I am the MOM of a daughter who recently turned 18.She to the world uopn meeting her is beautiful,talented,intelegent,every parents dream.But my daughter lives in silent pain.As a young teen it began,We have been in and out of therapy for years.Been on just about every med.But nothing changes for long.We deal with a person who does not know the word moderation.Eating to she vomits....drinking till she has to be hospitalized...High honer role....then skipping school.Unable to finish anything.Totally disorganized,and takes huge risks. She recently after a very good summer was accepted to college.I had my worrys....but the therapist told me let her go .He felt she was ready.Well night 1 the phone call came.She was hospitalized for alcohol poisoning.Realised and back at school,she went for counsling and swore it would not happen again.It hasnt been 1 month.But we went to visit her room is a complet mess,cant find anything.Today I found out she withdrew from a class because she had to be in at 8am and couldnt get up.I also found out she may have to drop another because of absences.It sounds like to me she is just partying until she flunks out.She has had many diagnosis...but BPD is usually the general conseces.I have no one to help me with her,She has burned her bridges...with her DAD WHO WANTS NO DRAMA IN HIS NEW MARRIAGE.I cant have her come back home.Sounds terrible .But she has nearly destroyed my home with unauthorized partys.She has no car she crashed 2.She quits or gets fired from all jobs.She lyes,and cant be left alone,ore will have friends here.I prayed with how good this summer went that she would succeed at colleg.But the truth is it is unlikly she will even last 1 semester.What do I do with her.Who can help her.Where can she go?I live each moment in fear,that the phone will ring with very bad news about her.
I love her so much my heart aches.....but am lost to find her help.
I'll have to appologise up front for this long post. I always intend to write a short quick reply, but alas the problem is larger than a few short sentences. So here goes . . .
Welcome to the boards. I hope that you will receive many replies to your post, as there are many people here who have BPD, or are closely assoicated with sufferers, and have had experiences similar to what you're going through right now. It must be so so disheartening to watch your beautiful daughter deteriorating before your very eyes, I am saddeded by your story and hope that eventually some assistance that may help your daughter find her path out of this morass of pain and self destruction - as I'm affraid to tell you that only "she" can do it herslef, but requires immense support from you to assist her in this endeavour.
There will be many many remissions and disppointments to overcome along this journey, painfully she will seemingly be getting better, coping with life, able to lead a more normal existence, but underneath she will still be the same vulnerable little daughter she is currently. This is one of the Borderline Personlity's curses, it affects its sufferers when they are seemingly doing "so well", but the sufferers facade of coping eventually begins to crack, usually under extreme stresses or pressures, and their mask or facade of coping that she has so beautifully and skillfully crafted, begins to crumble and crack.
When this occurs, there is no emotional saftey net to repell the deterioration, she just falls further and further and further into utter dispair, loathing, confusion, anger, loneliness, disconnection, fear, paranoia, depression, anxiety, alienation and desolation.
This emotional pain is indescribable in words, there are simply no words in the English language to adequatley describe the utter sense of emptiness and non-existence. It is like dying without death! Just horrible! The sufferer will begin exploring ways of escaping this horrible horrible psychological pain. Each person has different ways of coping and avoinding the pain. Some use drugs, alchohol, sustances, food, sex, binging, stealling, gambling, unlawful and illict behaviour, self harming, suicide (intentional and unintentional due to risks), you name it, whatever numbs the pain, or distracts the sufferer, will be employed as a mechanisim to reduce and escape from this horrible horrible feeling of indescribable deep psychological pain.
What you as her mother are witnessing, is the behavioural manifestation of her inner turmoil and anxiety. Your daughter may not even be able to tell you why or how she became so reactive and nervous, but her mind and body are indeed reacting to some type of current or previous stressors.
It's such a difficult condition for so many reasons. I absolutely feel so deeply for your predicament, I can only urge you to seek out psychiatric support for diagnosis and pharmacolocig prescribing and when your daughter is ready, perhaps a good psychologist too.
This next statment to follow is going to be a little harsh - so please do not be offended, I do not intend to cause offense, but sometimes a little bit of straightforward talking can save a lot of delay in getting the help your daughter so clearly requires.
The next time your daughter is in a melt-down (or deterioration as I call it) and seeks your assistance, give her the option of coming to you with the intention of going directly to the nearest ED or mental health facility for a complete mental health screening. If she's really having a great degree of difficulty, whatever that may be, she needs your assistance in getting the help she needs. Do not anticipate her quiet compliance with this request, she will defy your intervention with pleas of "I'll not do it again", "please don't do this to me", etc,etc, etc, But I'm affraid to tell you that given her current state of disrepair, she will require assistance from a team of health professionals trained and expereinced in this horrid horrid disorder. You can not do it alone, even with all the love in the world you have for your beautiful daughter, - she needs professional help - and the only way she's going to get this, is with your firm and loving appeals, and if necessary, demand it from your daughter to go with you to the nearest ED mental health facility.
It would be a really great idea if you could do the initial research about treatment providers, costs, facilities etc, prior to her next episode, so then you'll be ready to help next time your daughter seeks you out to assist her. And she will seek you out, because she can trust only you, and will be unlikely to trust strangers or medicos, so they'll be a few more bumpy rides to come yet.
I hope some of the above is of help to you, and i do urge you to research and read about this horrid condition. The library may be a good place to being, but please try and stay close to those books published after 1990, and preferably 2000 onwards, as much research and understanding about BPD has come to light in recent times. You may like to read books prblished prior to 1990 as a point of difference in comparing how the condition was viewd in earlier times. (an still is to some degree by the unelightened)
No one in their right mind would choose to be BPD, your daughter is not choosing to be BPD, she simply has a collection of symptoms that fit within a certain matrix diagnosis of a mental health condition erroneously titled - 'Borderline personality disorder'.
Please keep posting here, as there are many many people here who may be able to offer guidance, or give their own accounts of how they sought treatment, or the depths of despair felt by BPD people.
For the record, I'm BPD too, amongst a host of other labels too. It took me a very long while to tacitly acknowledge (not accept) I have enduring patterns of difficulty in my life - and particullary when faced with extreme stressors, I can keep up my coping facade for only so long - then I just begin to deteriorate, and begin to slide into the abys, from which I have no hope of self-recovery despite my attempts at being well.
In recent times I have become a little more adept at puttting up my hand and asking for help, before I reach the point of complete irrationality, but I'm always playing mind games of chess in my mind, analysising every minute action and motivation, anticipating and forecasting reactions. Oh brother - it's an exhausting way to live!
Currently I'm medicated, and functioning reasonably well at present (not brilliant). I'm a working professional, a parent, a wife, a friend, - and a mental health patient.
I thank you for your kind support.I have in the past done exactly what you suggest,and have taken her to a facility for help.She has been in my book medicated and then vacated.It seems that is the primary goal due to insurnce.In actuality the meds make her worse,and she is non compliant even with the ones that do help.She will go,matter of fact she has been the on to ask to go.That is her MO.When the shot hits the fan she crys I cant deal I need meds,and help.But then she afetrjust a short time goes right back to her old ways.I wont give up,but I am soooo exhausted.I will help her,but wont let her come back to live here.When she is here she thinks ok,to binge eat,party,and yet have a saf place to fall.I need to now start taking care of me.She will have to decide on her own this time how to do this some where else.ILL B THERE FOR HER...but not in my home any more.I am close to the edge myself,Im exhausted.Hrad words to say.
Thanks for your last post. I am now beginning to have a better understanding of your predicament. Geeee, I really don't know what else to say to you, but that you're doing a fine job in supporting your daughter in her time of immense difficulty. And. . . . I have to say, this is the most you can do to help her.
You must look after yourself really well too. Try not to let this terrible situation make you so sick with stress and worry, that you become immensely ill too. You're doing a great job in very very difficult circumstances. It's not easy being the BPD sufferer, but I can also see that it is just as soul destroying being the support person who loves and cares for your daughter.
I truly truly hope that your daughter's period of difficulties will be a short one, and that she will eventually reach out in a meaningful way for help and support. Unfortunatley, she has to come to realise that she needs help, and this can be a very very difficult thing for BPD people, as their mistrust of others is high. When they are unwell and seeking support, they can appear compliant with medication and counselling regimes. As they begin to get a little better, the BPD person often opts out of treatment because as they say themselves, "they're now well - and no longer need your help or treatment".
These constant cycles of upswings and declining deterioration must be extremely taxing and difficult for support people such as yourself. This is why I urge you to above all else, look after yourself first! Please do this no matter what else is occuring in your daughter's life.
Your daughter is only 18 years old, so she has her whole life ahead of her, and I pray that she will discover the path out of this terrible predicament. Your support and assistance means she is in a good position for treatment and improvement when she chooses to do so. But again I have to say, that these cycles will quite likely be part of her life forever, albeit at a much less destructive force. This is part of her psychological make up, it is unlikely she will ever truly be completely well, but instead with medication, counselling and support can live a normal life with possible occasional psychological downturns. These cycles still plague me, and I'm now 47 years old. But the stories of your daughter remind me of how I was behaving and thinking at that same age. I too was totally out of control, feeling empty and disconnected, seeking reasurance in any way I could obtain it in order to feel less of this horrible psychological.
Over the years these feelings never left me, but my reactions to them have changed immensely. It has been a difficult path indeed. Of course I am very lucky too, as my life is now quite settled, married, teenage kids, employment, financialy OK etc. But these cycles of horrible horrible feelings and periods of utter desolation continue to plague me - and according to my 'lady shrink' will need to be on meds for the rest of my life.
When I am feeling well, I am tempted to unhook myself from the support regime, reduce or cease taking the medication, then think about engaging in risky behaviour, and then realise I am not so well as I thought I was. I despise this horrible feeling, but it will not leave me alone and go away. I hope this dialogue is of some help to you in understanding a little more of BPD thinking. Please do keep letting me know how you're getting on, and I'm always happy to hear how you are keeping, as I can also appreciate how difficult the support role is too. Take care of yourself . . . .please.