ACCEPTING THE GUILT OF POSTNATAL DEPRESSION

Accepting the guilt of postnatal depression

Guilt is a five letter word I hate and something that has consumed me for 3 long years since I was diagnosed with postnatal depression. I didn’t choose postnatal depression so why do I feel guilty about it and why do I struggle to let it go?

The thing is every mother feels guilt to some extent and we’ve all heard of the phrase ‘mummy guilt’, but the guilt you have from postnatal depression is magnified, it’s like it becomes a core belief and even after the trauma of postnatal depression has gone the guilt can still linger for years after. I’m writing this post as a way to try to heal from my own guilt and hopefully help others, because that is what my blog is to me, it is my ramblings and most importantly it is my therapy.

The most important thing we need to remind ourselves as mum’s is that a perfect mother does not exist, she is a fictional character we may have appeared to see in the flesh or on social media, but the reality is she is faking it and it’s a big lie we are selling to ourselves. We all know now that social media is not real and that we only include the best bits of our life and we all know that we can all appear on a good day to have our shit together, but it is not sustainable for every minute of everyday for anybody. Everyone has their own struggles, own problems and own tears, just some are better at hiding it than others.

Guilt is a destructive emotion and when it sets in, it is hard to hold it back. It causes us to feel inadequate, unworthy and flawed. It can start to define who we are as a person and as a mother. What I have learnt through therapy is that we do need to sit through these emotions, but we do not need to accept them as fact. All emotions serve a purpose however painful they can be. The emotional of guilt for a normal purpose is to remind us we have done something wrong, which makes us fix our mistakes, in the hope we do not make the same mistake again. Guilt can serve as a very helpful emotion to help us re-evaluate ourselves to be better. Guilt through postnatal depression serves no purpose as we are mentally unwell, we have not done anything wrong and there is nothing we can fix, as we didn’t choose this mental illness. The guilt stops us from bonding with our babies and getting the support we need from others around us. All we are doing is punishing ourselves for something we had no control over.

When the postnatal depression has gone how to we get rid of guilt forever? For me something I felt I needed to do was to apologise. I told my baby I was sorry that mummy wasn’t well, I said sorry to my daughter for not being there as I should and I told my now ex husband I was sorry. It was healing, even though I know now I was unwell and I couldn’t have done things differently, I felt better to have apologised. What I did next was I said sorry to myself, I listened and I accepted it.

Once I was able to apologise to myself I realised that the guilt wasn’t just guilt it was a lot to do with regret. I regretted not having those moments with my baby, that instant bond and I was mourning the loss of the time wasted whilst sucked in by postnatal depression. The expectation you had versus the reality was not what was expected and that is something you regretted. Once I realised it was more about regret than guilt it took the need away for punishment. I had successfully changed the emotion to something that was far more easier to process.

My guilt of postnatal depression is regret and is something I am sad about. I am able to forgive myself for this as I do not deserve to be punished for a regret I have. Sadness about the situation is an emotion I can tolerate and something that is easier to manage to move on from.

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The day I tried to end it all

The day I tried to end it all

On the 7th of February last year I tried to end it all. I woke up in a hospital bed with a drip in my arm and wires across my body. I had no idea where I was, how I had got there and I didn’t understand what was going on. The day before I had sent my now ex husband out, as I needed some peace and promised him I wouldn’t do anything stupid. I had lied to him and for the first time in weeks I was emotionless, I felt no fear, no guilt and no sadness. Today was the day I wouldn’t have to feel anymore. I didn’t think of the consequences of my actions and just saw it as the only way out. I was fed up of fighting PND (postnatal depression) anymore and felt like I had lost any type of control I had over it. It was a permanent solution to a temporary problem, but I couldn’t see that at the time.

That day whilst under the crisis team care I went into hospital to see my doctor who decided after two weeks they would discharge me. I told them I still felt suicidal and I was scared to be discharged without any other support. Just that conversation sent me into a downward spiral and I felt hopeless even though they said they would see me again in three days. I went home to end it and took as many lorazepam I had (about 10mg), coupled up with a handful of quetiapine (antipsychotics) and zopiclone (sleeping tablets), which I washed down with whiskey. I don’t even enjoy the taste of whiskey, but it was the strongest alcohol in the house. I sat back and let the feeling of calm wash over me, whilst I slipped in and out of consciousness, finally at peace.

What happened next I don’t really know, but this is what I was told afterwards. An old school friend had been checking in with me by messaging me on and off. I didn’t make a huge amount of sense so she contacted my sister and a well fair check was arranged. My husband returned home with the kids and around the same time someone from the crisis team and also a police officer took me to hospital.

The next morning when I had realised what had actually happened the feeling of guilt was horrendous. Knowing my children had seen me in such a state and that I had lied to my husband was terrible. I knew from that moment that I needed to fight, my children didn’t deserve this and if I kept going like this, I would lose them one way or another. I would either be sectioned, dead or I would lose my children and all would take me away from the children I love so much.

I was taken in to talk to someone from the crisis team and told that if I was sectioned that I would never get better. As I have BPD (borderline personality disorder) the worse thing for me, would to be sectioned, they gave me the choice, but I declined. 40% of all inpatient have BPD and once you’re in, its hard to ever get out, as this condition is untreatable with medication and the only way to over come it is to complete DBT (dialectical behaviour therapy).

I started DBT quickly after, but I found it impossible to attend as I couldn’t get help with childcare and had to quit. Eventually once my marriage broke down and I started to get help again I was able to start DBT. I am now 5 months in and it has changed my life. It’s changed the way I deal with my emotions, given me inner peace and helped me regulate when I go into crisis. Things still haven’t been perfect and I still struggle, but I am always making progress. To see where I was a year ago and how I am today, I am proud. I am a better person, I am happier and I’m back to being the mother I want to be. I know that as a single parent that I need to get better as I could lose my children if I don’t and that is my driving force behind my progress.

I share my story in hope that it helps other people going through the same struggles. Admitting you feel suicidal does not mean your children will be taken away from you. I know this was my biggest fears, but social services were actually pretty helpful to me and arranged extra support I needed.  If you need support ask for it, call Samaritans, contact PANDAS, text a friend. Please don’t suffer alone as it’s too much to take on by yourself and it needs to be shared. This does not make you weak, but actually incredibly strong. Life can change so much in a year and I am proof of it. Keep fighting, you’ve got this.

Progress is key.

Samaritans

PANDAS

 

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Borderline Personality Disorder depression after a manic phase

Borderline Personality Disorder depression after a manic phase

Having borderline personality disorder (BPD) and dealing with depressive and manic phases is a constant battle and something I have come to accept that I might have to live with for the rest of my life. I was diagnosed in February this year with the condition, but looking back now it is obvious that it has controlled me since my teenage years. I have learnt a great deal over these last few months and have can now understand and manage my condition better, even if it is still a work in progress.

I can usually spot the spiral as it is happening, sometimes I can stop, sometimes I feel defeated and unable to battle it. There are certain stages to it, but it often comes out of the blue and unexpectedly. Often the depression and downward spiral will happen after a manic phase, where I have lots of energy and able to undertake many tasks at a time, whilst trying to complete them with urgency that is impossible to maintain. I burn out and the downward spiral begins. I am often convinced that I am cured during a manic phase and am childlike and carefree, but I pay the price after trying to get back to a normal level again between the mania and depression. It’s a constant emotional rollercoaster that leaves me defeated and exhausted.

  • The first stage is usually brought on by trying to manage too many things in one go and spreading myself to thin. The anxiety and worry to manage my life stops me from sleeping first, which always impacts me negatively and makes me heightened to my emotions.
  • The next stage is me reaching out and being needy. I start to rely on people too heavily and become extremely scared of being abandoned and being on my own. I understand I can be a huge burden on people.
  • I start to get paranoid about people talking about me and judging me, whilst having overwhelming fears of abandonment which then makes me cling onto people even more.
  • What usually follows is the most dangerous stage to me and that is to disassociate. When I disassociate I shut down emotionally from anyone around me and I get caught in my own head. I can self-harm, engage in dangerous behaviour or even attempt suicide. This is the stage I do not remember, it is like I have no control of my actions and I am numb from feeling anything.
  • After I get back to reality I am left with the mess I have left, the apologies to make, scars to hide and the guilt. I promise myself I won’t go back to that place again, I will not hurt the people around me and I try to build myself back up again.

1 in 10 people with borderline personality disorder will successfully complete suicide, so I share what I can to help lift stigma and raise understanding knowing that I will always be judged by this condition.

What does help me through this condition is friends who have tried to understand my condition so they can understand me better and Dialectrical Behaviour Therapy. DBT is a talking therapy, which helps me accept who I am and helps me make positive changes in the way I think and deal with things. I am still at the early stages of therapy, but have found it incredibly helpful and with it being a group therapy I feel comfort in knowing that it isn’t just me. I can get better with this disorder, I just need time and support.

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What was the best advice you received to battle through postnatal depression?

What was the best advice you received to battle through postnatal depression?

Postnatal depression sucks, it is isolating, exhausting and makes you forget who you are whilst it deprives you from making special memories with your beautiful new baby. For me the battle through postnatal depression was a long hard slog and without support and help I honestly don’t know what I would have done, but the good news is I survived, just like everyone can with the right advice and support. My blog heavily focuses on my battle through postnatal depression and I do my best to provide advice and support in an honest and loving way.

Unfortunately a stigma still surrounds mental illness in general and unless we don’t keep talking about it nothing will change. There are many parenting blogs around and it’s something I love being a part of, but even I was surprised when I first started blogging a few months ago at how many mummy bloggers have also struggled through postnatal depression when in the real world I didn’t seem to know that many mums who were going through this battle. Something changed once I hit publish on my first post and that something was conversation, I started getting messages from Facebook friends and even strangers who could resonate with how I felt and that also have some kind of experience of postnatal depression. My going public I quickly realised that I wasn’t alone and talking with other women helped me understand my own battle so much better.

I decided to ask some other mummy bloggers what was the best piece of advice that received whist battling postnatal depression and here is what they came up with.

 

  • Sophie from Soph Obsessed shared “I was told by a really good friend that what I was feeling was normal! This just really resonated with me and reassured me because the whole time all I was thinking was ‘You are not normal!’

 

  • Laura from Five Little Doves shared  “The best advice I had was to see my GP. Having suffered in silence for so long, taking that first step to getting the help I needed was a major turning point.”

 

  • Sophia from Tattooed Tea Lady shared “Never be afraid to speak out. Talking to your GP is a huge and brave step to make – but you can also talk to friends, family, anyone who you feel comfortable. PND can be an extremely scary thing to go through, particularly with the media perception only ever sharing the worst instances – you are not alone, people want to help and you will come through the other side. “

 

  • Sarah from  A Few Favourite Things shared “To take each hour as it comes. Instead of thinking about the day ahead and how I would manage, I was told to break it up into chunks.”

 

  • Emma from Me and B Make Tea shared “Go talk to someone – be it your doctor, a therapist, a friend or someone online. Just talk.”

 

  • Lynne from A Day in The Life of a Mum of 6 shared “Mine would have to be building up the courage to get help. Try and not bottle your feelings up and take all the help you can either medical or help at home.”

 

  • Veronica from My Parenting Journey shared “I was feeling off when I had my first baby, first thing I did was write a journal, poured everything I was feeling (joy, fear, sadness, everything). Then one day I started talking to myself, it’s funny thinking about it now, but it helped me. I encouraged myself and assured myself that everything’s going to be okay. After than you should start talking to someone, talking would really help.”

 

  • Emma from Our Fairy Tale Adventure shared “It’s really okay to admit you are struggling. I was so scared that if I admitted I was finding it difficult, that someone would come and take my baby away from me. But that didn’t happen, I got help, someone to just talk to… I got support. So please reach out if you are finding it difficult. Reach out to somebody! Parenting is hard. Parenting when you feel alone is even harder and it really doesn’t have to be like that.”

 

  • Emma from The Cheshire Wife shared “Don’t be afraid to ask for help! It took me 18 months of feeling rubbish to ask my Heath visitor for help.”

 

Personally for me my best advice is be honest and patient with yourself. Postnatal depression is a tough battle and something that will take time to overcome. The other thing is a big one for me, which is to let go of guilt, as it will hold you back from getting better.

Many thanks to all the bloggers that were happy enough to contribute to my post.

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The unlikely benefits of depression

The unlikely benefits of depression

I love to look for the silver lining and I have come up with the unlikely benefits of depression that I have found to be true for me. This does not take away from the fact that it is horrendous, but now I am for the most part out the other side, I like to look at some small positives I have found through my depression journey.

  • I now have a new kind of appreciation for the good days, I never know when it could all be sucked away again, so I do appreciate when things are going well and I am feeling mentally strong.
  • I am much more in touch with my emotions than I ever was before. I now know all emotions are needed and valid and that I should never be ashamed or try to hide them.
  • I’ve talked about this before and I think it is one of the most important things I have learnt, which is empathy. Depression has changed my outlook in life and taught me not to judge as we never know someone’s personal battle. I have great empathy and now regard it as one of my best attributes.
  • I have taken time to find what gives me joy in life. I have had to work out what makes me happy in life and have found some hidden talents that I might not have ever discovered otherwise.
  • I have bonded with friends and made new friends on a different level. To talk about depression is something very personal and by talking about it I have found some amazing people.
  • I have learnt not to hide emotions anymore. I was very good at hiding who I was out of fear of making someone else uncomfortable. I have found new ways to express my emotions in a healthy way which has made me better at communicating.
  • I am always looking at new ways to make myself happy. I know how easy it is to get sucked back into depression so I am always aware of trying to keep myself busy and happy.
  • If and when depression creeps back into my life, I now know I have survived depression which inspires me to fight it again.
  • I can help someone else by showing them that they are not alone in this battle and that you can survive it and also flourish.
  • I have now proven to myself that I am a fighter and that I am incredibly strong. To fight a battle with your own mind is one the toughest and I am pretty proud of what I have achieved.
  • I no longer take sleep, health, exercise and diet for granted. I now know that  it is important to focus on these and that they make a huge difference in your mental wellbeing.

What has depression taught you?

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The worry that my own mental health problems have damaged my daughter

The worry that my own mental health problems have damaged my daughter

I have struggled with mental health problems for years without even being aware of them. Well to be honest I did know something wasn’t right with me, but I just believed I was a bad person and my anger and depression was my own fault. Depression and anxiety have dominated me and effected me all of my adult life and after having my second child two years ago and my postnatal depression came to a head and I realised I needed to fix me. I was scared that in this process I could further hurt myself and I was right. To finally move on from my old life I needed to deal with my past to some extent and it was painful. I sunk lower than I ever went before and worried that by dealing with certain things that had happened that I would never feel happiness again.

Having to deal with my own mental health problems with a baby and small child at home was tough and not ideal and it was impossible for me to shield them completely with what I was going through. My daughter Jasmine saw me cry too much, not able to look after myself and many specialists coming into our house trying to help her broken mother. This is not what I wanted, but I either tried to heal at home or leave my family all together and go into hospital. Jasmine grew up quick and learnt what to say to help me, to encourage me and she was my strength when I had none left.

Things have been steadily improving over the last few months and I am in a much better place mentally. I am working on being the right role model to my daughter and I am a much better parent than I was six months ago. I am certain my mental health problems have affected my daughter and that’s something I do feel guilt over. I didn’t want my daughter to see me like the way she did, I tried to hide it as much as I could, but I know my child and she is bright and was picking up on the problems going on and it was affecting her too. Jasmine came home last February with her dad, for them to find that I had taken an overdose. Jasmine doesn’t remember what happened as she was sent upstairs and missed the police and crisis team taking me to hospital, but I’m certain she knew something was wrong

Children are more perceptive than we give them credit for and at times I feel like she is punishing me or that our bond has been damaged for what I had to put her through. Her concentration at school has suffered, her behaviour and even her sleep have been affected. My little girl gets frustrated and angry at times and I understand her frustration and it’s something we are always working on. I don’t want my girl to grow up angry with the world and I want her to continue to flourish and not become who I was as a teenager.

All I can do now is keep encouraging her, showing her my strength and dedicating my time on my own daughters mental health. We are working on yoga and mindfulness to help our bond and our mental wellbeing and I am seeing an improvement. I just hope she knows how hard I am trying for her and that everything I do is for her. I don’t want her to grow up with the same problems that I had and I hope she doesn’t grow up resenting me for what I put her through.

My bond with Jasmine was affected through my battle with mental health, but we now have a more intense kind of bond. My daughter has shown me such compassion through my struggles, I have seen so much of my self in her, that it has helped me understand myself and her better. She really was a blessing for me, my savour and my strength.

Jasmine I am sorry for expecting too much from you at such a young age, I am sorry for not being strong enough at times to be a mother to you and I am sorry for resenting you when I was struggling through my PND. I love you more than you will ever know and will spend the rest of my life making it up to you. I will always be there for you, no matter what. I love you.

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My daughter has confidence, but I am a hypocrite

My daughter has confidence, but I am a hypocrite

My daughter Jasmine is now five and has blossomed from a pre-schooler to a very confident, extremely sassy five year old and I’m a little jealous of how she carries herself, I want to be a bit more like her, but I feel like a hypocrite.

Jasmine as a baby and toddler was super clingy and would scream when I left her to go to work and would hate it if daddy had to put her to bed instead of mummy. She was my shadow and I got used to having my velcro child by my side. When her brother came along when she was three she took it hard and struggled to accept that I wasn’t just hers anymore and we worked hard to build her confidence around other people. When she started pre-school three months later she went off with very little trouble and she started to flourish.

Jasmine is now at the end of reception and is more than happy to run off every morning without a look back at me. She talks to her friends, is always first to say if she thinks some injustice is going on whilst playing and will go off to her teachers happily to show them what she has mastered that day. At a party she is the first on the dance flower, will happily hold someone else’s hand who needs encouragement and will stand up for her friend and herself. I have some how made a confident, self-assured and a strong little girl, whilst my confidence and self-esteem is still a constant fight. Why am I such a hypocrite.

My daughter doesn’t tell people things they want to hear, she is confident in her own skin and looks and everyday is a new fun day to explore, learn and be happy. I have decided it’s about time that I start to take a page out of my daughters book and start getting a little Jazzy with my life. I have put so much effort into my daughter, assuring her, telling her about her wonderful attributes and telling her to be happy with who she is, but I have been a hypocrite the whole time.

I have been such a hypocrite as I do not do the same to myself. I get undressed and pick apart everything that is wrong with my body, my hair, my face, my intelligence and my mind. I may be able to hide this from her when she’s young, but eventually she will see through it. She will notice the little comments about my weight, the little put me downs I say to myself and the negative comments. To be a role model I need to work on myself and stop putting myself down. I owe her this as much as I owe myself.

Why do we struggle so much to accept ourselves for who we are, but we can happily accept our partners flaws and all? I wouldn’t put my husband down for his looks or his intelligence or a friend, but yet I do it to myself constantly. I always see the best in people, but I struggle to see it in myself, so I am going to write down a list of what I love about myself.

What I love about me.

  • My quick wit. I am pretty funny and if you do get to know we you will realise I am also quick-witted and great for some banter.
  • My empathy. I have BPD so I am an emotional person and it has taught me how to have great empathy with others.
  • I have great lips. People pay for lip fillers, but I don’t need them as I’ve been blessed with beautiful lips.
  • I am tall. I’m 5ft 10″ and I love being tall, I can hide a multitude of signs having the extra height and love nothing more than wearing some heels on a night out and being one of the tallest.
  • I am caring. I care so much and sometimes too much about my children, friends, family, pets and mental health. If I care about something that I am incredibly passionate about it.
  • I found my talent in writing. I might not be perfect, but I love it and I feel good for finding something that brings me so much joy.
  • I’ve got good boobs. They’re not huge, they fit my frame, but they have done me proud and nursed two children for a total of three years.
  • I am healthy. I might not be fighting fit and I know there is much room for improvement, but my health is in good order and that is something that should never be taken for granted.
  • I am a good mum. I’m not perfect I have had to fight to still be here with my battle with PND, but I know now I am a good mum and I am proud of how far I’ve come.

My challenge is to start to love myself more, keep up with positive affirmations, working on myself and learning to love my body so I can say I am confident and I am not a hypocrite. #BeMoreJazzy

 

#BeMoreJazzy

 

 

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Postnatal depression after returning back to work

Postnatal depression after returning back to work

Returning back to work after maternity leave is often bittersweet and a hard pill to swallow, but if you are still suffering with postnatal depression it can fill you with complete dread. For me returning back to work, whilst I was still in the middle of a big battle was challenging and just added to my anxiety. How could I cope being a working mum when I struggled being a mum anyway?

  • I think one of the key things is to be honest with your employer. Speak with someone you trust and be honest of your fears of returning back to work. I was shocked at how supportive and understanding my work was especially my male boss. There is a good chance they have seen it first hand through a wife or sister .
  • Be realistic in your goals and don’t set yourself up to fail. If it’s an option look at doing a phased return or reduced hours. The best thing I could have done was to cut my hours. I now start work at 9:30am instead of 8am which means mornings are not so hectic.
  • Ask for extra help whilst you adapt to a new routine. Don’t be scared to ask for help and if you can get someone to help out with older children’s school runs, or a nursery pick up, then take it.
  • You will be late for work one day, forget to pack the children’s lunch box and be late to pick up from nursery. Don’t let little problems collect and seem bigger than they are. You are only human and you are only one person.
  • Usually the thought of returning back to work is far worse than actually going back to work. In my experience it was a little break, I got to drink hot tea and I was someone else besides mum. The first day is always the hardest.
  • If you really think you are not mentally well enough to go back to work then see your doctor and express your fears. There is nothing to be ashamed of and help is there.
  • Get organised. I am not naturally organised, but I find if I have everything ready the night before the whole start to the day is far less stressful. Have packed lunches made (including yours), clothes already laid out ready and bags packed. Starting the day in a good mindset is the way to go.
  • Have your therapy in place. Have either CBT, counselling etc in place for when you go back so you still have an outlet to talk through your fear and worries.
  • Make your sleep a priority. Make sure you switch off phones etc (blue light) an hour before bed and put things in place to relax you. I have reading relaxes me, a bath or otherwise using a mediation app like head space.
  • If you are on medication make sure you mindful of when you need to get a new prescription. Juggling work, a baby and needing to get to the doctors can be stressful last minuet. If you do run out, take your box to a pharmacy and they should be able to write you an emergency prescription for a week.

for the legal side of returning to work and taking additional sick leave it’s worth reading this. My personal experience through my own work has been fantastic, but unfortunately not employees are so progressive. Make sure to get legal advice if needed and make sure you are being treated fairly.

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My anxiety journey and how I am learning to cope

Anxiety isn’t always a bad thing and is actually rather useful at not just keeping us safe, but also helping us reach our full potential. It’s healthy to have a certain level of anxiety for real stressful situations, it spurs us on when we need it. The problem with anxiety is when it comes from imaginary danger. We become hyper alert and play out thoughts in our heads and often it leads us to avoid certain situations.

Anxiety manifests in many different ways, shortness of breath, dry mouth, increased heartbeat, digestive problems, dizziness and weak bladder. For everyone it is different, for some people it is deliberating and stops them from enjoying life, from going out and it is damaging to your mental wellbeing.

I have suffered with anxiety since I can remember, but I had no idea what it was until I was in my early twenties. I remember always shying away from crowds of people and even having panic attacks on nights out. To even go out for the night I would have to drink before hand. Having my daughter who is now five really highlighted how bad my anxiety had got, but I continued to fight it and forced myself out my comfort zone, but I still had some much avoidance behaviour.

When I got pregnant with my second child and I was diagnosed with SPD (Symphysis pubis dysfunction), my life changed as I just couldn’t get out. I was avoiding more and more things and was isolated and alone. I kept telling myself as soon as my baby was born it would be ok and I would be able to get out, but this wasn’t the case. I became a recluse and only felt able to leave the house if I had someone else with me who would take charge. I would feel sick, dizzy and I would panic. This would then lead to frustration, anger and then tears. It was apparent after six months after my son was born that I also had PND (postnatal depression) and combined together it was a very sad existence.

I remember not even being able to do the food shop because of my anxiety and getting in the car to go out and having to turn the car back to go home. It wasn’t just my life it was effecting it was also impacting my children’s life and stopping them from having a normal childhood. I decided to seek help and a couple of months later I started CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapy). CBT doesn’t work for everyone, but for me it has given me tools on how to deal with my anxiety, so I decided to start a diploma in CBT and I am now almost half way through the course.  

CBT helps you become aware of your thoughts and feelings, so you learn to challenge them. I can now usually notice the negative thought and question it before it and stop it. Once you learn the skills of CBT it can be used in so many areas in your life. CBT teaches you to be your own therapist and as long as you go back and remind yourself how to use it once in a while it will make your life far more positive.

I have tried medication for my anxiety called lorazepam which is a benzodiazepine. It helps with anxiety and sedates you, but these tablets are highly addictive and can be fatal if overdosed as they suppress breathing. I have overdosed on them twice, with other prescription drugs and have had a lucky escape. You quickly build up a tolerance to these drugs and need to take more for the same effect. They shouldn’t be taken long term and you should be monitored. They can cause rebound insomnia and rebound anxiety so these drugs are more for a quick fix and not for long term use. They are known to increase risk of suicide.

My anxiety today is manageable with CBT skills that I have learned and I am now able to enjoy life so much more. If anxiety is a problem for you please see a doctor and explain your worries so you can be referred for CBT.

 

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The real struggle of living with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)

The real struggle of living with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)

This isn’t a post for attention or even pity, it is a post for understanding, making sense of my own thoughts and also helping others understand about different mental disorders, the one that less than 2% of people suffer with. I’m having a bad few days, and when that happens I try to force myself to write as it is more important than ever for me to make sense of my emotions. Having BPD (borderline personality disorder) can be very intense at times and often if I am struggling with BPD my anxiety and depression will be heightened too. I don’t get in this frame of mind often, but when I do it can be pretty dark and very scary. It will sneak up on me when I least expect it.

I have been feeling a bit out of touch with reality and have disassociated myself, which for me is normal when I’m in this state of mind. It’s not that I want to be left alone it’s just I feel unable to interact with the outside world. In truth this is when I do need people around to connect me, encourage me, but I struggle to let people in. My life can begin to spiral out of control and I have no power over it. It’s like I’m just there for the ride. I get frustrated with myself and hate having these thoughts and feelings, but feel so powerless to do anything about it.

You are 70% more likely to be diagnosed with BPD if you are female. 7 out of 10 people with BPD will attempt suicide and this figure does not surprise me. Even more frighteningly is that around 1 in 10 will succeed. 75% of BPD sufferers will engage in self harm. It’s a scary and confusing place to be in when you feel all alone.  Something else that often goes along with this is self harm, it isn’t just something a teenager does, it’s something many people do, especially BPD sufferers do as a coping strategy.

When my BPD is bad I struggle to trust many people, I have paranoid thoughts and I feel like I am being a burden to them. It’s a mentally and physically draining and I still always worry that one day BPD will win. I don’t want it to win, as I love my life and just want happiness I just want rid of this black and white thinking and these intrusive thoughts that try to ruin my life. I am trying to control it with the use of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) a form of the better known cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), but it’s a skill and I am having to relearn my thinking patterns., which will take time.

The thing is BPD isn’t always this way and I have episodes of being happy, organised, motivated, but then with little notice it can come spiralling out of control again back to the dark place where I feel vulnerable and alone. When I am in one of these episodes I withdraw from contact, this includes my own children, I feel flawed, I will even engage in risky behaviour and try to escape reality. I can see myself sabotaging and falling apart, but once in motion I cannot stop it. I am trapped in my own dark mind and don’t know how to make it right again, it’s my own version of purgatory where I am unreachable

One of my biggest fears is abandonment when I push the people l closest to me away. I have been incredibly lucky to have support people around me, but I do worry that eventually they will just have enough of me and leave. My biggest fear after that is that I will eventually commit suicide I know this is morbid and something many people cannot understand, but I do worry that one day when I am not in control that my demons will win. The truth is I want to live so much it’s just my brain that’s stopping me.

Each new day is new start where I can make a difference and shape my future for the better. I am doing everything I can to hopefully recover, which is a possibility with a BPD diagnoses. I have just got to try to stay positive and keep with the DBT classes.

 

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