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Need Opinion: Am I Borderline?

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Q. I was diagnosed with Borderline personality disorder-impulsive type with recurrent depressive episodes about 2 and a half years ago.I was started on DBT together with anti-depressants, but never really stuck to anythiing.Someone in my family was an alcoholic, and I always felt like I had to show that i was fine even when wasn’t.I guess thats why my emotions just boiled over when I joined university.My problem was that once I had learnt I had the disorder, I proceeded to research upon it like it was an obsession.I spent more time than not reading up on everything about it,and saw symptoms in everything I did.Besides this, I have had 2 suicide attempts, which frankly,I never did with the intention of dying.its more like I wanted to escape for a while.Last year, I started getting major anxiety attacks coupled with insomnia, and although I have greatly improved, I still worry persistently.(Since I was 9 years old, I have planned my every moment of the day, and get severely upset if my routine is disturbed,although I do manage it in the end).I used to self-mutilate since the year 2000, stopped it for 7 months in 2006 and started again but have stopped since January this year.My family and friends refuse to accept I have the disorder, and they have me convinced too.They say i’m perfectly alright, but I don’t feel so.I don’t want to speak to them about this any longer, cos I think they are fed up of me.I’ve changed my psychiatrist 3 times, and my present psychiatrist also tries to convince me that I don’t have borderline personality disorder.Yet, I am prescribed olanzapine and SSRIs(which I tok for not more than a month) and my file shows the same diagnosis over and over too.As you can see, I am so overly obsessed with the fact that there is actually something like this diagnosis that could account for my mood swings,irritation, and persistent sadness, that I am unwilling to let go of it.I stopped therapy abruptly in February, because I felt my psychiatrist was not taking me seriously and dismissing me and getting annoyed with me.He even started telling me I am perfectly fine, so if that was true, what need Did I have to stay on in therapy?I experience such tremendous mood shifts, with the ability to cry, bark at someone, and laugh for no apparent reason, all within a matter of 3 hours or so.Since the past 2 months, I’ve been feeling really down and tired and don’t want to do anything, and ocasioanlly I get terribly angry at people for the simplest of things.I’ve also become indifferent to people around me and have isolated myself from my three close friends,preferring to sit alone so that I don’t have to bear people talking around me, which irritates me.I am confused about my sexual orientation(which I’ve not told anyone till date)and I guess i’m willing to experiment loads in that area, but I don’t do that thinking about the guilt and punishment I’d put myself through afterwards. Please help me understand myself better, and kindly suggest whether I should continue with my psychiatrist, listen to him and my friends and family, all of whom say i don’t have the disorder or should i just leave things as they are. Thanks a lot….

Need Opinion: Am I Borderline?

Answered by on -

A.

Based on what you have written in your letter, you are experiencing psychiatric symptoms that are troubling to you. You mentioned that now and in the past you have had anxiety attacks, insomnia, depression, mood swings, cutting, irritability, and much more. On the basis of this short letter I do not know if these symptoms mean that you have a borderline personality disorder but what is clear is that you are in distress. Because of this and until you no longer experience symptoms of a stressful nature it would be helpful for you to be in treatment.

You have been in treatment before but you said you’d stopped. It is important that you do not stop until you feel completely better, or at least until you have made significant gains. If you never follow through with treatment, you will likely have to continually battle the aforementioned symptoms.

As for your psychiatrist, I do not know if you should stay in treatment with him or her. Only you know best if he or she is helping you. Generally psychiatrists do not engage in talk therapy as a form of treatment and usually are only concerned about finding the correct medication to treat your symptoms.

If this is the case for you, you might want to expand the type of treatment you are receiving and start therapy. In therapy, you can explore what might be causing your depression, anxiety and mood swings. A good therapist can help you understand the nature of these symptoms and work with you to find ways to decrease their intensity and frequency. In using medication alone as your only form of treatment, and by not engaging in therapy you risk masking your symptoms and never really knowing what is at the root of your continuous depression and anxiety.

Regarding your friends and family, it’s probably best not to go to them for a mental health diagnosis. For issues regarding your diagnosis, a therapist or your psychiatrist is best equipped to answer these questions. You can and should, however, go to your friends and family for encouragement and support. Take care.

Need Opinion: Am I Borderline?

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Need Opinion: Am I Borderline?. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 21, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/05/12/need-opinion-am-i-borderline/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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