Thursday, 9 October 2014

is my rollercoaster actually a mental illness?

For many years, I have suspected that my mental health difficulties were more than *just* depression and anxiety. The only illnesses I knew about were bipolar and schizophrenia - I knew I didn't have those.

Over the last few months, I've connected a number of my behaviours and realised that I may have a form of Borderline Personality Disorder (using Dr Google, naturally*). 

*Dr Google is not a substitute for a real doctor, I have also used lashings of common sense and my experience as a health care worker to know which websites to trust and so on. 

The following behaviours are what I have always assumed were 'just the way I am' and MrB has accepted and learned to live with them too:

Compulsive spending - I fixed this in around 2008. I could happily spend £50 a weekend, that I didn't have, on clothes that I didn't need and, subsequently couldn't wear because I'd pretend that I hadn't bought them. 

Persistent fear of being abandoned - this is a strange one, as I didn't think I had this 'symptom'... Until I realised that every time MrB goes to work, I go into my sad 'abandonment' mode. This also goes for him going out without me - I knew it wasn't right and that I was unreasonable but it is something that I'm working on. 

Lying - my mum basically trained me to lie (but then told me off for lying when it wasn't for her gain). MrB has helped me to overcome this terribly destructive habit.

Social anxiety, shyness, not being able to relate to others, not knowing what to say. I have tried self help books, but with my next point, still resident, I can't help it much. 

Sincere belief that I am unlovable and no one wants to spend time with me. Conversely, I'm incredibly vain, shop windows, car windows, spoons (ok that one is a joke) are all an excuse for me to see how I look - I'm vain. 

Intense, unreasonable and sudden anger and mood swings!

Not enjoying motherhood like I 'feel I should'.

Finding it difficult (nigh on impossible) to maintain friendships and relationships. 

Often feel empty, misunderstood and like some people dislike me for no apparent reason. 

When I'm down I just want to eat out at restaurants and fast food outlets. I don't binge eat, per se, I just eat unhealthy food much more than I ought to and is healthy. I'm lucky that this far my good metabolism and active job have mitigated this awful self-indulgence. Perhaps Secret Eaters could help me with this??

*ping* she's going to McDonald's
*ping* she is ordering a Domino's
*ping* she is craving Nandos/ subway/ carvery/ Pizza Hut/ KFC/ Starbucks 

I'm selfish, spiteful, argumentative, prone to depression and anxiety

My saving graces are MrB (who, for no apparent reason has been with me for 16 years (with an 18 month gap when we were 17). And my job, which I truly enjoy and find satisfying. 

I'm frustrated that I have to wait months and months just to get an initial appointment with an NHS psychiatrist. 

There is hope in that I have recognised that I probably have BPD (or something similar), that I respond well to talking therapies, that I have discovered that my dad has been on a mood stabiliser for 15 years (and occasional zopiclone), that he also revealed that my grandma may have had issues. There is hope that I won't need to feel as if my husband is my mood stabiliser. 

It is going to be ok, so the next step, I suppose should be to visit my GP, to explain my history and family links and to try a drug to stabilise the roller coaster of life... My dad says it worked for him... 

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