Day 20: BPD Challenge (Expressing Yourself)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 20: How do you usually express yourself?

I express myself through music and writing. I love listening to music and singing in my car at the top of my lungs. It is the best feeling to me and completely changes my mood.

I love writing and blogging, this blog/website of mine has completely helped me to express myself.

 

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Cyclothymia Disorder

I have been visiting my therapist every week and she is terrific! We have both been doing our research and studies on different disorders. She doesn’t believe that I have BPD or Borderline Personality Disorder. In her opinion, she thinks I may have a mild form of Bipolar Disorder, like Cyclothymia Disorder. I’m just going to jot down the symptoms below as apart of my homework assignment.

“Cyclothymic disorder, is a type of chronic mood disorder widely considered to be a milder or subthreshold form of bipolar disorder. Cyclothymia is characterized by numerous mood disturbances, with periods of hypomanic symptoms alternating with periods of mild or moderate depression.

An individual with Cyclothymia may feel stable at a baseline level but experience noticeable shifts to an emotional high during hypomanic episodes, with symptoms similar to those of mania but less severe, and emotional lows involving depressive symptoms that do not meet the criteria for a major depressive episode. To meet the diagnostic criteria for Cyclothymia, a person must experience this alternating pattern of emotional highs and lows for a period of at least two years with no more than two consecutive symptom-free months. For children and adolescents, the duration must be at least one year.

While diagnosis of Cyclothymia is becoming more common, it is not as frequent as that of bipolar disorder. Diagnosis of Cyclothymia presupposes absence of a major depressive episode, manic episode or mixed episode, which would qualify the individual for diagnosis of another mood disorder. When such episodes manifest after an initial diagnosis of Cyclothymia, the individual may qualify for a diagnosis of bipolar I or bipolar II disorder. Although estimates vary greatly, 15–50% of cases of Cyclothymia later fit the diagnostic criteria for bipolar I and/or bipolar II disorder (resulting in a diagnosis of bipolar I or II with cyclothymic features).

Although the emotional highs and lows of Cyclothymia are less extreme than those of bipolar disorder, the symptomatology, longitudinal course, family history and treatment response of Cyclothymia are consistent with bipolar spectrum. Lifetime prevalence of cyclothymic disorder is 0.4–1%. Frequency appears similar in men and women, though women more often seek treatment. Unlike during episodes of bipolar I disorder, people with Cyclothymia are more likely to be either somewhat or fully productive, and sometimes even hyper-productive.

Cyclothymia is similar to bipolar II disorder in that it presents itself in signature hypomanic episodes. Because hypomania is often associated with exceptionally creative, outgoing, and high-functioning behavior, both conditions are often undiagnosed. As with most of the disorders in the bipolar spectrum, it is the depressive phase that leads most sufferers to get help.”

 

Hypomanic episodes. Symptoms of the hypomanic episode include unusually good mood or cheerfulness (euphoria), extreme optimism, inflated self-esteem, rapid speech, racing thoughts, aggressive or hostile behavior, lack of consideration for others, agitation, massively increased physical activity, risky behavior, spending sprees, increased drive to perform or achieve goals, increased sexual drive, decreased need for sleep, tendency to be easily distracted, and inability to concentrate.

Depressive/dysthymic episodes. Symptoms of the depressive/dysthymic phase include difficulty making decisions, problems concentrating, poor memory recall, guilt, self-criticism, low self-esteem, pessimism, self-destructive thinking, constant sadness, apathy, hopelessness, helplessness and irritability. Also common are quick temper, poor judgment, lack of motivation, social withdrawal, appetite change, lack of sexual desire, self-neglect, fatigue, insomnia and sleepiness.

Day 16: BPD Challenge (Changes)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 16: Does your style (clothing, hair, etc.) change a lot?

My style doesn’t change a lot. I’ve always had the same style hair and clothing. If anything I am scared of making personal changes like that. Probably because I used to care what others think.

 

Day 15: BPD Challenge (Opinions)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 15: Have you ever changed your opinions, depending on the people you are with?

I used to never have a mind of my own, I would change my opinions all the time depending on the people I was around. It would irritate me, I felt that I had no sense of self or any idea what I wanted, or what I thought for myself. I would stick firm to an opinion and then I was easily convinced or persuaded to shift my opinions to those around me. Maybe I was afraid that I wouldn’t be liked if I thought differently? I’ve always been the nerd, the one that got picked on in high school. I always wanted to be like the “Cool Kids”, but was never accepted because of the way I dressed or what I looked like. SO, I started liking and thinking the same as those around me to fit in more. Colored my hair, dressed with more style, and agreed with my friends on everything. I never had a mind of my own. Until I was 25 years old. I think the last two years I have FINALLY started developing into who I am and was always supposed to be. The nerd, the goofball, the natural brunette, the girl with a mind of her own now. I have become more confident in the person that I truly am today, than I ever have been. Who cares about what others think. Stick to your own opinions, don’t let others make you feel that you have to be different to fit in. I always say,”Just be you.”

 

Day 13: BPD Challenge (Perfectionist)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 13: Are you a perfectionist?

YES!! Everything I do has to be perfect. I strive to be the best at everything, especially with things I’m most passionate about. At work and at home, I would rather do things on my own because I know they will get done right. I hate walking into my kitchen with my bowls in the wrong spot, or I can’t find my cup. It sets my mood wrong. I love working as a team for ideas and collaboration, however I’d rather do the work myself. Everything has to be 100%. I tend to focus on my failures more so than my success’, and when I don’t get praise from someone, I feel I didn’t work hard enough and I will push myself to do better next time. This can be a great characteristic in the business environment; my work ethic is pretty great. There are definitely cons to being a perfectionist. If I am not perfect at something or If I do not get praise then this can cause me to be down, depressed and irritable.

perfectionist-image

Day 9: BPD Challenge (Mood Swings)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 9: Do you get mood swings?

I get mood swings just like any other girl, especially due to PMS. However, sometimes my mood swings can be a lot worst than others especially if I do not stay consistent with my medication. I usually have an awful episode once every couple months and it is always during PMS. During these episodes, I become very irritable, sad, I think everyone is out to get me and talk crap about me. I have this overwhelming fear that everyone hates me. I will cry uncontrollably and push everyone away from me.

My most recent episode was two weeks ago. I couldn’t control my emotions but I did control my actions. I embraced the episode, realized I was very emotional. I took a step back and decided that I was going to cancel all my plans for the weekend (BIG plans that I was so excited about!) and I was going to stay home alone, not have any alcohol (alcohol can be a trigger for me) and do something that makes me happy, and I wasn’t going to text or call ANYONE. I read my book all weekend, blogged, watched my favorite TV show, went for a run. I was still completely emotional and cried through the whole weekend but the most prideful moment of that weekend for me was, I didn’t hurt anyone. I handled the weekend perfectly. I was AWARE and took CONTROL of my actions. I just let my emotions run its course knowing It wouldn’t last more than a couple days and when I was ready to snap out of it, I would. I slept and cried all weekend but that Monday morning, I woke up refreshed and feeling so much better. NOW I know how to handle these situations and will try it again next time. Success!!

Day 8: BPD Challenge (Diagnoses)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 8: Do you have any other diagnoses? Which ones?

I have no other diagnoses. I was only diagnosed with BPD two years ago and placed on medication (Lamotrigine / Lamictal) 6 months later to help stabilize my moods. The medication has helped me tremendously. It is important to stay on top of your medication daily and ONLY take the amount told my Psychiatrist. From personal experience, when missing a day of my medication, I immediately become irritable and everyone in my family can notice it right away. I have not shown any side effects with this medication.

Other than BPD, I have not been diagnosed with any other disorder.