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Really struggling (also confused about diagnosis)

Halle29

Halle29

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Jul 10, 2020
Messages
66
Location
USA
I'm really struggling. I can't let go of the past and I keep thinking about the ways I messed up. The things I said and did. The people I hurt. And just the way I feel. It's like this constant sense of discomfort and tightness and heaviness in chest and throat. It's been like this for a few days. Not sure if it's biological or purely mental. I also worry about my job. Interacting with people is exhausting for me. I don't know how to feel, be or act. I worry about what I may have said or done, and how people will perceive me and then I ponder on these thoughts for days until the next interaction. I was diagnosed as borderline by my previous therapist (who I saw for ~2 years), but my new therapist (~1 year) thinks I'm bipolar even though I only had what my new therapist suspects was likely a manic episode (based on information she drew from me) about 15 years ago.

I've read tons of books and really feel that I am borderline, even though I don't self harm or lose my temper easily. I just always think people don't like me. I have trust issues. I have black and white thinking with very little grey. At times I spent money impulsively and took financial risks that hurt me. I am quiet and shy and don't like attention on me. So I keep asking my therapist what I am, but she says it's better to focus on the symptoms and treatment instead of diagnosis. The label is less important.
 
OmniscientNihilist

OmniscientNihilist

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I don't know how to feel, be or act. I worry about what I may have said or done, and how people will perceive me and then I ponder on these thoughts for days until the next interaction.
people obsess over what they dont have. and they think everyone else is obsessing over it too. but people that have it dont even know it exists, because they just take it for granted, so they dont even realize you dont have it. Nobody else believes you dont have social skills except yourself, because youre the only one that knows you dont have it. its not your lack of social skills that bothers people its your worrying about it does. because you cant relax. its your fear that blocks your ability to interact and connect, its not your lack of social skills. people that have great social skills like oprah are too perfect. their skill in that area hides their natural humanity. does oprah even have any friends? people like to see someone who is really bad at something and still maintains confidence. its inspiring. they are not hiding behind skills.
 
PetitPois

PetitPois

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Hi @Halle29 :)

I have BPD and also do not lose my temper easily. Where the symptoms are concerned, we each suffer from them to varying degrees. Not all BPD sufferers will struggle with every possible symptom. Some of the common shared traits do seem to be, fear of abandonment, impulsivity, black and white thinking and a need for reassurance from those we love.

I don't actually think everything about BPD is negative. This is after many years of having it. In my early years when it was uncontrolled it was unbearable. Now, I think some things are positive traits. This is important to point out, as I see so many negatives about BPD. I don't love easily. I mean real love, not unwarranted attachments, or an idealisation of someone (for this my heart is still closed to those people). If I do love someone (friendship, family or romantic) I have a fierce loyalty to the people I let into my heart, I will love unconditionally. If this is partly down to my BPD then I take it as a positive.

I used to go through times of constant berating of myself for things in the past. This has got better for me. I am able to forgive myself and others for whatever has happened. I can still have hard times, and when low these thoughts can resurface. It does lift eventually and it has got a lot less, and also easier.

I understand what your therapist says about concentrating on your treatment, but I think it is important that you know what you are dealing with. If you and your previous therapist think you are borderline. To the point that that is your diagnosis. Maybe just concentrate on this being the case.

I hope you feel better soon :hug:
 
Halle29

Halle29

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Joined
Jul 10, 2020
Messages
66
Location
USA
Hi @Halle29 :)

I have BPD and also do not lose my temper easily. Where the symptoms are concerned, we each suffer from them to varying degrees. Not all BPD sufferers will struggle with every possible symptom. Some of the common shared traits do seem to be, fear of abandonment, impulsivity, black and white thinking and a need for reassurance from those we love.

I don't actually think everything about BPD is negative. This is after many years of having it. In my early years when it was uncontrolled it was unbearable. Now, I think some things are positive traits. This is important to point out, as I see so many negatives about BPD. I don't love easily. I mean real love, not unwarranted attachments, or an idealisation of someone (for this my heart is still closed to those people). If I do love someone (friendship, family or romantic) I have a fierce loyalty to the people I let into my heart, I will love unconditionally. If this is partly down to my BPD then I take it as a positive.

I used to go through times of constant berating of myself for things in the past. This has got better for me. I am able to forgive myself and others for whatever has happened. I can still have hard times, and when low these thoughts can resurface. It does lift eventually and it has got a lot less, and also easier.

I understand what your therapist says about concentrating on your treatment, but I think it is important that you know what you are dealing with. If you and your previous therapist think you are borderline. To the point that that is your diagnosis. Maybe just concentrate on this being the case.

I hope you feel better soon :hug:

Thank you. Your words are so comforting to me and I agree about the positives.
 
Riah3

Riah3

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Apr 8, 2020
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117
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Texas
Hi I have borderline, I say definitely go with your gut instincts usually us borderlines are very intuitive however when it comes to us and being intuned with ourselves it can be tricky. I was in your boat several months back medication particularly propranolol and Xanax have helped me be receptive in therapy and I’m very in tune with myself and I remember wishing I could just gain so much self awareness at a time that I had very little. I found something out recently which is that I may have social anxiety. I self diagnosed myself with anxiety and bpd my therapist agreed with both over time and I now self diagnosed with social anxiety. I heard somewhere once that borderlines have symptoms from all of the ten major personality disorders so studying all of them really helped me gain the most awareness but AVPD could be on a continuum of social anxiety this isn’t proven but to me it makes sense with me fluctuating my symptoms through the other 9 personality disorders I notice in my life depending on certain factors I like to say and this is probably so unhealthy but it helps my brain make sense of things but I say I’m in an avoidant time in my life or I’ll say I’m being histrionic right now and I tackle those symptoms in therapy. But depending on certain things I’d say I can see traits from the each personality disorder at times and naming it helps me tackle it. But I wanted to mention all of this bc if you do believe you have borderline PD then you could be experiencing symptoms from the paranoid/ eccentric schizotypal etc end of things at this time in your life. Please be cautious at accepting this bipolar diagnosis therapists can be wrong sometimes and if you really truthfully feel you’re borderline then maybe you are. Look up dr Todd grande on YouTube he has tons of helpful videos covering all of the 10 personality disorders inbox me if you found this helpful I can go a lot more in depth it’s 4 am where I am right now lol so I wanted to help as much as possible but I’m sure this will be a pain to read I tried to throw out big points
 
Tawny

Tawny

Taking a break
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Nov 10, 2019
Messages
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England
I don't have BPD, but i used to worry about similar things to you when i was younger. I don't care that much anymore, or i care less anyway. I'm referring to other people. I suppose i accept now that i do things wrong and people don't like me, and try not to care too much about that because other people do things wrong, and there are other people i don't like that much too. I can still care about someone, say a family member, without liking them.

You are the most important thing. You, how you feel, your hopes and dreams for you life and your happiness. You need to find out what makes you happy and focus completely on that. Yes we have to care for a respect others, but you are most important.

As for diagnosis, they are so complex and forever changing. Different psychiatrists will say different things. I have actually been told by a psychiatrist that anger is the main symptom she looks for with BPD. That is just one doctor though. It doesn't matter, you are you, unique.
 
Blue Opal

Blue Opal

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
274
Location
The Netherlands
I'm really struggling. I can't let go of the past and I keep thinking about the ways I messed up. The things I said and did. The people I hurt. And just the way I feel. It's like this constant sense of discomfort and tightness and heaviness in chest and throat. It's been like this for a few days. Not sure if it's biological or purely mental. I also worry about my job. Interacting with people is exhausting for me. I don't know how to feel, be or act. I worry about what I may have said or done, and how people will perceive me and then I ponder on these thoughts for days until the next interaction. I was diagnosed as borderline by my previous therapist (who I saw for ~2 years), but my new therapist (~1 year) thinks I'm bipolar even though I only had what my new therapist suspects was likely a manic episode (based on information she drew from me) about 15 years ago.

I've read tons of books and really feel that I am borderline, even though I don't self harm or lose my temper easily. I just always think people don't like me. I have trust issues. I have black and white thinking with very little grey. At times I spent money impulsively and took financial risks that hurt me. I am quiet and shy and don't like attention on me. So I keep asking my therapist what I am, but she says it's better to focus on the symptoms and treatment instead of diagnosis. The label is less important.
A lot of what you wrote sounds like me. I used to have a bpd diagnosis, had it for 13 years. Now, since 2019 I have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. I am still diagnosed with bpd traits along with avoidant PD and dependent traits. I totally understand your confusion regarding the bipolar thing. It is possible you have both bpd and bipolar. Do you take medication?
 
Halle29

Halle29

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 10, 2020
Messages
66
Location
USA
Hi, thank you everyone for your responses. I'm reading books about personality disorders and I notice that I fit the traits of various. The one I feel I associate with the most is BDP. New therapist thinks Bipolar. My first therapist diagnosed me with anxiety and depression so I was on Zoloft and Klonopin. I didn't like the way I felt under those meds and I'm trying to avoid meds altogether. I have these vitamin mood stabilizers but I'm not sure they even work. I got them recently. I am open to the meds route but would rather start with diet and vitamins and use meds as last resort. Thank you all for your responses!
 
L

Lostlady333

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2020
Messages
215
Location
Christchurch
I'm really struggling. I can't let go of the past and I keep thinking about the ways I messed up. The things I said and did. The people I hurt. And just the way I feel. It's like this constant sense of discomfort and tightness and heaviness in chest and throat. It's been like this for a few days. Not sure if it's biological or purely mental. I also worry about my job. Interacting with people is exhausting for me. I don't know how to feel, be or act. I worry about what I may have said or done, and how people will perceive me and then I ponder on these thoughts for days until the next interaction. I was diagnosed as borderline by my previous therapist (who I saw for ~2 years), but my new therapist (~1 year) thinks I'm bipolar even though I only had what my new therapist suspects was likely a manic episode (based on information she drew from me) about 15 years ago.

I've read tons of books and really feel that I am borderline, even though I don't self harm or lose my temper easily. I just always think people don't like me. I have trust issues. I have black and white thinking with very little grey. At times I spent money impulsively and took financial risks that hurt me. I am quiet and shy and don't like attention on me. So I keep asking my therapist what I am, but she says it's better to focus on the symptoms and treatment instead of diagnosis. The label is less important.
I’m glad you are reaching out. It’s hard when doctors don’t want to diagnose us. But I think with bpd we are very intuitive and know ourselves too well. Your story sounds similar to mine, except I have a few more traits. We can’t and don’t want to diagnose here, but if you look into “quiet bpd”. Take care.
 
D

dewey

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
1,541
people obsess over what they dont have. and they think everyone else is obsessing over it too. but people that have it dont even know it exists, because they just take it for granted, so they dont even realize you dont have it. Nobody else believes you dont have social skills except yourself, because youre the only one that knows you dont have it. its not your lack of social skills that bothers people its your worrying about it does. because you cant relax. its your fear that blocks your ability to interact and connect, its not your lack of social skills. people that have great social skills like oprah are too perfect. their skill in that area hides their natural humanity. does oprah even have any friends? people like to see someone who is really bad at something and still maintains confidence. its inspiring. they are not hiding behind skills.
There is much truth in this.


To Halle29. I always used to think people didn't like me, that there was something fundamentally wrong with me. Took me a long time.

There are some things I have learnt, I want to share them with you. Also you can always develop more social skills, there is always room for growth. There are literally endless guides on the internet and youtube about this kind of thing.

I'm not saying you do or don't already do any of the following: just that these are guidelines that have helped me, so they may help you

One is, everyone is fundamentally preoccupied with themselves. This means, quite often, the only way to actually make a positive impact on people, is to really consider them in your interactions. A lot of this is 'are you alright? did you have a nice weekend?' or remembering that they have just had a niece born, or they had a blood test the other day.

Part of it is also being aware this person needs help. When you help people, you have made a positive contribution to them, they remember you favourably. Help people as much as you can, not only when they ask for it, but when you spot they need it.

People like it when you give genuine compliments. Don't give fake compliments, and don't give too many compliments. But something you genuinely notice. Notice changes in people's appearance. Oh did you die your hair? Etc. Notice a little change.

Another thing, don't try to draw attention to yourself, even subtly or indirectly. Ego is very bad, but frequently people make the mistake of drawing to attention to their own qualities, accomplishments etc, not only in a way that is necessarily showy-offy, but some people do it in a very very subtle way, just to get a notice. When people do this,it actually acts as a turn-off. You don't sound like someone who would do this, because you say you don't like attention drawn toyou, but still I think even quiet people do it in indirect ways.

If you are working in a team, completely abolish your sense of ego. Success is about success of the team, never about you.

Another thing is, hating yourself and hating life is really bad for social interaction. If you commit to therapy, and try to work on yourself, eventually, in the long-run, it becomes a lot easier to interact with people. This is because you can focus on THEM more easily when you are less preoccupied with yourself.

Another thing is, people gravitate towards calmness in people. So try to nurture that within yourself. It wouldn't hurt you to take on board the 'give less ****s' philosophy. See 'the subtle art of not giving a ****'.

Don't be afraid to express a genuine opinion. Not being a pushover is about finding a middleground between your needs and the needs of others. That's what great negotiation skills are about. What do I really want from this situation? And what does the other person really want? Where possible, frame things in terms of what the other person wants. Remember the focus of social interaction is mainly about them, not you.

A balanced conversation, however, should always contain an equal weighting between things about you and things about them, that way it's an exchange.

Smiling, positivity, and reassuring others is also another thing that people look for. But also remember, the people that are worthwhile are always the ones who value you for you. It is absolutely okay to be unashamedly yourself, and you shouldn't be doubting everything you do.

Ultimately, you can't win them all. There are always kinds of people that you will like and won't like and vice versa, that's what makes life not a bore. There's always someone who will rub you up the wrong way or be insensitive.

Forgive yourself for whatever happened in the past. The past is history. Absolutely everyone fucks up sometime, and there's a scale for how bad they do it, too. You're probably not that bad compared to Hitler... Remind yourself you are only human.
 
D

dewey

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Jan 16, 2019
Messages
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A side note, I think there is always a reason why people lack identity or have problems with who they are. Usually trauma/emotional abuse. These things need to be confronted by a psychotherapist.

They are painful but picking apart why you feel you don't have a sense of who you are, it helps to understand who you are and that in fact there IS a REAL YOU emerging, even though you actually suppress that real you and feel like it's not a great person. Chances are, it actually is. Give yourself a chance
 
U

Until

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Feb 11, 2020
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Location
uk
i have read a few times that BPD can often be misdiagnosed as bipolar.

@Halle29 i also find interpersonal relationships hard and feel exhausted by them. I feel under pressure to be who other people to want me to be or to try to be perfect so they will like me. i don't know how to act around people, i feel awkward. I worry about how i came across and berate myself if i feel i said something stupid or did the wrong thing which resulted in a smirk or eye roll or some kind of signal that they don't like me.
 
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