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Help seeking evaluation & treatment

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TheodenofRohan

New member
Joined
May 3, 2021
Messages
4
Location
Utah
My wife and I have been married 18 years. The last 10 years we've had some troubles common to many (communication, etc.). 4 years ago some good friends of my wife approached me and asked about BPD. I had never heard of it. They asked my opinion on if my wife had it. I began researching it and while I immediately saw similarities, didn't want to jump to conclusions and label her in any way. I spent a year pondering it and really did feel confident she had it. 2.5 years ago she selected a therapist for us to see on her own and he privately told me he was 95% sure she has BPD but that he's not a psychiatrist and I would need to help her seek evaluation. Due to the nature of our marriage, he told me I couldn't (or at least shouldn't) be the one to tell her this because of how she's constructed her image of me in her mind (I am responsible for everything wrong in her life, because I broke her, and the kids, so when anyone frustrates her, it's my fault she can't handle it). Long story short (seriously, there's a long story), I have 2 confidants who have helped me over the last year keep level headed in my observations. They are both connected to my wife in significant ways, and that's why I chose them, they know her, love her, and frankly I thought would take HER side if anything ever exploded from this (though now that things HAVE exploded this past week, they've all told me if they had to testify to a lawyer or anything, they'd all do what's best for the kids and be honest about my wife's mental health).

A few months ago, she began pushing hard for a divorce to solve her problems. She figured if she gets rid of me, she gets rid of her problems (even though she does talk about how she has no friends because every time she makes a friend, they end up leaving her due to her negativity, etc.). Shortly after she pushed for that, I found out my sister had terminal cancer. The last 3 months my sister fought, and my wife struggled to know how to be supportive. My sister finally passed, and the same week my wife I think just broke emotionally as well, but also due to some of my own actions which definitely triggered her BPD and especially feelings of betrayal from over a decade ago. She discovered I was having conversations with my confidants about her, but not what about. Suffice it to say, my failure to be more proactive in how to approach her with our concerns about BPD have led to this very messy situation that I'm now trying to salvage. My #1 goal is my wife's emotional and mental health and well-being. Her sense of self worth is shot. She thinks everyone judges her and hates her, and any attempt to calmly explain why they don't think that way leads to immediate emotional explosions followed by stonewalling that can last days. Her sister is 100% in support of my wife seeking evaluation and treatment because she felt years ago that there was mental health issues here (and herself takes anxiety medication). Indeed, their mother has significant mental health issues.

At this point, I am trying to determine a game plan to help my wife seek evaluation and treatment. If she refuses, that will be that, but I have to try. I love her and really want to help her. Even our therapist asked me why I choose to stay, and it's because I feel her case is about a 5-6 on a scale of 10 and that if she can simply accept it and treat it, she'll be OK and her wonderful, selfless self. When she's not in a funk, she's amazing; but her funks are more frequent, pervasive, and lasting longer. She is convinced I have narcissistic personality disorder because when I try to have a discussion with her, she interprets ANY attempt to illuminate her own accountability for the state of our marriage as attempts on my part to shift blame and avoid all accountability myself. So whenever I try to say anything like "I think this is what your contributions to our dysfunctional marriage are" she interprets that as me shifting blame to her in an attempt to preserve my own self inflated image of being a perfect husband. I have AD/HD myself, diagnosed in 2012. I am more than happy to take a test/evaluation for narcissistic personality disorder, and may tell her as much if she is willing to take an evaluation herself. But then I'm left with the struggle of choosing a psychiatrist to conduct an evaluation. I'd especially like one who does more than just ask questions. I've heard there are some brain scans and other things that are really reliable. I may just have one shot at this, and I really want to avoid a lackluster psychiatrist who won't be helpful, because the results of an evaluation could solidify my wife's resolve to just walk away from our marriage. I would love some help on how to proceed and how to best pick a psychiatrist to conduct the evaluation. FYI, we're in Utah.

If it helps, I have a long journal documenting behaviors and observations over the last 3 years. Our therapist asked that I start it and it's been helpful. I hate this situation because my wife sees it as me being an emotionally abusive husband for refusing to leave her when she asks me to (though I've told her she is free to leave if she truly feels it's what she needs to heal) and she sees any attempts on my part to help her as me just being controlling and manipulative.

Thank you for any help you can provide!
 
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TheodenofRohan

New member
Joined
May 3, 2021
Messages
4
Location
Utah
...Even our therapist asked me why I choose to stay, and it's because I feel her case is about a 5-6 on a scale of 10 and that if she can simply accept it and treat it, she'll be OK and her wonderful, selfless self...
To clarify here, she has some symptoms that are definitely an 8-10, but a few that are lower, like 1-2. So overall, I'd say her case is moderate, but not extreme, which is why I have hope that proper treatment can really help mitigate those significantly destructive traits that she does exhibit.
 
T

TheodenofRohan

New member
Joined
May 3, 2021
Messages
4
Location
Utah
After posting, I saw the note at the top of the page and think this needs to be moved to Carers or Relationships and Mental Health.
 
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workingitout

New member
Joined
May 11, 2021
Messages
2
Location
UK
Theoden, this is almost exactly my situation. Wife of 20 years now seriously wants a divorce. I am trying to keep the family together. I've suspected BPD for 10 years, and am now convinced after reading a dozen books on the subject. She doesn't know why she feels the way she does. Blames me for everything. Be careful of being gaslighted. She has accused me of emotional abuse for years, and this left me very confused. It's that she feels abuse from everybody, misreading signals, exaggerating any disagreement.

I joined this forum to find out more about what it's like to experience BPD. Maybe that way I can help her. Although everything I've been told and read says that I can't!

One thing that seems pretty certain is you shouldn't tell her that you suspect BPD. In her reality everyone ultimately turns against her. But it's Catch 22: She won't get a diagnosis of BPD until she sees an expert, and she won't see an expert until she gets a diagnosis.
 
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