Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Columbia, SC, USA
More Than Depression... Is It BPD???
I'm a 19 year old college sophomore. I have been diagnosed with several mental disorders since I was around 9 years old and have been given several different medications, as well as having seen a number of therapists/psychologists from different backgrounds. I'm hoping that someone in this group can help me figure out what could potentially be wrong with me and whether any of the diagnoses I have been given might fit with me and if BPD is a real possibility. I think what I got before was for the most part a joke, nothing I was given ever helped me to feel better (I will describe symptoms in a moment) and though I did what the therapists told me to do it never really made a big difference. I have been hospitalized a few times for suicidal thoughts/attempts, none too serious, as well as for cutting myself and I spent 4 1/2 months in a residential treatment facility outside of Greenville, SC.
These are the diagnoses that I have been given over the past 10 years:
ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder)
Major Depressive Disorder
Asperger Syndrome (A form of High Function Autism)
Borderline Personality Disorder
I've received treatment for all of those with the exception of BPD--I was given that diagnoses just prior to my discarge from the residential facility, which was June of 2006 just prior to my beginning college.
I've taken all of the following medications:
None of them did anything to help, though it's worth mentioning that I became incredibly depressed on the Wellbutrin and had very bad withdrawals from the Effexor.
So now for the symptoms... I've looked at the DSM IV entry for BPD and it seems to me that it fits almost perfectly. Just a note, please don't take anything below to mean that I am currently suicidal or seriously depressed; right now I'm actually doing pretty well. I have no intention to hurt myself or anyone else at the moment and have actually just recently started seeing a therapist; I plan to discuss all this with her in the near future but would like some perspective from people who may have experienced this sort of thing themselves before I do that. Thanks in advance.
For starters, I have very serious mood swings. I can start out perfectly fine and as soon as something sets me off (can be something very small, like someone looking at me the wrong way or making a joke about me) and I become either very angry (which usually results in me either cursing and walking away or in some cases becoming so angry that I will throw things and damage property, both my own and others') or very depressed (which generally causes me to want to isolate myself, not go to classes, avoid events, etc.).
I also don't have a stable image of myself or of other people; for instance, my best friend... One day he's the perfect person to me, it could even be said that I don't just look up to him but I actually obsess over him... The next, because he didn't invite me to something or he's spending too much time with another friend, I'm incredibly depressed or angry and I either become very jealous of the person(s) he's with or I hate him so much that I can't even speak to him. This can last for just a few hours or even a few days sometimes and it happens very often, not just with regards to this friend but also my roommate, my other friends, and even my family. With regards to my friends, I often become so afraid that they're going to stop liking me that I do everything I can think of to make them like me... Which has pushed away a lot of friends that I probably would have still had otherwise. As for myself, I literally find myself looking in the mirror one day and thinking I'm starting to look better and feeling good about myself and then the next day I could look in the mirror and hate everything I see.
I have very little self control, as well. I'm addicted to pornography and so that is a serious problem for me. I also have serious difficulty with money; I generally spend my pay checks within two or three days of putting the money in the bank and I've ended up owing my bank money several times, once in excess of $120... In fact I owe them some money right now because I just can't stop myself from spending money. I also struggle when I do laundry in my dorm because I face a very strong temptation to steal clothes, mainly underwear, from the laundry room... I'm actually on probated suspension from my college right now, meaning that if I'm caught stealing again for the duration of my stay here (2 1/2 more years) I'll be expelled.
As I said before, I've been hospitalized several times for suicidal thoughts and/or attempts. Whenever I'm depressed I find myself thinking about cutting myself, though I almost always resist that urge. When I'm angry I destroy or damage the things around me but I'm really thinking about hurting people.
Now, I know that's a lot to take in... But I'm just not sure what to do right now. When I tell psychiatrists that I've taken all those medications, their response is usually to try the same medication again, or to try a different medication which lies in the same category as earlier ones (i.e. several different forms of SSRI medication, which is redundant as they all work the same way and do the same thing). Yes, that's right, some of those I've taken during two or three different periods, even when it was obvious they didn't work previously! And it's not as if I've only seen one psychiatrist this whole time, I've had to see several. But until I was given the BPD diagnosis, I had always thought it was just depression or some variation thereof... Now I realize that there must be another explanation for everything I feel--I need to know how I can convince my doctor to give me something that actually works and, more importantly, whether anyone else out here thinks that I have BPD or if it was just another bogus diagnosis.
Any opinions, comments, or suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks.