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    Community Voices

    I can’t overcome my trauma towards phones

    I need advice, desperately.. if anyone is willing to read this..

    I have #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder as a result of multiple occurrences of betrayals by males throughout my life. I was diagnosed 6 years ago after getting out of a 2 year relationship with someone who manipulated my emotions, cheated on me, endlessly gaslit me and destroyed my sense of self. I was 17 when we started dating (he was 23) and I caught him 3 times soliciting nudes from women and sexting. The final time I caught him (either at night when he thought I was sleeping, or when I finally cracked and went through his phone) I had a major mental breakdown and went on a 1.5yr long bender abusing drugs and sex.

    Fast forward to today, I’m 26, and I have worked hard to better myself and my life - I genuinely feel proud of my progress. My current partner of 4 years has been a great help, and has been very kind towards my mental health journey, as rocky as it’s been.

    That said, I find myself unable to trust him. I have noticed he is secretive about his phone at times (I do have his passcode) and constantly has it on him. He closes his apps when I get close to him (he says it’s a reflex). He only uses certain apps when I’m around, even though he has 30+ (he says he never uses the other apps, he just likes having a lot of them). Often I wake up and he is already on his phone. Recently I’ve felt like he was using it when I was asleep (after we went to sleep together).

    I’ve also started to notice he denies things that I know are true in unrelated conversations. I’m not sure he’s being intentionally deceitful, but it just seems like there’s always an explanation.

    I feel myself on the brink of a breakdown and I feel afraid. I truly cannot tell if I am delusional and projecting my fear that he will cheat on my like my ex did, or if he is genuinely showing red flags. I confront him when I feel it and there’s always an explanation. He is always understanding and I always end up apologizing for accusing him - but rarely do I feel like the explanation fully covers my anxieties over whatever I confronted him about.

    A night ago I woke up randomly in the middle of the night and I saw him putting his phone away as I turned around to face him. I asked in that moment why he was on his phone and he was adamant he wasn’t. I was so sure I saw it, and he swore on everything that he was not on it. I asked why he was awake then and he said he was just turning over, he randomly wakes up too etc etc…. I feel like I am losing touch. I keep bursting into uncontrollable sobbing when I’m alone. I have no proof that he has lied to me or hid something from me on his phone, but I feel so strongly that something is being hidden from me. It’s tearing me apart. I feel like I must be delusional and it’s pushing me to disassociate.

    Please, someone if you read this far tell me what to do. Therapy is not an option where I live, which is abroad and away from all of my family and friends. I dont know what to do anymore.

    #MentalHealth #Anxiety #Relationships #BPDDiagnosis #Depression #OtherMentalHealth

    6 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    What is “Self Love” anyway?

    Greatings my fellow BPD travelers. I’m new here and newly rediagnosed with BPD. Among several other mental health issues on top of my previous conditions and Fibromyalgia. So, I’ve taken to referring to my diagnoses as “BPD & FRIENDS.” I figure since I’ve not much control over the chaos surrounding me yet. I can at least have control in how I explain my Complex BPD, to others. It’s the little silly things that matter most. At this point anyhow. That said! My question causes me distress daily. As I see it stated all over the place. “Practice more self-love!” Which is all fine and good. Though for someone with BPD who doesn’t know what “LOVE” really feels like, what on earth is this “self-love” thing? There is one emotion I know to be mine, and that emotion is “ANGER.” Out of all the emotions too feel, anger is the one I know when I feel it. Don’t know why I’m mad at the planet when I do, but when angry I’m at least feeling something. Even if it’s the one emotion that’s caused me the most life turmoil, by pushing my loved ones away. So, how do you practice this thing “self-love?” When all you know is “self-hatred.” Since my BPD & Friends has caused me emotional retardation ( essentially). #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder

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    Community Voices

    Ptsd not diagnosed

    Hi there, im LG from Australia.
    Ive been diagnosed with BP2 #, GAD#, Major Depression#. Whilst these certainly fit me as a person the diagnosis of PTSD# has never been made. I grew up with violent parents, step parents, siblings, school bullying as a child, i married a woman who was the younger version of my mum in that physical, emotional, social and financial violence, my ex boyfriend even slapped me around when we were a couple. All the women who had any significance used me as a punching bag literally. The only time i have ever struck another person has been in self defence. I admit that i felt completely powerless physically and emotionally until i left my wife. I have rebelled against any person especially my female priest n female coach. I couldnt accept their directions which ultimately cost me positions of privilege.
    When i umpire afl i cant stand violence n although im great at quelling it, it leaves me flat for a few days. Ive been threatened with assault b4 a game n i went into a foetal position as soon as i got home. My question is, if psychologists, psychiatriatists and other mental health staff cant pick it up where do i go for help next? I feel ive fought every battle with other diagnosis why cant they pick this up?

    Community Voices

    My Mental Health Goals

    Part 1 of 2 When I was a teen to early college age, my main #MentalHealth goal was staying out of an inpatient department of a hospital or #OtherMentalHealth facility. I knew, though I wasn’t yet diagnosed, that there was something wrong with me – that I had some kind of #MentalHealth problem based on my aberrant behavior and how people reacted to me. That fear has never completely left me, though as I’ve grown and learned more about my diagnosis of #BipolarDisorder with #Anxiety , I’ve come to think it is less and less likely. Yet I know that #BipolarDisorder can sometimes lead to #Psychosis and necessitate hospitalization. That’s not as likely to happen to me as a person with #Bipolar2Disorder , but it still crosses my troubled mind.

    Later in life, it became my goal to find a therapist and a psychiatrist who could help me. I tried various ones, including ones through EAPs, therapy groups, and couples counseling. Some seemed to help, but others were spectacular failures. Some positively shredded me, leaving me worse off than when I came in. Others misdiagnosed me (which I can’t really fault them for, as #Bipolar2Disorder was a rare or even nonexistent diagnosis when I started looking for help). Among other things, I learned that group therapy was not for me. And I learned that Prozac did help, at least to some extent.

    At that point, my main #MentalHealth goal was to find someone who could tell me what was happening to me and to figure out what could help. I no longer remember how I found him, but eventually I came to Dr. R. He was the one who finally gave me the correct diagnosis. Then my #MentalHealth goal became finding a medication that would help me with this new diagnosis better than Prozac did.

    Dr. R. was patient with his patient. He and I began a journey that lasted for several years, trying one medication after another and then combinations of medications, in hopes of finding a “cocktail” of drugs that worked for me. That became my new #MentalHealth goal – along with enduring the years of failures as just the right combination eluded us.

    One of my other (it seemed irrational) fears and #MentalHealth goals was to avoid being subjected to electro convulsive therapy (ECT). But that became a real possibility when my case proved so resistant to medication that Dr. R. recommended it. I freaked out. It seemed that my fears were about to become reality. I eventually agreed with him that it might be necessary and began to prepare myself for what had seemed to me like an ultimate horror, right up there with being hospitalized.

    Fortunately, however, Dr. R. had one more medication in his arsenal and it proved so effective that the ECT was deemed unnecessary. We achieved that effective cocktail of medications that would stabilize me.

    Then Dr. R. retired. Immediately, my new #MentalHealth goal was to find a new psychiatrist who could prescribe for me and a therapist who could help me with the day-to-day difficulties of living with #Bipolar2Disorder . It took a while to find a psychiatrist who had an opening – though with a wait of about six months. (My primary care physician continued writing prescriptions for me while I waited.) Eventually, I found Dr. G., who said that, as I was fairly well stabilized on my assorted medications, he needed to see me only four times a year for maintenance and to tweak my meds if I encountered any further difficulties.

    It was also time to choose a therapist, and my goal became finding one that I meshed with. (I had learned this was necessary from all the bad experiences that I had had in the past.) I started “interviewing” therapists. I tried to find one that had dealt with #MoodDisorders in the past, wasn’t a Freudian, and could come at things from a feminist perspective. I found Dr. B. I wasn’t exactly typical of her patients. She dealt mostly with college students. (Her practice was in a clinic within the Student Union building at a university that was, fortuitously, right down the road from me.) I have been with her and Dr. G. ever since.

    My current #MentalHealth goal is to maintain – the medications I’m stabilized on and the sessions with Dr. B. to help me navigate through the difficulties such as #Anxiety that

    Community Voices

    My Mental Health Goals

    Part 2 of 2 still pop up from time to time.

    It’s a whole lot better than having that goal to stay out of a mental hospital.

    1 person is talking about this

    How I Wish Health Provider Would React to Seeing 'Anxiety' in My Chart

    I dread going to the doctor’s office. I don’t know many people who actually enjoy receiving health care, but I find it’s a very anxiety -inducing experience. I hate that sterile smell that’s characteristic of doctor’s offices and hospitals, and it makes me feel a little uneasy just thinking of it because I can distinctly smell it in my mind. It’s not just that I get anxious about diagnostic tests, physicals, blood tests, needles, and the usual experiences that come with those spaces; it’s that I often find I’m treated poorly for having anxiety . I’ve had a number of unfortunate experiences with doctors who either don’t know how to deal with anxiety properly, or don’t know how to best support people with anxiety . So, if you’re a health care provider, these tips are for you: 1. Take anxiety seriously. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been dismissed by health care practitioners who brush off certain symptoms as “just anxiety. ” More often than not, anxiety and other mental health conditions are treated as less serious or severe than physical health issues, so doctors can be very dismissive of someone with anxiety . So if you’re with a patient and know that they have anxiety , don’t diminish how serious and debilitating it can be. Don’t tell us that “it’s all in our heads” or to just exercise more, because it isn’t always that simple. Anxiety is one of the most serious health conditions I deal with, and I want support from a health care system that recognizes its gravity. 2. Be mindful of health anxiety. I have a lot of trauma from poor health care that I’ve received. I’ve spent time in psych wards, and some of my most significant trauma arises from those experiences — often at the hands of terrible health care practitioners. So when I have anxiety about going into hospitals or health care spaces, it’s not coming out of nowhere. I need to be reassured and made comfortable in an environment that evokes a lot of intense emotions. It’s dismissive and scary when health care providers don’t take health anxiety seriously or brush it off. For example, I get so anxious when getting bloodwork done that I throw up every single time, and I always tell the nurse that but they never seem to care. These things might seem small or easy to someone who is in health care environments every day, but for those of us with health anxiety or trauma , it’s a big deal. 3. Let me have a say in my health care. Since I’ve had significant mental health care challenges, and been “locked up” in the hospital before, I don’t always feel like I have a say in my own health care. I’ve been in situations where I felt I couldn’t discuss medication or treatment options — I just had to do what I was told, and it made me feel powerless. I had a great doctor once who was the first person to ask me “what do you think will help?” and “what are you comfortable with trying,” and it was a game changer. We deserve to have an opinion or conversation about our health care. I need to feel like I’m a part of the process so that I feel comfortable about the health care choices being made. If I feel like medication or treatment isn’t working, or if I feel uncomfortable with trying a treatment method, I need that opinion to count for something, and I need the freedom to choose. It’s not fair to be told what to do without any discussion or conversation. 4. Don’t dismiss health concerns as ‘just anxiety .’ Just because a person has anxiety , it doesn’t mean that they’re immune to other health conditions. In fact, it’s probably the opposite because anxiety can be linked to a number of health issues. so if you see a patient with anxiety in their chart complaining of chest pains or with an elevated heart rate, don’t just assume it’s anxiety without doing your due diligence. A small example of this is acid reflux — I have gastroesophageal reflux disease ( GERD ), and one of the main symptoms I deal with is chest pain. In order to deal with that, I have to take a proton pump inhibitor, and no amount of therapy for my anxiety can make it go away. It’s important that doctors consider other health care concerns before automatically assuming it’s “just anxiety. ” While this is a small example, it can have very dire impacts for health conditions such as asthma or even heart attacks — heart attack symptoms for women are very similar to anxiety or panic symptoms. Whether it’s at a hospital, a doctor’s office, or a clinic, it’s usually a frustrating and disappointing experience when it comes to anxiety . And I know that there are good doctors out there — I have a few friends that are wonderful doctors — but it seems harder and harder to find them. It shouldn’t be so difficult to get quality health care where my anxiety isn’t dismissed or belittled, and where my voice is heard in all aspects of my health care. It makes it difficult to reach out for medical support when I need it because I rarely receive the care I deserve. On top of that, having had a lot of trauma at the hands of health care providers doesn’t foster a trusting doctor-patient relationship . I do my best not to let those experiences cloud my vision when seeking out health care, but it’s hard not to be wary when you’ve been traumatized multiple times. I also know that it isn’t always the health care provider’s fault. They’re forced to take on more patients, move faster, and not overburden the system. There’s barely enough time to read a patient’s chart, let alone spend time talking to a patient to get their perspective. But I worry that in the pursuit of efficiency, we’re compromising patient care and putting people’s lives at risk. I hope that there’s more support built for health care practitioners. Because while I have a lot of issues with my experiences, I know they deserve better, too. Better pay, better hours, better support. So I hope that we foster better conditions for our health care workers, who try tirelessly to help people. Because the only way for us to receive better care with anxiety is to ensure that those providing care are taken care of as well. For more on what to say (and not say) to someone with any health condition, check out The Mighty’s Patient Translator .

    Community Voices

    Terrible Teens?

    Part 2 of 3 ded layers to pierce, to rip through to get to the person it’s protecting. Each layer has been built, from pain, like a thick scar after an injury. And like a physical injury, it never heals back to its original, unblemished skin. The scar not only protects but also reminds the recipient of how it got there, allowing the recipient to relive the pain and trauma over and over again. Even the best plastic surgeons can never make a scar completely disappear and so the recipient must live with the reminder for the rest of his or her life. The brain is no different from the physical scar on one’s skin and yet, for those who don’t live within the head of the hurt, they often expect that the trauma will eventually vanish and the brain will be back to its former self. But we know that is not true, unfortunately. Those who suffer a trauma live with that for the rest of their lives so it’s not a matter of erasing it, it’s a matter of living with it. My husband and I learned this the hard way.

    We have learned and continue to learn many things about raising a teen who suffers from depression and past trauma(s). I thought I would share them with you in the hopes of helping other parents who are going through the same thing so here they are.

    1. Throw all the previous rules out the window. What worked for your other children won’t usually work for this one. Yes, you must have boundaries, but you also must be flexible to move those boundaries if necessary.

    2. Trust will be hard to build. It will be broken over and over again, but never give up.

    3. Don’t be shocked or exasperated or reactive to their poor decisions. They will make more mistakes than the average teen. You must learn to let things roll off of you or you will make the problem worse than it was to begin with.

    4. If you invade their privacy, don’t let them know by taking action for what you have found. You will lose their trust which is incredibly important and they will only do more of what you have just forbidden them to do. If you find something concerning, try to figure out why they would be doing this and see if you can redirect the behavior through open communication and understanding.

    5. Don’t expect them to be excited about something just because you are, and don’t be disappointed that they aren’t excited. Showing them that you are disappointed that they are not feeling the way you are, only shows them how depressed they are. But when they are excited about something, make a note of it and enjoy the moment.

    6. Don’t give them advice if they don’t ask for it. If they come to you about a problem (consider yourself lucky, first of all), repeat back what they told you and empathize with them. Often, they don’t want your help, they just want you to understand how they are feeling and why.

    7. Take care of yourself and your marriage. Having a troubled teen can put a big strain on you and your relationships. Get therapy to help put things in perspective. I recommend both individual and couples therapy to nurture both you and your relationship. Often, parents aren’t on the same page when it comes to how to handle their teen so having a neutral party to help sort through both of your concerns is greatly beneficial. As parents, being on the same page, together or divorced, will create a more supportive and stable environment for your child.

    8. Expect the unexpected at all times. Don’t let your guard down when things are going well because they rarely stay that way for too long. I always refer to it as the “shoe drop” which happens when we least expect it. If you are always ready for that “shoe drop” you won’t be as disappointed or underprepared.

    9. Celebrate the good times! There will be some good times between the tough stuff that cannot be ignored. Take your child in a warm embrace and relish this victory when they have found the sun shining through a dark cloud.

    10. Don’t let your friends make you feel like a failed parent. It will seem like your friends have the perfect children when compared to your own. It’s only natural to compare, but when you have a child who suffers from depression or other mental health issues, you can’t compare nor should you. Focus on your’s and your child’s journey through this unpredictable maze. Your child will grow and mature and work their way out of the maze, but until then their journey might be more complicated with more turns and dead ends. Just know that they will get to the end and when they do, you and your child will be stronger and more resilient than many who were given a straight line to the end of the maze. We all learn from our experiences. Those who encounter more

    Megan Glosson

    Types of Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder

    I have spent nearly 1,000 hours in therapy since I first received a borderline personality disorder (BPD) diagnosis nearly five years ago. Although it has by no means been a walk in the park every single week, I have reached a point in my life where I no longer meet the criteria for BPD and feel (mostly) satisfied with my day-to-day routines. Like many people who receive a borderline personality disorder diagnosis after a hospitalization, I was given the contact information for local dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) treatment facilities and therapists trained in this modality who may be able to help. What I didn’t realize at the time was that DBT isn’t the only option out there for people like me. In fact, there are a total of five different types of therapy that all have a proven success record with borderline patients. 1. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based therapeutic modality designed specifically for individuals with borderline personality disorder. Psychologist Marsha Linehan designed DBT in the 1980s. Linehan, who spent years researching clients with extreme emotion dysregulation and suicidal urges, felt like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) caused these clients to experience burnout, lack of motivation, and invalidation. So, she combined some of the aspects of CBT with the ideas of acceptance and mindfulness practice to create a modality that was more fitting for this clientele. Fully-adherent DBT includes weekly individual therapy sessions, weekly skills group education sessions, and phone coaching between sessions. A full course of DBT takes around six months to complete, and clients are encouraged to complete two cycles to master the skills for mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal communication. 2. Mentalization-Based Therapy (MBT) Mentalization-based therapy is another evidence-based practice created specifically for people with borderline personality disorder. It’s highly beneficial for people who experienced early childhood trauma that caused abandonment issues or people with insecure attachments to one or both of their parents. The modality borrows some techniques from other common types of therapy, including cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, social-ecological and systemic therapies. However, the main focus of this specific modality is to enhance each person’s ability to differentiate between their own emotional state and the emotional state of those around them. This concept is called mentalization, and it is something that many people with BPD struggle with. By learning how to separate your own emotions from others, you can regulate your emotions more effectively and spend less time trapped in a dysregulated state. Like DBT, people who enroll in MBT with a therapist typically attend weekly individual sessions as well as weekly group sessions. Unlike DBT, though, members in groups often interact with each other to offer advice and learn from one another. 3. Transference-Focused Psychotherapy (TFP) Transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP) is a specific type of psychoanalytic treatment in which the focus is on the relationship between the therapist and the individual client. The idea is that by focusing on the interpersonal dynamics that occur between the therapist and the client, the therapist can gain insight that will help the client improve. According to therapists who use TFP, most people develop BPD because of dysfunctional relationships with parents and other caregivers during early childhood. For people who live with borderline personality disorder, TFP is used to uncover the underlying causes of a person’s borderline symptoms so they can build new, healthier thought processes and behaviors. 4. Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving (STEPPS) Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving (STEPPS) is a manual-based, 20-week group therapy program designed specifically for people with borderline personality disorder. Like dialectical behavior therapy, STEPPS combines cognitive behavioral elements and skills training in a group setting. The skills group programs meet once per week for two hours each session. The groups are typically led by a pair of therapists, and the groups are kept fairly small, with around six to 10 participants at a time. Within STEPPS, individuals learn how to identify automatic thoughts through schema work, monitor their symptoms, and how to problem solve situations in healthy manners. STEPPS also teaches the importance of self-care, and how to better manage overwhelming emotions. Although it has not gained as much recognition as other therapeutic modalities for people with BPD, it is still an evidence-based approach with studies that show its success. 5. Trauma Treatment Studies show that people with borderline personality disorder are 13 times more likely to have experienced early childhood trauma. Because of the strong links to trauma, many clinicians have started using trauma treatment with BPD clients to see if processing the trauma helps lower emotional intensity and other symptoms. In fact, some preliminary studies show trauma work as a viable option for people who have BPD and a trauma history. There are several notable types of trauma treatment that work well for people with borderline personality disorder who also have a history of trauma. Some trauma treatment methods that may work include eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR), skills training in affective and interpersonal regulation (STAIR), and cognitive processing therapy (CPT). While each approach is a little different, they are all methods of processing trauma, which can help decrease symptoms over time. Like most other mental health conditions, treatment options for people with borderline personality disorder shouldn’t be a “one size fits all” approach. However, many people with BPD don’t realize just how many viable treatment options exist for them, and instead they give up when one recommended method doesn’t work. If you are looking for a path to recovery from borderline personality disorder, I hope this list gives you some options to pursue. Recovery from BPD is possible —  it’s just a matter of finding the treatment method and lifestyle that works for you.

    Community Voices

    BuJo spreads to prepare for autism evaluation?

    <p>BuJo spreads to prepare for autism evaluation?</p>
    Community Voices

    Dissociative Disorders Nonprofit Challenges Mental Health Inequality

    Multiplied By One is a newly registered nonprofit organization for trauma and #dissociativedisorders based out of the Greater Vancouver area, while services are to be offered globally.

    Most knowledge of dissociative disorders is gained from mainstream media; much of which is inaccurate or stigmatizing. The most controversial of this mental health category includes #DissociativeIdentityDisorder ; previously known as Multiple Personalities.

    Dissociation is a normal disconnect that everyone does, such as daydreaming of vacations or forgetting if the door was locked or not. The spectrum of dissociation ranges from a healthy mechanism to more disabling levels that reach disordered and confused states that are often frightening to experience. Depersonalization relates to feeling unreal or like we don’t exist, while derealization is questioning if the world around us is real, or Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is at least two different identity states.

    While founded by Melissa C. Water in March of 2022, Multiplied By One began as a project for social good in the spring of 2020. Melissa concept created a web app for those with DID, which would be a source of inner communication, wellbeing, and connection with therapeutic intervention. This web app is in development by a team of volunteers and will be among the services of the organization.

    “Dissociation is not rare or less significant in impact to other mental health disorders, though it somehow falls under an inequality of representation and services,” Melissa C. Water, who is in Delta, BC, stated. “When seeking aid for myself, the search for a therapist who treats dissociation turned up few results, as most psychologists know only the basics.”

    Programs and services will gradually release, starting in July 2022, which include online virtual support groups, an eMagazine on trauma and dissociation, and later, a helpline for dissociative disorders, while an extensive list of resources is already available.

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