Shattering Stigmas is an annual blogging event that lasts two weeks. During this fortnight, we’ll be talking about anything and everything mental health related. The aim of these posts are to take away some of the stigma surrounding mental illness, to invite people to open up about their stories, and to help others learn.
The lovely Bee has kindly offered to write a guest post about her recent experiences with mental health. She blogs at Quite the Novel Idea and Novel Ink and mostly talks about Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda on Twitter.
On Living with BPD & AvPD and my hospital treatment
Boy, that sure is a heavy title I chose, isn’t it? I know, it’s okay. This won’t be a boring psychiatric essay. I hope. Who knows, really? Since I support #ShatteringStigmas with all my heart and it’s something close to my heart, I thought I’d contribute this year. I’m not entirely sure what this post will become so I hope you’ll stick around and bear with me while I figure out what the H. I’m going to tell you guys. Here goes.
I’m Bee. I’m a 27-year-old person with the female identity and I’m from the land of waffles and chocolate named Belgium. I know. We got the good stuff over here, for sure. No, I won’t send you anything. I ate it all myself. My hobbies include but are not limited to reading, writing, knitting, painting, watching tv-shows or movies, going out with my bestest of friends… I recently went back to school to get a diploma as medical secretary which is a very wise decision. Or is it? Who knows.
I was recently diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and Avoidant Personality Disorder. I have a substantial fear of commitment, as well as fear of abandonment. Those two mix very well, honestly. I’m telling you. Hah, yeah no. They do not. I also have a hospital treatment of three months behind me, which I’ll share more about later. First I’ll tell you more about those big labels I received so kindly from the hospital. BPD and AvPD are not that uncommon these days but BPD is much better known than AvPD. It’s a term most people recognize. But not always know what it means. I’m not going to give you a superlong description you can find on every good mental health website (psychcentral, mind.co.uk,…). Instead I’m going to tell you guys how life is for me with those labels. I’ll try to explain how my brain works and show you through that how utterly exhausting it is. This won’t take long, I assure you. I won’t make this post too long because I’m sure you’re sick of my babbling already.
OH If that isn’t Mr. Critical. He’s very active in my brain, I’m telling you. I keep asking him to take a vacation in Aruba but alas. I have several voices in my head. A lot actually. So much so that it all just becomes very noise. Hence why I call it just that. Noise. Because that’s what it is. Annoying, frustrating, saddening, irritating noise that makes my life harder than it should be.
I have voices screaming at me that I’m fat, ugly, worthless, better off dead,… I have voices that tell me what to do even though it’s wrong, like hurting myself or making very bad life choices. I have voices that influence my emotions and can turn it upside down with the snap of a finger. I have mood swings because of that, which are extreme and never a simple wave. They’re big pointy spikes. I have moments where I feel empty and numb. I have moments where I’m stressed that I feel so very paranoid. I have psychoses and suicidal thoughts. I have moments where I feel so depressed I don’t see a way out of it anymore.
And that’s only the BPD.
I also have crippling anxiety that adds to that noise and makes me paranoid and distrustful. I’m constantly afraid and have nowhere I feel safe. It’s very hard for me to trust anyone and once I do I’m constantly suspicious and afraid they’ll hurt me and leave.
As Sebastian once said: Life is better under the sea and the world up there is a mess.
Now, that’s enough about that part I think. Now I’ll tell you a bit about my recent hospital treatment, okay?
I went through what’s in Dutch called Psychotherapeutisch Multifunctionele Dagtherapy. That translates to Psychotherapeutic Multifunctional Outpatient Treatment. It’s 10-12 weeks, 4 days a week from 9am to 4pm. It’s HEAVY. It’s A LOT. It’s INTENSE. And it was SO needed. It’s a mix of different kinds of group therapies as well as one hour a week of individual therapy and follow-up by the department psychiatrist.
It’s very tiring and I think I underestimated just how tiring it would be because I had no energy left to do anything bookish. I fell into a deep slump and didn’t get out of it until I ended my therapy after 12 weeks. BUT I do highly recommend it because it helped me A LOT. It’s in this therapy that I got those pretty labels, which helped me a lot because when you know the monster’s name, you know how to fight it, right? That’s my motto at least.
I think that’s about it? If there’s anything you guys want to know, I’m an open book. You can ask me anything and I’ll try to answer in the comments as soon as I’m able. Or shout at me on Twitter! I’m always around there at @nbeewrites. Thanks for reading and see you around the blogosphere.