My Story
Posted by bpdsurvivor
13th May 2018

A few weeks ago, I was discharged after 10 long years of poor mental health and a gruelling experience. I wouldn’t be here only I managed to find a private therapist, who charged me a low rate and has helped me back to health, as has my husband and a close friend.

You may wonder why I am writing this if I am well! But I have had a real rollercoaster ride in terms of my treatment. I became very ill with symptoms of borderline personality disorder in 2008. I’ve had problems with my mental health for years (due to a childhood of emotional neglect ) but only ever treated for depression. I lost my brother to suicide in February 2006 and I moved in with my partner (who is now my husband). This was when my symptoms of BPD – which I didn’t know I had - became worse.

I spent two periods in hospital and tried numerous drugs but still I was very distressed. In February 2009, I had a letter from the personality disorder service about an assessment. A vey “cold” psychologist “D” – who would have been much better suited to being a teacher at a tough school, or a prison warder - assessed me. It took some weeks and in May 2009 I was diagnosed with BPD. I was referred to a DBT programme.

I worked hard and really tried but I had no relief. After 6 months, I ended up in hospital after being taken there by police. I was sectioned under a 136 and the admitting psychiatrist treated me like shit. Again I was treated as though I was a criminal. My cold, hard psychologist/therapist “D” gave out to me for ending up in hospital and pointed out that I had been in therapy for 6 months. This punitive approach became my experience of treatment and I ended up feeling worse and worse about myself. I was suffering a lot too with symptoms of BPD.

“D” left to go to another job and my programme continued with another therapist “AWT”. She was useless as well. I finished the group DBT programme, but my symptoms were still with me to a large extent. I struggled on and after a particularly “bad” night when I felt terrified and went into a detached state and went out at night - my partner contacted the PD department again in June 2011. When I went to my appointment, the manager had a right go at me and told me I’d had all the therapy and input they had and here I was back again. She more or less told me I was a waste of space. I ran out of the meeting terrified, hurt and distressed. I decided I was going to get a train to Southend and jump off the pier. I went to Southend and my partner came out and rescued me. That night I ended up on the top of a parking lot trying to get the courage to jump off. My partner called the police, who once more accompanied me to A&E where I was sent home with a medicine to calm me down and help me sleep. I made a formal complaint about this so-called manager. I think she got demoted and eventually left.

I spent four years in family therapy twice a month. It helped me and my partner but I was still badly distressed, I ended up being picked up by police and taken to A&E in 2012 and 2013, including taking a large overdose of paracetamol and a bottle of wine.

In 2014, I wasn’t too bad and tried to get on with my life by doing a childcare course. However it didn’t work out for obvious reasons and I wasn’t outgoing enough to work with children. In 2015, my symptoms returned badly. I had been looking into “Schema Therapy” online, and wondered if it would help me. It had been found to be an effective treatment for BPD in studies in Holland.

I started with Schema Therapy in January 2016. I travel from Barking to Harrow for this. I have made progress but it has been slow and painful . The therapist is very nice and always makes me feel calm. He was far superior to any mental health professional I had met in statutory services; cold psychologists and DBT therapists, sarcastic nurses and intimidating psychiatrists. I was at last helped also by a drug called amisulperide which kept me stable. I was on this in 2014 and was fairly stable. I practically begged to be put on it again. In January of this year I changed to a similar family of drugs called aripirazole. Thankfully this has helped me too, without the side effects of the amisulperide.

I wish I could have been treated better by the PD service and also the numerous health professionals I have come into contact with? They just mirrored the way I was treated as a child/teenager. It was all re-traumatising. Why did they keep me in DBT if it wasn’t working? Why isn’t Schema T available to people such as me who are badly affected by BPD? Why did it take so long to find the right medicine?

I know I am very lucky to be able to get therapy privately and that I have a wonderful husband who has stuck by me through all this. Idon’t know where I’d be without my friend Angela either. I am glad I am not dead. But it is only thanks to the Schema Therapist. In 2009 NICE published a paper called “Borderline personality Disorder: No longer a diagnosis of exclusion” and after almost 10 years, in my view, people with BPD are still being badly let down and mistreated in every way. The diagnosis makes me feel like some kind of leper.

Thanks for reading

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