Which celebrities have Borderline Personality Disorder?


Leading expert on Borderline Personality Disorder and founder of what is potentially the most effective therapy treatment for the disorder ‘Dialectal Behaviour Therapy’, Dr Marsha Linehan has ‘come out’  to reveal her own mental illness problems and the belief that she herself suffered Borderline Personality Disorder in the New York Times today. But what does this mean for those who suffer BPD and other mental health disorders?

Well here in the UK, probably not much – it hasn’t even made the news here (yet). Most people (except those in the field) will probably not even know who she is, much less care.  And her groundbreaking dialectal behaviour therapy “does not happen here, even privately, unless you are an inpatient” – as I was told by a private psychiatrist (who specialises in BPD).  The stigma around mental health is still such that no-one wants to admit to having BPD or any other mental health problem – except maybe a bit of ‘depression’ (not to disregard depression in any way but ‘everyone’ seems to have it nowadays! It is the ‘only’ ‘socially-acceptable’ mental health problem).

The stigma and  intolerance of mental illness is ever pervasive in modern society. We live in a world that does not tolerate ‘difference’.  A world of hatred against anyone not seen as ‘normal’. No wonder even ordinary people that get a diagnosis are so scared of what others will ‘think’ of us, and worry for our future – holding down a job, let alone a career is difficult when your illness can knock you off your feet at any time, such that you need to take more ‘sick’ leave than anyone else.  But while many of differences gain support in the public eye to ‘stamp out’  things such as homophobia, racism and disability discrimination (which while it should encompass mental health issues these are rarely considered ‘real’ disabilities). Celebrities will ‘come out’  as being ‘gay’, and openly support various causes but who is willing to stand up for mental illness?  Who will jump on the bandwagon for us?

Not many, Stephen Fry revealed his Bipolar disorder in 2006, but since then there has been very little else to suggest any celebrities have anything more than ‘depression’ – wait I hear you cry, what about Britney Spears? Well, very true, she shaved her hair and was clearly having some serious problems, but despite many claims that she may be suffering bipolar or borderline personality disorder there has been no ‘real’ evidence and she certainly hasn’t ‘come out’ as having  a mental illness herself.  Of course in addition to Britney, there are loads of other celebrities who are ‘supposedly’ Borderlines, from the deceased –  Hitler, Marilyn Monroe and Diana Princess of Wales to Charlie Sheen, Angelina Jolie, and even Winona Ryder (who famously portrayed real life BPD sufferer Susanna Kaysen in the acclaimed film ‘Girl, interrupted’ – which also saw Angelina Joile in the role of a ‘psychopath’)

So while this news is very helpful personally to borderlines around the world (it reassures us further that we are not alone and if ‘she’ can make it so can we!), it is only a small step in the realm of acceptance of mental illness within a society that would rather continue to plead ignorance…

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone, no offense is intended or implied, the author welcomes your opinions as everyone is entitled to their own view. 🙂

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And feel free to contact me on twitter, facebook or email – crystalbear96@hotmail.com if you have any questions, would like to write a guest blog for my site, have a suggestion about something you would like to see me blog about or would like me to write a guest blog for your blog/website 🙂

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#30dayblog – Day 8 – Picture This


I am taking this one literally! lol

This is a photo blog, seeing as my challenge for today was to include pictures and I’ve just started playing with my new Digital SLR camera I thought I would share my first pictures with you.

They aren’t much just a few shot’s of our cat. I have signed up for a photography course so I can learn how to use this thing properly! Let’s hope I will be able to improve on the images here!

Anyway, hope you enjoy them 🙂

Thank you for reading!  If you have enjoyed reading this post why not retweet this blog to your followers for me? Share a link on your facebook page? or promote this blog wherever you can (without spamming!!!)

Use this link to share this post –http://wp.me/pLoi4-bj

And feel free to contact me on twitter, facebook or email – crystalbear96@hotmail.com if you have any questions, would like to write a guest blog for my site, have a suggestion about something you would like to see me blog about or would like me to write a guest blog for your blog/website 🙂

5 Great blogs…


I thought I would share some great blogs with you today – promoting the writers of these blogs, many of whom inspire me; either for their content, passion, because they have interesting things to say, write useful/helpful stuff or are just cool in a variety of ways!

Hope you will like these blogs, happy reading and let them know I sent you! 😀

So in no particular order here are 5 great blogs I follow regularly…

NikkiPilkington – Nikki is an Internet Marketeer and the creator of the #30dayblog challenge.  As well as her regular hints and tips blogs to help with your marketing and blogging skills she also writes guest blogs and has a whole host of other marketing and blogging skills under her belt. Its thanks to Nikki that my own writing is coming on in leaps and bounds!

Rickie writes….All roads lead to cake – Rickie Josen writes about her travels, music, movies, books and ‘Adventures in Birmingham’ amongst other things! I love reading about her latest adventures – she inspired me to take my first solo trip (although I ended up with company after all) and organises the Birmingham Writer’s group – which I must get along to more often!

Andy ‘s Techie Blog – Andy Parkes, Professional Geek. Andy’s techie blog sometimes baffles me, the IT stuff can go above my head at times! lol But it is all very interesting and useful stuff.  He also writes excellent book reviews – which I keep telling myself I must stop reading as he makes all the books sound so awesome I end up going straight to Amazon and buying them, adding to my ever growing pile of unread books (I must read some more soon!!)

Life in the Realms of BPD – Steve Goldsack’s  blog is one I’ve only recently discovered. A fellow BPD sufferer he writes about all things BPD and has separate blogs where he also writes poetry and writes about movies and books. His writing about BPD is the most interesting to me though as it shows just how much of the stuff I go through is shared by others with BPD, an insight worth having. 🙂

Yvette’s Inner Geek Blog – I first stumbled upon Yvette’s blog after taking the ‘Inner Geek Test‘ which she created and I was hooked straight away. A fellow girlie geek with a passion for IT, gaming, crafts (well all things geek really, lol) and a liking for colourful hair (much like me!).  I really enjoy her random musings and of course the cat pictures! hehe

Thank you for reading! If you have enjoyed reading this post why not retweet this blog to your followers for me? Share a link on your facebook page? or promote this blog wherever you can (without spamming!!!)

Use this link to share this post –http://wp.me/pLoi4-bx

And feel free to contact me on twitter, facebook or email – crystalbear96@hotmail.com if you have any questions, would like to write a guest blog for my site, have a suggestion about something you would like to see me blog about or would like me to write a guest blog for your blog/website 🙂

#30dayblog – Day 7 – A Day In The Life…


hmmm, this should be interesting!

A day in the life of ‘me’, well at the moment there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ day.  Being currently off work ‘sick’ due to my BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) my days are as varied as my condition!

Writing is a big part of most days for me at the moment.  As you can see by the many posts I have made lately – I am writing about lots of things – my BPD, my cruise, posts for the #30dayblog challenge, the list goes on.  But, what do I do when I’m not writing, well like I say I’m not at work at the moment, otherwise my job (Radiography Assistant at a local hospital) would occupy most of the rest of my day!

I get up between 6-8am (depending on how I feel that day!)  Just getting up in the morning can be a challenge for me whilst I am still going through my ‘bad’ spell – or ‘crisisas I often call it.  I can either be ‘wired’ during a ‘manic’ phase of my BPD  – where I need very little sleep, rarely more than 3 hours a night so I go to bed late (3am) and get up early (6am) and never feel tired at all.  Then I go through phases of either ‘depression’ or being ‘numb’ at these times I will either be constantly tired (bed at 10pm up at 8am still not feeling I have slept a wink) or almost ‘normal’ in my sleeping patterns – going to bed between 10pm and midnight, getting up 7 hours later.

This morning before doing all the usual morning things of showering, dressing etc I wrote an assignment and a blog post.  finally having done the morning tasks I left the house to run a few errands before coming home and writing another two blog posts!

There is always something that needs doing around the house – having two lazy teenagers around, a 5-bed room house and a partner who works long hours, most of the things that need doing around the house become my responsibility. No-one says I have to do them, or frets if I don’t – except me! I have to do them, it’s probably part of my BPD.  I need to be busy, useful, doing something, this is crucial to me (yep, definitely classic BPD!). So, I spend many hours doing household chores, re-cleaning already clean areas, shopping, cooking (I may not eat much but I like to cook, being a qualified chef doesn’t help!) and if I don’t get as much done as I had planned to I feel bad and berate myself, another bad part of my BPD 😦

Also, at the moment there have still be lots of things that need ‘sorting’ out around the house. Even though we have lived here for some months now we have had a lot of workmen in doing things which prevented me doing much of the unpacking and sorting I needed to do.  Luckily this is almost sorted now, I only have the ‘office’ and garage left to sort out but these are probably the two biggest jobs! :/ To make this easier on myself (rather than my usual – ‘it has to be done in a single day’ attitude) I am breaking them into small chunks, a box a day, a pile of books etc.  Achievable steps to prevent me getting angry with myself for not completing it all in one go! 🙂

After a busy day of writing, studying, housework etc I unwind in the evening by going to Pool practice/matches at the pub (I’m on the pool team and improving well considering I had never played before just 2 months ago!). When I’m not playing pool I will watch films (DVD or cinema), visit/go out with friends/my partner, read, indulge in some other hobby or chill in the Hot Tub 😀

Tonight has been different – we went to see ‘The Shaolin Warriers‘ at the Theatre (going to the Theatre is another thing I like to do occasionally).  I bought the tickets as a treat for the other half, as he has wanted to see them for ages but never done it – until now 🙂 The show was awesome! A breathtaking performance of  martial arts, with entrancing displays of speed and dexterity. It was cool to see how ‘real’ it is when one performer lay on swords then had a  double-sided ‘bed of nails’ board placed on his abdomen before another performer lay on this with a slab of concrete on his chest, which was then smashed  with a lump hammer – the bottom performer actually had blood on his back when he got off the swords! The audience participation was excellent too, they got a few men on stage to ‘pull’ a bowl that one performer had ‘sucked’ onto his stomach (they couldn’t pull it off), a couple more men to ‘copy’ a sparing match (would’ve been even funnier if one of those guys was actually a martial artist too! lol) but the best bit was when they got around 30 children from the audience on stage to do some ‘training’ – it was hilarious! 😀

Show over, time to go home and try to get some sleep for another busy day tomorrow…

Well there you have it, a day in the life of me – what is a typical day for you? 🙂

Thank you for reading!  If you have enjoyed reading this post why not retweet this blog to your followers for me? Share a link on your facebook page? or promote this blog wherever you can (without spamming!!!)

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And feel free to contact me on twitter, facebook or email – crystalbear96@hotmail.com if you have any questions, would like to write a guest blog for my site, have a suggestion about something you would like to see me blog about or would like me to write a guest blog for your blog/website 🙂

How do I live with Borderline Personality Disorder?


I have been asked to write a guest blog for ‘Thinking Outside the Box‘ about having Borderline Personality Disorder, my journey and problems, so here goes…

My diagnosis in September 2010 came after many years of ups and downs.  I had had psychiatric and psychological assessments before but due to the long waiting times with the UK NHS by the time I had my appointments I was ‘well’ again, as result I had never really had any therapy, medication or a diagnosis.  Having had no choice but to get through each of my ‘crisis’ periods alone and unhelped in any way shape or form.  As result a potentially earlier diagnosis was missed many times.  In addition, I now recognise that I had not in fact ‘recovered’ but was often either ‘masking’ the fact that I still had problems or just going through a ‘remission’ phase – the problem still existed it just wasn’t so ‘prominent’.

I will write about the history of my problems another time, as there is so much to say you would be here forever!  Today I am just going to focus on where I am currently, and the period from my diagnosis to now.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis came after a prolonged psychiatric assessment from July to September 2010.  However, I was not given my diagnosis in a secure, safe environment such as the psychiatrists office – No; I found out by receiving a copy of the report that had been sent to my GP…

Three words leapt from the paper, hitting me like a kick to the stomach ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’.  I was alone at the time and it sent me into a panic.  What is BPD? (I had never heard of it before) what does it mean for my future? who can help me with this? rage bubbled through me, tinged with fear, as I swore at the despicable injustice of being diagnosed by post. How dare the psychiatrist not tell me to my face!? Shouldn’t I have been informed of such a thing in a controlled environment, where someone could explain what this meant? Instead here I was at  home, alone, already emotionally distressed at reading the rest of the report spilling my inner most pains in front of me and rather than having someone to guide me through yet another trauma I had to ‘google’ it and find out for myself what exactly Borderline Personality Disorder means. Surely one shouldn’t have to look it up on the internet?

I was shaking with rage, tears of fury and shame pouring down my face as I simultaneously googled the condition and texted my partner and best friends to inform them of the latest pile of crap to hit my fan.  Of course they all wanted to know what this disorder is and how it would affect me, but I didn’t have the answers myself!

My best mate drove straight over to be with me, whilst others reassured me by text that at least we had a name for it now and I was going to get the help I needed, this was the start, not the end.

Words of comfort and reassurance did not help stave my anger at finding out something so important in such an impersonal way. My mistrust of ‘professionals’ once again compounded by their sheer inability to do a proper job – I should have been told face to face, instead I’m reading a website describing my illness as a kind of ‘post-traumatic stress disorder’ and sufferers as ‘unstable’ in mood and relationships. while almost everything I read appears to apply to me – confirming an accurate diagnosis, I am still stricken by fears of being forced to take mind-altering medications, years of therapy, being ‘sectioned’ and flushing my dream of going to Medical School is flushed down the toilet – all before I even know what is really going to happen. But what else can I do? It’s not like I can ask someone who knows!

BPD

Moving on…

The following week I get to see my GP and put some of these questions to him.  But, he doesn’t really have any answers for me, he knows very little himself (typical I think – no wonder they are ‘general’ practitioners, they only know ‘general’ information about everything, no real knowledge about anything) I’m on a waiting list for my therapy to start. It’s October now and it looks likely that it won’t be until the New Year that I am seen, maybe even as far away as March. So I have 5 months to deal with this bombshell on my own – pah! – by then I’ll have virtually treated myself! I’ve already bought and read 2 books about BPD. One, an autobiography of a ‘recovered’ fellow sufferer (Get Me out of Here – Rachel Reiland) and another a ‘Borderline Personality Survival Guide’.

One thing that really doesn’t help (and to this day annoys and frustrates me) is the amount of inaccurate, out-of-date information about BPD that is out on the internet! It is scary that people would read things that are so wrong, such as information on the allpsyhc.com website which has not been updated since 2004. Life is hard enough for Borderlines as it is without further stigma and bad information about our condition to make others fearful of us! We are not ‘bad’ or ‘dangerous’ we have a disability that you can’t see, it is not an ‘excuse’ for our behaviour, but it is a ‘reason’ – we hate as much as you do that we are unable to ‘control’ ourselves in certain situations! But please, beware what you read online – check the credibility of websites and the like! One good easy to read guide is the NIMH (National Institute for Mental Health) factsheet on BPD

Throughout the next few months I continue to struggle as yet more problems continue to occur for me (in my relationship especially) along with juggling starting a new job and moving home.

In February 2011 I finally get seen for another ‘assessment’ before I can start my therapy, only to be told that due to moving house I will now have to be referred to a different health authority for my treatment and go on their waiting list before I can start getting any help – GREAT! just what I needed to hear!!

So, playing the waiting game again, I continue to have problems – exacerbated by my partner being away with the Army. I see in myself that I am deteriorating; I self harm in many ways – I don’t eat, don’t sleep, party all night, drink to excess, sleep around, cut myself.  I obsess over things, make foolish life changing decisions, start another new job.  Then in April 2011 it all comes to a head when I take an overdose of 45 Tramadol tablets mixed with Port and WKD…

36 hours later I am in A&E, homeless and wondering why I’m not dead yet. I don’t want to live, don’t deserve to live and now I have nothing to live for as I’ve thrown it all away…

Now

2 months later.  I’m back home, my partner is back and doing what he can to help me – how he was able to see beyond the awful things I did and still want to be with me I don’t know, other than he has read about BPD (something he hadn’t done before) and has ‘hope’ that I can recover from this.  He loves me (though I still don’t feel I deserve it) and I do love him (even though I have difficulty showing it at times).  We are engaged. Lot’s of our friends and family (especially his) think we are both crazy.

I’m still off work ‘sick’, but due to return shortly. Though this is a struggle to deal with in itself, as I am clearly still not doing all that well, but if I didn’t agree to a phased return now I would have been looking at losing my job – which would have been even worse as it would make it difficult to get another job in the future, and even though I am scared and worried about it I need my job as an ‘anchor’ to help me progress.

I’m still not getting any ‘medical’ help. I still haven’t heard about the waiting list I’ve been on since February, I’ve been for a ‘private’ assessment at my partner’s request to see if we can speed things up by going private rather than waiting for the NHS – but even this has not been forthcoming yet.  And while I know it is part of my BPD all this waiting is making me feel like it’s just going to be a waste of time (and potentially money) and my willingness to work with ‘professionals’ and talk about my problems is diminishing as I sink back into my own ‘coping’ mechanisms (block it out and keep busy mainly).  I know this won’t do me any good as the BPD hasn’t gone anywhere – evidenced by my still poor eating habits, excessive spending, obsessing over things and even my latest desire for a ‘career’ change – I want to just write for a living (but this is just another symptom of my BPD – constant career changes). So ‘when’ the time comes that I get an appointment for therapy, I have to be strong and fight myself to work with the therapists rather than against them. This is a battle I can’t win alone – even though I live by the mantra ‘It’s me against the world’. I need help, now I just wish they would hurry up and give it to me before its too late!

Thank you for reading! If you have enjoyed reading this post why not retweet this blog to your followers for me? Share a link on your facebook page? or promote this blog wherever you can (without spamming!!!)

Use this link to share this post – http://wp.me/pLoi4-aR

And feel free to contact me on twitter, facebook or email – crystalbear96@hotmail.com if you have any questions, would like to write a guest blog for my site, have a suggestion about something you would like to see me blog about or would like me to write a guest blog for your blog/website 🙂