Pregnancy and BPD. It’s Not All Shits And Giggles

Pregnancy and BPD. It’s Not All Shits And Giggles

Last year I went through lots of tests and procedures in hospital, myself and my partner were then referred to a fertility clinic because I was told I had problems with my Fallopian tubes, because they were badly damaged and I had some other problems that were causing me a lot of pain. At one point I was told to get a hysterectomy as it’s the only way to stop the pain, I have an 11-year-old daughter but I was just 28 I didn’t want to turn off my ovaries just like that, it didn’t feel like the right thing to do even though I knew I would have to face facts that I may not be able to have another baby.  After so much bad news we received the final blow, my partner had zero sperm. We were told that I would need to lose 4 stone and pay for any further treatment as there was nothing available for us. We were devastated but we decided to accept the fact that it wasnt meant to be, we couldn’t put our relationship under that kind of tress and I had suffered after each appointment with my mental health and it was really having a big impact on the way I was feeling.

We went away in November and decided that would be it, we would come back and keep creating a better life for the 3 of us and we would travel more as its my favourite thing in the world! We booked a multi centre holiday to Thailand, Hong King & Dubai to take our minds of everything and I took time to convince myself that life would be better if i didn’t have another baby anyway, that there was so many more opportunities for us and my daughter was all grown up so we had it good,

I decided to tackle my weight, first of all my medication was a big factor in this so I started coming ff my pregabalin (lyrica) 75ml at a time, I had heard everywhere that this wasnt a good idea but my psychologist insisted this would be a great idea and I wouldn’t need it much longer anyway. She also told me not to take the anti depressant I had been given as it’s not a good idea to start a new therapy and new medication at the same time, so them being the ‘professionals’ that’s exactly what I did.

The withdrawal was horrific, weeks of pain, feeling sick, no sleep, crippling anxiety, crying, depression, I couldn’t leave the house and was an emotional wreck. I was hoping it would get better but I haven’t been the same since. a few weeks later I was still in withdrawal and my medication had been halved by this time. I decided one morning after feeling really unwell that I would take a pregnancy test, low and behold it was positive! (and so was the next one)

We couldn’t believe our luck! for the first few days it was so exciting! Then I began to worry as it was so early, I cried every time I had eaten something or done something that might affect the baby. We had a 7 week scan and it was a tiny dot. Then a few days later.. everything turned upside down.

With me already being so mentally unstable and the shock of everything, anxiety and the black cloud took over…I began to dread the whole thing, I hated myself, I hated my life and as awful as it may sound I resented the baby for making me feel this way. I was hysterical every day for weeks, I was self harming and eventually became suicidal. I was so distraught by my situation i was in the worst state I have seen myself in…probably ever actually. I cried hysterically day and night, I didn’t want to have the baby I thought it had ruined my life, I couldn’t see myself as a mother again, I couldn’t fit a baby into my life.

Deep down I kept telling myself  ‘you tried for 2 years for a baby, you must have thought a baby would fit into your life somewhere for all that time!‘ I didn’t understand why everything seemed different now, I felt doomed I was trapped as my partner was overjoyed and hasn’t got any children, so I didn’t want to hurt him but I was sure something had to give, it was a case of my sanity of the baby. Ir reached out to the mental heath team desperate for help, they made an appointment and told me to come of my medication straight away because of the pregnancy! I said that I couldn’t stop my medication, I had been so ill for weeks just reducing it and that I am suicidal so don’t think it’s the best idea, it would be more of a risk and I couldn’t possibly  feel any worse than I already did as I wouldn’t have coped.

The psychiatrist told me I shouldn’t have listened to the psychologist in the fist place with regards to medication, that it’s not her job..how was I to know that? I trusted the professionals.

I was referred to the perinatal team (Mother and Baby Mental Health Service) and was told I would be on a waiting list for 2 months before an appointment. They didn’t understand, it would be too late by then, I was ready to terminate the baby I had waited so long for. I begged and cried like never before. I was self harming more and suicidal thoughts were constant. I called the crisis team every time I was hysterical, at one point it was 3 days in a row, they promised to help me and kept referring me to the CMHT (community mental health team) who then kept repeating that the only person that could help me in the whole country was Doctor Cairns, the Perinatal doctor.

Getting through to this doctor was like purchasing rocking hose poop, it was impossible. I went on to write down all my symptoms I was experience, I was having bad  dissociation episodes and I hated every aspect of my life. To gain help I wrote out notes from an assessment that I done on myself so that I was giving them as much info as possible to allow them to help me in the best way, it was my only option.

Lets see what you make of this: Here is what I sent to them describing my feelings at the time and the hell I was going through, I was begging for help out of this hole:

My current situation 05/02/2017

 

  • Suddenly uncomfortable and unhappy in my home, I don’t want to be here anymore.
  • Hate everything about my home, have a bad feeling towards it
    Don’t want to sleep in my own bed or want to sit on my sofa – gives me an uneasy feeling
  • Smells that have been introduced to my house in the last few months trigger me to feel anxious for example a new spray we started to use – new ornaments or changes I have made to try to improve have been taken down
  • Panicking when I know I have to be in the house (after going away for the night I cried for 2 days and didn’t want tor return)
  • No pleasure in doing things
  • Coping techniques not working, cant distract myself
  • Feeling very confused and lost
  • Disconnected from everyone and everything
  • Spaced out, dissociating
  • No concentration
  • No feelings towards anyone or any excitement or other emotions just don’t feel there. I feel like there is something wrong, like I’m out of control and I don’t know myself
  • I feel like I have to move house desperately as I can’t bear to live here anymore – I loved my house a few months ago and spent a lot of time and money n it.
  • I can’t bring myself to talk about the baby or make plans
  • Scared as I don’t feel anything towards baby, I feel disconnected.
  • After trying for years and being told I was infertile, I was devastated I know how badly I wanted to be pregnant and had well thought it through. All of a sudden I don’t feel like that anymore? Doubts.
  • Nothing feels real, I just don’t feel like my life is mine and can’t put my finger on it. I thought I was happy months ago.
  • I haven’t been sleeping well
  • Suicidal thoughts, feel like everyone is better without me and that I just want it all to stop
  • Thoughts of termination as I don’t think I can handle all this. But this would put pressure on my relationship and hurt my supportive partner and I may regret it and suffer even more when I recover
  • I have an anxious, frightened feeling and I’m on autopilot the only think keeping me going is deep down I know I must have a routine for Emily and protect her and that I must have a font for my partner and to not hurt the baby.
  • When I look at photos from November I feel like that was me. I don’t know who I am now, I look and feel different and have different feelings, I can’t explain it very well but its like my mind is carrying on and my body is just working itself.
  • I feel like I’m going crazy,  I don’t know whats happening to me. I want to be excited and enjoy pregnancy, but I just feel it’s an inconvenience and I am scared of when the baby is born and how I will feel and cope..

Timeline of events leading to this time. 

I have recognised that I have felt like this before when I was going through my court case for historical abuse. I done treatment work on PTSD and dissociative disorder. I have looked back on my blog and have noticed similar feeling to now. I have written a timeline of significant things to identify the triggers or any similar trauma that could have affected me or created my problems.

  • Feb 2016:Abuser released from prison on my birthday (a year ago this Friday)

  • Throughout the year I had many problems with my health, and had a bad experience with a doctor when I told him my physical pain and he wouldn’t believe me and told me it was all in my head I struggled with my mental health and felt none could help me, it triggered an episode.
  • I was eventually treated and had an operation to remove my bowel from my ovaries and I was told I was infertile
  • There was mixed consultations to whether I could have children I we were told conflicting things and I was at one point told the only way to get rid of pain was a hysterectomy which I refused.
  • We went to fertility centre and went through treatment with them and told my partner had zero sperm and we had a difficult time and more episodes triggered
  • We eventually accepted that we couldn’t go on trying and put up with the strain it was having on our relationship and my health and decided not to have further treatment which was difficult
  • In November we went to Thailand for 3 weeks – I had family problems and realised that family relationships with my family weren’t what I thought
  • There was arguments and I felt alone and my mother ans sister hurt my feelings and I realised that again my expectations from the relationships were not reality, which was difficult for me to comprehend
  • I came back and started psychology – this opened up a can of worms, we began by talking about the secondary trauma from the court-case but seemed to focus on my bad relationship with my father. I was advised to stop pregabalin and not t take the antidepressants. At the end of the sessions as the psychologist couldn’t offer more I felt like I was leaft with ll these thoughts from things we had discussed, things about my past, and they were left not dealt with, I began feeling worse and I had come down off my pregabalin like she advised
  • I was really ill with withdrawal from taking 225mg less per day of pregabalin – this lasted weeks and I’ve never felt the same since. I had a low immune system so caught a flu and more illness
  • My car broke – I felt isolated and had already started to leave the house less and felt I was only safe and comfortable at home
  • I had a self employment meeting which I was so worried about, it led to a 3 week episode, which was really awful.
  • Found out I was pregnant – I was in shock and delighted for the first couple of days and then it all changed and I started to worry and have doubts and get confused about the situation and how it feels as I had accepted that I couldn’t have one. it is such a big change and I’m now suddenly confused and have no feeling. I am numb of all feelings and detached

 

Is that a normal situation? I carried n begging them for help and contacting the crisis team and anyone else I could to raise the alarm and get the support I needed, I was not going to commit suicide as I have  my daughter to look after  and I knew that I deep down did not want to terminate the baby. But in that state, what do I do?

I eventually was offered an emergency appointment a week later with this Dr Cairns. He spent the majority of an hour asking me about things that he had pulled from my records 7 years ago! Criminal history from when I was a child, I answered honestly to all questioned I cried as I spoke and I gave him my print out (as above) and explained my desperate situation. He told me and I quote

With Borderline Personality Disorder, There isn’t really any medication we can give to help it, there is not much we can do about it unfortunately.

I was so upset, by those words. Does that mean I’m fucked then? there’s no help whatsoever and because it’s a disorder that can’t be helped its tough luck? it’s not the first time I have heard words like these, it makes me wonder what they actually think of it. I instantly put my guard up. After speaking t him he was patronising and it was as if I was being dramatic and all the information I had given him wasnt relevant. I had a similar experience 2 years ago which can be found here .  On that occasion I wasnt wrong either, I had fertility problems and my ovaries were attached to my bowel causing so many problems..and that’s pretty much lead to where I am now.

I left the appointment with Dr Cairns after being told he would be in touch with some support. I heard nothing, from him or the mental health team.. I suffered, I hurt myself and I didn’t know what I could do we know we had to do this alone and just hope that I would get through it, but at the time I really didn’t think I would. I have not had an episode that lasted this long EVER. Which makes me think, is it prenatal depression? It didn’t feel like an episode, I recognise the symptoms and the cycle, this was something else altogether.

After 4 weeks or so, yes 4 weeks! of hearing nothing I received a letter from the perinatal team. I have never felt so insignificant as I did when I read it. it was a 2 page letter, the first 1 and a half pages were about things that had happened over 7 years ago! Which was a lifetime ago to me, Things move so fast in my life. Someone with BPD can relate to how long ago this was and how much will have happened and changed in that time. I was 21 for goodness sake, there was even details of a car accident I had been in 6 years ago. Why was it relevant to bring up my full psychiatric history and not deal with what was happening right now. In this letter his conclusion was basically
‘Had reasonable insight’

‘speech is normal’

She has experienced decompensation of her emotionally unstable disorder in the context of her psychotherapy uncovering historic traumas and then suddenly ending without resolution and acceptance of not having another child following a pregnancy’

‘There is clearly a risk that should her mental health deteriorate any more than there is a further risk of self harm but I don’t feel this is immediate’

Did he read any of my notes? Did he even listen to me? 

I felt ignored and still so upset and angry and that thee was no help for me, I had to keep on suffering alone. That letter sent me in another episode of despair, which also didn’t end well for me. I feel that I have been let down so much from the Mental Health team that I can’t trust them, they have messed with my head time and time again, they can’t be relied on, there’s not enough support or funding for them to help me.

Over the last few weeks through my depression I have managed to carry on with the support of my partner, I don’t have family around where I live  and I speak to my friend on a daily basis who has helped me talk things through each day until I was in a better place. I sought comfort and support from networking sites such as Netmums, where other mothers could give me advice and support and some guidance. it’s took a long time and I am still not in the light yet, though I’m now 4 month pregnant and can see clearer with regard s to the baby, It has finally sunk in and I am being practical about it. I am looking forward to finding out the sex on my next scan and when the baby comes I hope that it will all fall into place and I will love it like I love my daughter. I am constantly scared of not feeling connected to the baby again, as I grow my bump I feel more protective and I do worry about things like ‘what if I can’t do it?’ ‘what if i get ill’ but some say that this is me already being a good Mother and already thinking of whats best for my unborn child.

At the end of that letter the Doctor said that he would get me a CPN (community Psychiatric nurse) and a further appointment in 3 months time and that was that! This was February 24th. It’s now 27 March and 3 days ago I eventually got a call from his team to orange a CPN appointment, I made a complaint about my assessment and informed them I wasnt impressed with the outcome or the help I had received. I then received another letter from DR Cairns stating that I have rejected more help and didn’t find his assessment adequate therefore I am being discharged. Well thanks for that, Great support for mental health eh?

** Update**

I am now 5 month pregnant, I found out that I’m having a little boy and I seen him n the 4D scan, Finally my connection was there, I knew it had been all along but the black cloud of depression and mental health wouldn’t allow me to see it. I’m still struggling with the massive changes in my life but I’m on the mend mainly thanks to my husband. He has done everything he could for me to make me feel comfortable, support me and is constantly there to do as much as he can to get us through this. My older sister was messaged me everyday to reassure me that I would be OK and my friend is still like my therapist.. we are pregnant together so as you can imagine the messages of constant complaints, emotional support and those ‘Too Much Info’ messages are definitely for our eyes only.  I was failed once again by the mental health team a constantly live in fear of whether I’m going to be that mentally ill again soon, or if I will ever be myself again to be honest. I am looking forward to Junior coming along, I feel like I love him and want to protect him and can finally think positively about our future, I am glad I got through the first few months of the pregnancy, but I will always be disappointed I didn’t get to enjoy it and have peace of mind like other expectant mothers  do, the joys of Bordeline Personality Disorder.

I wanted to write this to show other people in my situation you are not alone, you shouldn’t feel guilty for feeling this way. It’s not all  shits and giggles. But it will get better, there is hope!

There is not enough help for mental health during pregnancy, I have recently seen campaigns about it so hopefully, If enough people speak up something will have to be done, In the meantime try and have some hope, even when you feel like there is no way out of the dark. Just keep soldiering on.  I do find myself feeling better about the pregnancy though I’m still very anxious and worrying, but not feeling so doom and gloom towards it. I noticed I started feeling even better when I could feel baby move, made it more real I suppose? Like he’s contacting me to say he is there. I also made myself talk about the pregnancy.  Even though deep down I knew it was what I’d wanted, I was very worried about telling people how I felt but telling them some of what I was feeling – shock, worry, stressed not some much the abortion part as I still feel incredibly guilty – they offered their support and finally the gender scan was my turning point.

I find just taking each day as it comes works best, and making sure you make time for yourself. I’ve started reading again and quite often disappear to bed early to lose myself in a book or a film. Still have the thoughts I started out with: is this the right decision? What’s going to happen after the birth? How will I cope with my mental health? If I’m feeling particularly bad I like to write it all down. Look at what I wrote and ask myself “What can I do to ease the worry?” And come up with a plan. I also think that they’re quite normal thoughts, it’s a big thing and I don’t think any to be parent doesn’t have these thoughts at least once.

I know the last thing you want to admit to people is that you’re not feeling ‘happy’ about this pregnancy but talking helps. Whether a stranger or your partner or a friend.

But take each day as it comes, and wait until you feel the first ‘flutters’  it helps when it starts feeling more real and the horrible tired sicky stage has passed.

All the best  to anyone who is experiencing the same.

On The Borderline: Back To Basics

On The Borderline: Back To Basics

When I started blogging, I was sharing some fun exciting post, but a lot of my posts are brutally honest about my life, my experiences and my Borderline Personality Disorder and mental health issues. it was a place I could be totally honest and open up and say whatever I want without upsetting anyone or having to skirt around things to make them sound like they weren’t so painful. I wanted to be truthful and really open up about the day-to-day reality of living with a personality disorder, to allow people to be able to relate to me and to say the things that are left unsaid, the crazy truth behind the mask.

What really goes on in our minds and the suffering myself and thousands of others with mental health issues have to endure every day. Often you think thinks in your head, but you wouldn’t dream of saying them out loud! what would people think? Would that upset people? Would that make them dislike me? They would think I’m crazy! I would feel guilty if I told them what I really thought of them! I would become paranoid, wondering what they would be saying about me or if they would stop talking to me. I have BPD,  I have a fear of rejection and abandonment, so I often keep quiet and just put up with whoever it is or whatever it is that is on my mind, I bottle it up..which becomes dangerous for me in the long run. A comment you may make, which you never think about again would stay in my mind, I would be paranoid and convince myself I need to change and obsess over why you may have said it, what does this person really think of me?

Borderlines have great difficulty regulating our emotional actions and have an unfortunate tendency to lose ourselves in our own drama when we perceive that we are being attacked. For me these kinds of thing will occur at times when I am very stressed out by a situation or person. I will feel like they or everyone is out to get me and become very distressed (sometimes to the point of triggering self-harmful and difficult episodes). This will often be linked to being let down or hurt by someone I thought I could trust or rely or in some way. I will then feel like I can trust no-one, a ‘me against the world’ syndrome developing temporarily. During these episodes of paranoia and delusion I worry about what people think of me and feel there is something fundamentally wrong with me that causes people to hate me and treat me badly, I feel I don’t deserve to be happy or loved and that everyone would be better off without me, which can then lead to suicidal ideation’s. I get suspicious of everything and everyone, imaging a multitude of motivations for their action or inaction, with beliefs that they want to hurt me and are being nasty or taking advantage of me.

After a year or so of writing my blog became quite popular and we appeared on TV and radio stations and was featured in newspapers and suddenly everyone knew who I was, my friends and family, people I know, it was shared all over social media and people started to tag me and following all of my posts, which made it harder to come here and write and be so honest, to talk about the people or situations I found myself in and how they have affected my sensitive mind. I have a lot of things I want to talk about, but I don’t want to upset anyone or cause any problems or more drama, I am going through such a tough time and don’t want to push anyone away. But at the end of the day, this is MY blog, MY diary, MY place to open up and relate to  other readers that are experiencing the same things as me, to know they are not alone in what they are thinking, to clear up situations and understand them better that when they are circulating in my head.  I don’t want judgement, I don’t want negativity, but I suppose if I want to be honest and talk about my life and the people surrounding me then that’s what I may face, this is my place to vent and clear things up so if you don’t want to hear what I have to say or if you are going to use my personal diary against me, then look away now, unsubscribe or unfollow me as I have a lot that remains unsaid.

I have missed writing and have had to remind myself why I stated writing in the first place. I couldn’t speak up about my thoughts. I have no-one I want to tell everything too, I don’t want to burden anyone, I have no faith in the mental health support teams here in the UK after being let down on so many occasions and triggered in to many episodes after their rejection and BPD shaming (which I will come to a bit later.)

So here I am again, writing to myself, for others to see as my way of therapy. What follows is some honest accounts about my life, my relationships with others that have affected me and my disappointment in the mental health team and some really awful episodes I have been through recently which have shook my world once again. Everything has changed, I am feeling that now is the time to get my life in order (again) and leave behind as much negativity as possible.

Learning to accept myself: Guilt and Shame

Learning to accept myself: Guilt and Shame

As I said in my previous post, I’m going to be working on guilt & shame, which are subjects that drive me crazy, I punish myself regularly with these emotions and I seem to take responsibility for everyone else actions in a ‘it must be me, it usually is’ or ‘it’s me who pushes people to act like they do’ ‘it’s all my fault’ which leads to more self hate, punishment and sometimes self harm or self destruct.

I would say it take’s over a lot of my life on a daily basis, it affects how I treat people and how I treat myself. I often feel guilt over things completely out of my control and yet it stays with me for hours, sometimes days, at a time.  I have found a really useful explanation for people who are experiencing BPD and feelings of guilt which I have added below. Reading this kind of puts it into perspective for me, sometimes it just takes that one explanation or someone elses view to have that light-bulb moment when things make more sense. Until I understand myself, I cannot begin to accept and learn to cope, so I am starting by doing my research into these feelings and why they play such a huge part of my life and create so much self-loathing.

It is normal to sometimes have feelings of guilt because mistakes are made, and shame sometimes because behaviours and character traits may be in need of correction. But in cases of BPD, feelings of guilt and shame tend to take on a type of permanence rather than transience. In other words, it can be very hard for a person with BPD to let go of past experiences and mistakes, and likewise to stop feeling guilty and ashamed for things that didn’t go well.

A person with BPD can get into the habit of reflecting on past mistakes made while attempting to deal with situations, including how he has hurt self or others (such as having big blowups or impulsively acting out) – resulting in guilty feelings. He may also make a habit of noticing the repetitious nature of his mistakes and remembering the judgements made by others about his behaviour – resulting in shame feelings.  Habit sometimes turns into preoccupation with past mistakes so that guilt and shame feelings are re-experienced over and over again. It becomes a problem because the guilt and shame are never put into their proper perspective or considered for their relevance to the present moment.

Some of the reasons for this  are that a person with BPD doesn’t want to have more bad moments, hurt anyone, or continue feeling the awful guilt and shame. But of course, the guilt and shame are re-experienced anyways because of the recollection of events.

The way a person with BPD experiences guilt and shame is different because of the way he has been conditioned to think about himself, his experiences with others, and his place in the world. He has learned that things tend to go wrong for him and that people tend to blame and judge him for the way he reacts/overreacts. He has been in trouble, corrected and criticised so much that he tends to believe that the world is against him. He doesn’t yet know why it works this way, but he is making many assumptions (having bad thoughts about self).

The manner and extent to which a person with BPD experiences guilt and shame feelings is therefore exaggerated and inappropriate because he does not yet understand himself or his illness. Likewise, he doesn’t understand his developmental vulnerabilities or the significance of his childhood. He doesn’t yet know that he can’t manage his disorder without the necessary knowledge and skills. He believes he “should have known better” and that there is no excuse for his errors. He sets his own trap for repeat feelings of guilt and shame.

Then there is the tendency to react to his self-induced guilt and shame, adding further fuel to the fire, as others become baffled and annoyed by his faulty logic and respond by invalidating his feelings. He is upset and in trouble once more as others don’t understand where his reactions are coming from. These kinds of experiences add yet another “piece of evidence” to his belief that he is always at fault, always annoys, always hurts, or is always a burden on others.

Indeed it is a sad thing, but a person with BPD will habitually torture himself by inducing guilt and shame feelings through his own thinking style, even when it isn’t necessary. He can’t let things go. When things happen, he will personalise the situation and automatically assume he is at fault because he has been “at fault” so many times in the past. He can’t stop personalising. He will react to his own emotions and set off reactions in others, and therefore repeat the cycle over and over again. He can’t stop reacting.

When feelings like guilt and shame are felt unnecessarily (when it doesn’t really make sense to feel that way given the circumstances), this is when the feelings could properly be labelled as “misplaced”.

 

This is one of the keys to overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder… learning to become mindful of misplaced guilt and shame, learning to let it go, and learning to replace the misplaced guilt and shame with something more fitting to the situation.

 

Source; written by Peter Miller at http://www.breakawaymhe.com

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How Do You Know When You Are Coming Out Of An Episode?

How Do You Know When You Are Coming Out Of An Episode?

As I wrote just days ago on this blog, I felt so rock-bottom. I was  in despair and horribly confused. I’ve had many episodes like that, some much worse and I accept my condition and the way it makes me feel. I know that these things will happen from time to time but thankfully, it happens a lot less these days,  as I’m lucky enough to have been able to use the coping strategies that I have learnt over the years. After an extreme low I always feel deep regret, embarrassment and shame because of the way I have been feeling, the way I have acted and of the thoughts I had during that time.

During this episode in particular, I somehow knew what was happening and that  things would seem much different when it was over , thinking to myself ‘I have got through this befiore, and I wil again’.  Though I still couldn’t control the way I felt, the sobbing, the anxiety, the worries that I had and the chronic emptiness, knowing that no-one will understand even if I try to explain.  I was lucky enough to function on auto-pilot, I had to I’m a mother and I have a partner. They rely on me and they needed me to be OK even though I was dying inside.

Last night, after trying to pull myself together for days but not having the energy, I was in the kitchen making some tea and I was just pottering about and started singing.. then it dawned on me. I’M SINGING!

The thoughts have stopped racing through my head and I suddenly relaxed, thought about my situation and how my body felt, at this point the tension left my body and I felt a relief. It was over, I’m on my way back to my version of reality, I was beginning to feel human again.

I remember one day I complained to my mother that my daughter never stopped singing and it was driving me crazy,  she told me ‘she must be happy and content then, you don’t sing when your sad’

Gaining so much knowledge in my condition over the years and being able to recognise the triggers, symptoms and feelings have helped me cope with my Borderline Personality Disorder.  In this instance I put into place my Mindfulnes practice; Mndfulness is a great tool and I would highly recommend it to anyone suffering from any mental health problem.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment.

“It’s easy to stop noticing the world around us. It’s also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living ‘in our heads’ – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour,” he says.

Mark Williams professor of clinical psychology says “An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment.  Another important part of mindfulness is an awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen moment to moment. Awareness of this kind doesn’t start by trying to change or fix anything. It’s about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. When we do that, it can positively change the way we see ourselves and our lives.”

Today I feel proud of myself, I pulled through it and that for the first time it hit me that I had learnt a new skill, I knew to recognise the end of the episode by being mindful. I also know my next phase is rebuilding myself. People recover in different ways, I rebuild myself by organising, creating to do lists and being productive, organising my clothes, getting new hair extensions and pampering myself and making plans for the future. I also recognise that by doing this it prepares me for the next depression or bad episode.  So this is me back to my life, my beautiful mess.

I am interested to find out how you come to the realisation that your episode is over? or is there something that happens as you begin to descend into that state of depression or mania? 

P.s I would also like to thank those of you that messaged me for your kind words of support, they made me feel less isolated in my time of need ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make Time To Be A Friend. It Could Save Someone’s Life

Make Time To Be A Friend. It Could Save Someone’s Life

Dealing with my own personal problems and having to move away from my home town to create a better life for myself & my daughter means that I am well aware of how much I rely on my friends for support. I understand the importance of making time for my friends and being there for them or just letting them know they are not alone because knowing you are not alone is the best thing for anyone when going through a tough time. Friends can mean the world – when you’re feeling stressed or upset, they can be a real source of support.

Time To Change has started a new campaign #maketime and I think it’s a fantastic idea and I knew I had to pass on the word, because it really can make a difference to someone who could be facing difficulties, it could even save them from taking their own life. Anyone can experience a mental health problem, so being able to talk about it is important to us all.

You don’t need to be an expert to talk about it. And it’s often the small things you do and say that can make a big difference to someone – like asking ‘How are you?’ or dropping them a text to say hello.

It will let them know you haven’t forgotten them and that your there if they need you.

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How to help someone with mental health problems

If someone you know is experiencing mental health problems or needs urgent support, there are lots of services that you can go to for help.

You can also find out more about:

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Source: http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/talk-about-mental-health

Video

Tame The Black Dog – Beat Depression – End The Stigma

I want to share with you an amazing video animation that I came across named ‘The Black Dog’ by the World Health Organization.

This video doesn’t need much introduction, its pretty self-explanatory.

When it comes to depression it can be a frightening, debilitating condition. Millions of people around the world live with depression. Many of these individuals and their families are afraid to talk about their struggles, and don’t know where to turn for help. However, depression is largely preventable and treatable. Recognizing depression and seeking help is the first and most critical towards recovery.

Many people think individuals with depression are weak. And that they are choosing to be depressed, or they are just acting, therefore should be able to “snap out of it” … Show them this animation – END THE STIGMA

Comfort box. A Little Box Of You….. Support and Self Help When You Need It Most

Comfort box. A Little Box Of You….. Support and Self Help When You Need It Most

As I suffer from BPD I experience extreme emotions, through therapy I am learning to deal with these emotions and learn to stabilise them. I also live 60 Miles away from my family, so when I feel down or need some comfort or support its difficult sometimes and being alone can make matters worse. Part of my plan is to put together a comfort box, a selection of things that will give me the inspiration I need to carry on and reminding me of the good things in my life, whilst making life easier in my moment of need buy having things that can calm me, relax me and make me comfortable to give me the strength I need.

There are times in our lives when for many reasons we may feel depressed, alone, anxious, unloved or unsupported. There may be others around us, but they are unable to comfort us in the way we need, or we may be too distressed to tell them what we need. When this happens – a ‘comfort box’ can be very helpful to cherish and nurture you through your time.

The comfort box principle

When your child is feeling sad or down or worried, your instinct is to wrap them up, give them a warm milky drink and a favourite teddy and settle them down with a book, or favourite DVD. This helps make them feel loved and safe and warm.

You may have heard of the expression “the inner child” – the theory is that inside each of us is our own inner child who needs some attention and love.

A comfort box is a useful way of helping you to give yourself the care that your inner child needs… just as you would to your own children.

The idea is that you find a box, bag or something big enough to put what you need into it. Then sit and think what are the things that would generally bring you comfort?

Ideally, you will put your box together when you are feeling reasonably ok – in readiness for those more difficult times. Store it somewhere safe. All is not lost if you are not able to do that, as some suggestions follow.

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My Comfort Box: These are the things I am putting in my comfort box.

  • I have made a scrapbook out of an old notepad, decorated it and used a few uplifting words as decoration on the front. Inside I will be including things like, quotes that I like, photos, pages with certain happy memories, such as a day out with photos and tickets. My daughters christening, messages from family. Old birthday card messages.. I think you get catch the drift
  • Photographs, friends, family, holidays, days out
  • A small candle & Lavender Incense stick
  • Paracetamol ( I usually get headaches with stress)
  • Pictures that My daughter has drawn
  • A printout of Time to Relax, ways to meditate any time of the day
  • Memories of My Home town for when I feel homesick (Which is Middlesbrough)

Here are some ideas to start you off, but the best box will be of you own making…

  • A soothing smell, such as vanilla or cinnamon or lavender.
  • A new candle or tea light in a small holder.
  • A favourite CD of relaxing or uplifting music.
  • Something to wrap around your shoulders to hold you tight, like a shawl, blanket or pashmina.
  • A favourite book, such as a novel, book of poems, or something from your childhood.
  • You may also have your old teddy bear, doll or cuddly.
  • Family videos or photos of good, happy times.
  • Some find chocolate helps; if so a small good quality bar of your favourite brand.
  • Some soft  hankies.

If there is space in your home – you might like to designate a comfort corner or room that has a generally more relaxing atmosphere about it.

You don’t have to wait until you are feeling dreadful before you use your ‘comfort box’ – you can use it to nurture yourself whenever you feel like a bit of care and attention.