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Borderline Personality Disorder

(10 Posts)
icanhandthemback Wed 22-Jul-20 10:24:08

BACKGROUND: It is no secret in our family that my 35 year old daughter is a very difficult person to get along with. We are a large, blended family but even as a young child she was very hard work which we put down to various things like illness, Dad's violence, etc. Despite years of Family Therapy and Counselling nothing has made a difference to her happiness levels or being able to relate to other people. When she was 17, I read a book on BPD, I was struck by the similarities and I have used some of the strategies they recommended to build a better relationship, sometimes more successfully than others. Whilst I have been reading about my Grandson's Autism, I have seen many similarities there too so, whilst not setting myself up as a mental health expert, I strongly suspect there is something in her wiring which makes her the way she is.
CURRENT SITUATION: My daughter walked in yesterday and said she has been investigating why she is the way she is and she is fairly sure that she is BPD. She doesn't think she is autistic but recognises so many of the traits of BPD so what do I think she should do.
QUESTIONS: Do other Grans out there have diagnosed BPD children in their families? If so, has being diagnosed been helpful? Has it had a negative impact in their lives? Do I encourage her to seek help (she has before but won't jump through the hoops to get seen) or do we just try to navigate it using advice from t'internet?
If you would rather not discuss this publicly, I am happy to get messages through Gransnet.

Riverwalk Wed 22-Jul-20 11:02:48

I have no direct family experience of BDP but just to say that it's likely that we've all ascribed a condition to someone we know, after reading about certain mental conditions. Look how many posters on GN describe someone as a narcissist, which is a proper mental condition that can only apply if diagnosed by a professional.

I know of two people who have been diagnosed with BDP - one a late friend who was one of 4 sisters; the other 3 say that she was difficult, according to their parents, from being a small child, and she was certainly the odd one out throughout adulthood.

The other is a relative of a friend, a late 20-something who was by all accounts a very normal middle class child, no problems until she got in with the wrong crowd as a teen then went off the rails. Had two children, no fathers around, shoplifting etc. Now lives on benefits, never worked, but no longer getting into mischief, and lives happily in her own social housing home.

So two very different histories but with the same diagnosis - so I think it's quite a broad brush. I wouldn't use the internet, rather encourage her to seek proper advice.

Daftbag1 Wed 22-Jul-20 21:02:24

I have BPD, along with bipolar, and severe anxiety. I have also recently been diagnosed with mild Aspergers.

These are all diagnosis which have been made by a (many), psychiatrist, & I have a very personalised medication regime and support system.

It is very possible that your daughter has BPD, but without a proper diagnosis she won't receive any treatment. Most people with BPD aren't prescribed drugs, but have therapy. Equally only psychologists can diagnose adult autistic spectrum disorder, I'm not aware of treatments, apart from psychologist input.

Is it worth getting a diagnosis? Yes but only because it's the only way to open the doors to get help.

Anniebach Wed 22-Jul-20 21:17:35

I 100% agree with Daftbag a medical diagnosis not the
internet please . My daughter was bipolar, took me so long to
have her referred to a psychiatrist, the GP was so sure it was
PND, he was so wrong.

icanhandthemback Wed 22-Jul-20 23:29:29

For those that are urging a medical diagnosis, we have been trying to get her help for years. She was 9 when the GP was concerned about her attitude to medication and sent her for help. At 16 she was rushed to the GP when I found her in the kitchen about to cut her wrists and despite my pleas for her to see a psychiatrist because of her difficulties, they offered her yet more counselling. At 20 at the point of another crisis, she was told she needed a Psychiatrist for a proper diagnosis by the Community Psychiatric Nurse and he duly referred her. She got a letter back to say that she should seek counselling. Throughout the last 15 years we have taken her back and forward to different GP's who agree that help is needed but nobody will refer her and if they do, it gets knocked back. The last time, despite her Family Support Worker pleading with the GP on her behalf, the GP insisted that she was suffering from Post Natal Depression (diagnosed over the phone without ever seeing her) and so she put her on anti-depressants. The FSW complained to the Practice and my daughter was told to go to Time to Talk but not to tell them about her anxiety, self harming or anything about relationships otherwise they wouldn't accept her. On the grounds that her father has a diagnosed personality disorder and her Gran has had several health professionals ask if she has one, it isn't just a search on the internet that has her wondering. As her mother, with several diagnosed ASD's in the family and knowing how she stims, is hugely affected by sensory things, can't "read" people or their moods and is very black and white about things, it isn't out of the question that she might be on the spectrum. It is a huge step for her to even admit that the way she views the world and the actions of people very differently from most the rest of us. We don't profess to be professionals but we do have experience of both disorders which makes slightly more able to read the signs.
DaftBag1, there aren't "treatments" as such regarding ASD but there are often strategies that can be used to ward off a meltdown. Many of these things I do with my daughter anyway which means our relationship is much better than before but other people, like her husband, won't because there is no diagnosis. To him it looks like she is just awkward about food, being touched, noises, socialising, etc whilst being highly temperamental and having meltdown which would rival a toddlers. She is 35 and will still hide in a cupboard when stressed. We are all weary and just want to know where we can help.
I will be pushing her (very gently and from a distance!) to get a diagnosis.

Chewbacca Wed 22-Jul-20 23:37:12

I've no advice to offer icanhandthemback but I just wanted to say how I admire your tenacity and strength in supporting your daughter when those who you should be able to turn to aren't there. It can't be easy at all, especially with mental health services are consistently cut back to the bone and your being passed from pillar to post in trying to get the help she needs.

icanhandthemback Sat 15-Aug-20 16:20:31

Thank you for all those who replied and those that PM'd me. A quick update, things have erupted rather badly in my daughter's marriage and things have come to a head so my SIL has threatened to leave taking the children. SS have stepped in, informed him that my DD needs help but there is absolutely no reason why she cannot parent her children and that they would not necessarily support him. There have been things going on which I hadn't known about within the marriage so I have encouraged my daughter to speak to the SS on her own (she has messaged them to set up an appointment) and they have offered to attempt to get my daughter psychiatric support. They have also said they will help the relationship if they can. Some of the stuff that has been going on impacts on personal boundaries and it is no wonder my daughter has been so anxious. She says her husband is basically a good person but there are areas where he does not respect her choices and his dominant discipline with his daughter has been noted by the SS. Astonishingly, my SIL was open with me and said he would be open with SS about how he had got her personal boundaries wrong but he didn't realise. When he told my son, my son quite bluntly told him that this was the 21st Century and asked him where he had been in the Metoo movement. Personally, I am beginning to hope he tells the SS because his threats to my daughter to remove the children from her care will be stopped in their tracks.
My daughter has filled in the forms for Counselling in the meantime and I am hoping they will be able to help her look at what is an acceptable relationship. She is so terrified of being abandoned that she is desperate for him to stay.
Sorry for the long update but I have to keep much of this amongst friends and family which is quite hard sometimes.

Chewbacca Sat 15-Aug-20 16:30:51

Troubling and very worrying times for you icanhandthemback but there does seem to be a feint glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. It must be a very heavy burden for the whole family and I can only offer you my very best wishes that your daughter is able to get the support she needs now. Things look as though they're moving in the right direction a little bit.

welbeck Sun 16-Aug-20 00:20:35

why does she want him to stay, if he is over-bearing and bullying/ not respecting her personal boundaries.
sounds a bit like stockholm syndrome.
also dominant discipline with his daughter, ?and not son, sounds worrying.
wouldn't she be better off without him.
i wish you and her all the best. her brother sounds good too.

vampirequeen Sun 16-Aug-20 12:13:06

BPD is a very complicated condition and she really needs to be diagnosed by a professional. That way support and/or medication can be put in place. One thing that a lot of BPD people (myself included) have is a burning need and a terrifying fear of close relationships. The burning need makes us cling on but the terrifying fear makes us push people away. That can make us very difficult to live with. BPD comes in two main forms but none of us have the same indicators. My version means I blame myself for everything. I internalise my emotions and take anger out on myself. The other version can be far more vocal and violent. They still internalise everything but it can come out in extreme behaviour towards others. We all tend to accept behaviours from those we are in relationships with that others wouldn't accept. That's because we don't think we're worthy of respect and/or true happiness. Do you see what I mean about it being complex? Also BPD is a label that it's preferable not to have as society tends to see it as a negative like schizophrenia. It's a misunderstood condition and the general public tend to fear it.