necessarily mean planning actual suicide. It can also include wishing you were never born, wanting life to just stop (without necessarily dying), contemplating what things would look like if you were no longer there, etc. For me, impulsive behaviour usually means deciding to "treat" myself when under high degrees of stress in an attempt to ease that stress. It may be food, buying something I can't really afford (but may need), taking off and going somewhere or doing something that is contrary to what I "should" be doing. It might be considered self-care.. but the reality is that these are things I can't really afford. The primary point, though, is that these things are unplanned, spontaneous, and usually combined with a rebellious spirit. Addictions don't need to be to drugs or alcohol. For me, I get addicted to escapes. These can be video games, reading, or social media/forums. I will spend (waste) hours upon hours doing these things. When I avoid them, I frequently think about them, desiring them as escapes when stressed. I have done this to the point of neglecting my family and other things that must be done. Delusions can include "warped" thinking. For me, I have created methods of coping that are blatantly unhealthy (for example, wishing I were worse off because I don't deserve to get better). Black/white thinking is complicated... I do it at times, though am rarely aware of it. I actually trend towards the opposite extreme - there is no good nor bad. The bad (black) are "allowed" to harm me, because they can't possibly really be "that" bad. The good (white) can't be trusted because there is always "something" there. In fact, I can't visualize anyone as being "white", since the very idea of universal positivity is so foreign to me. I will sometimes paint situations as black/white, but not the way I used to. This is something I have changed about myself as I have worked on my BPD issues. I don't get true mania, but could be classed as being hypomanic at times. Not sure where I stand on the mania side of things... What some may call hypomanic seems more like being normally functional to me... I can actually DO things, for a change. I was married for 14.5 years... It was a bad relationship with emotional abuse included, but I did not cheat or otherwise have interest outside the marriage. Other than one rebound relationship (9 months) and a failed distancerelationship (6 months - a panicked BPD episode scared him away), I have never been in a committed relationship that lasted less than 4 years. I do tend to choose men who mistreat me. I also have not been without a relationship since my first boyfriend when I was 17... The one time I tried I paniced and grabbed the first relationship I could find... So, symptoms are really dependent on interpretation. Your experienced symptoms fit much of what I too have experienced. Also, you can have aspects of BPD without the full diagnosis. Mine has varied over time, but was originally "aspects of BPD + major depressive disorder". Other diagnoses have touched on anxiety, tendancy towards bipolar (type 2), and schizoid pd (inability to feel emotions). Don't know if this helped... Hope so.
  6. Thanks Browri. Sorry for the slow reply. That's some pretty interesting information. I do take the generic bupropion. I took it once, several years back, in combination with Paxil, and didn't have these side effects, but the tremors and tinnitus started after addung it this time around, so could very well be caused by bupropion alone rather than a drug interaction. An update. For now, my pdoc has suggested that I wean off the sodium divalproex. I'm dropping by 250 mg per week until I am off, then touching base to see how it is going. He's also asked for a bunch of blood tests to double check some stuff to make sure my mental fogginess isn't caused by a systemic issue. He suggests that we see how I manage without the stabilizer for a bit, then if I need it, we can try something else. I believe he is looking at lamotrigine as an alternative, if needed. I will stay on the bupropion for now. It is quite possible I am somewhere on the bp spectrum... I haven't tended to go manic, but potentially may go hypomanic. My pdoc did indicate concern about avoiding SSRIs because I did have a brief manic episode when I switched from Paxil to Zoloft in an attempt to offset issues I had been having at the time. The Zoloft really made me sick (I went green.. I swear it... lol) and I went off it pretty quickly (I went med-free for several years at that point - initially because I entered a program for BPD that required you to be unmedicated, but also because I was able to cope at that time - I've had a few med-free periods, but severe postpartum brought me back to pharmaceutical interventions). Anyway, since dropping the first 250 mg, I have found my thoughts clearer. I've veen tracking my moods, and other than being very flip-floppy over the first several days, I feel like I am levelling out. My mood has been moderate for the last few days, not overreacting to stressors like I did for the first few days. I'm almost at 2 weeks with 500 mg. I did have a weird, possibly manic/hypomanic state early on. It was agitated, rather than positive or productive. I felt high, unable to stay fully oriented on things (including spatially), and just... buzzing... inside. Thankfully it only lasted the one afternoon. I have just over a week left at 500 mg, then down to 250. Really hoping I can stay stable without it. Taking less meds would be nice.
  7. Not BP. My moods swing far too erratically. I'm not as bad as I used to be. When I was younger, my mood could fully flip as many as 10 times in a day. These days it tends to last a couple days at a time, but is highly connected to circumstances. I don't get manic. I have wondered about hypomania, but not sure. I do get the odd highly productive period where I feel quite good, but they tend to be very brief (rarely last beyond a day, usually less). I tend to think of those as periods of normal energy levels, though, since I am exhausted 90% of the time. They aren't followed by lows, just typical reduced energy and productivity. Sometimes they are connected to being angry... sometimes to feeling good. Really depends.
  8. I'm on the SR version. I'll mention that to my pdoc. My family doc didn't want to raise it as she felt I was maxed on it. Thanks.
  9. So, right now I am taking 750 mg of sodium divalproex (250 in am, 500 in pm) and 300 of bupropion. The divalproex essentially stabilizes my mood so the peaks are not as severe. The bupropion act to raise my baseline (which stays below "ok" without it). They have worked ok in terms of my mood, though the effectiveness of the bupropion seems to have dropped (or my depression is just more than it can handle). Anyway, I'm talking to my pdoc about changing things because my side effects are interfering with my life. I have serious brain fog. I can't focus and am easily distracted. My memory is shot and it takes me so long to work through stuff that it scares me. I'm a graduate student, and I am starting to fail classes because of it It's gotten worse over the last year or so, and I only recently considered that I likely need to change my meds. I'm scared. The divalproex was hell to adjust to - I was sooooo sick. The side effects didn't get bad until the bupropion was added (tremors, mostly hands now, but full body at times) and tinnitus (mostly ignore it now) in particular. I've taken Paxil before... never again. I tried something else briefly and I think it pushed me manic for a bit - was a really weird feeling. I also literally looked greenish on it. That one didn't last long st all. I have no idea what the next options will be. I don't look forward to withdrawal (Paxil kicked my bottom on withdrawal). If it helps any I have a diagnosis of "aspects of" borderline (controlled mostly through years of very hard work) and major depressive disorder. I also have anxiety, though not specified. I have been acting ADHDish, but that may be the meds... I don't remember being like this when I was younger. I was a member here.... way back... but was inactive long enough that my account is long gone. Lol.
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