It’s been three months without thinking about Bipolar Disorder. Three months ago my psychiatrist started to think that I could potentially be Borderline Personality Disorder comorbid with Bipolar Disorder, it’s taken me two months to even acknowledge this. Borderline Personality Disorder can often co-occur with Bipolar disorder, having numerous overlapping symptoms. My psychiatrist sees the disorders linked in some people, existing on a mood spectrum where they interconnect. I’m against this analysis, I was mad, I’m still a bit mad. I slowly began to take myself off my medication. I cancelled all my other upcoming appointments, in my mind it was a big f*** off to mental health. I was good, I was on university holidays, no stress, nothing to trigger mood instabilities, and it was nice. University went back 4weeks ago, so I took myself back to the doctors, my psychologist, in contrast to my psychiatrist she doesn’t believe I’m BPD, but reaffirmed her belief that I need to monitor my moods and stay on top of my emotions. My psychologist forced the importance of Bipolar Disorder awareness back into the forefront of my mind. I’m still medication free, but the reality of mental illness is scary.
For anyone else who is or potentially has both Bipolar Disorder & Borderline Personality Disorder.
Development/Nature of the Illness:
Borderline personality disorder is a type of “personality disorder” which essentially means that it is a developmental condition – something that has evolved through the entire development of a person’s emotional/behavioural infrastructure.
Bipolar disorder is an illness that presents acutely or sub acutely (less than acute) sometime in a person’s life and is not, at least as we define it now, a condition that is part of a person’s core personality structure.
Course/Presentation of Symptoms:
Borderline symptoms are present as a person’s baseline– their difficulties with mood regulation and impulsivity, their ups and downs, are part of their life all the time. They are always up and down.
Bipolar symptoms present in episodes that must be a change from the person’s baseline – that is part of the diagnostic definition. Their episodes of depression or mania are a change from who they are when they are feeling well.
So the most annoying part of all of this: HOW CAN I BE BOTH! Uh… Having to exist on a spectrum with both, I don’t exhibit all symptoms of either.
Would love to hear from other people’s experiences.
Hope everyone has been well and happy. Love Alice.
*image by ahermin