We will continue with BPD today, but since it is less related to my own recent diagnosis, I’ve changed the title to something more appropriate for the content.
Continuing with borderline personality disorder, I’ve decided to go into some of the behaviors included with the criteria mentioned in my last post. I will try to relate some of them to my own experiences, in a way that I hope is accurate and true to the disorder.
Before being heavily medicated, I always felt… empty. Just totally empty, like there was nothing, just a gaping hole, inside of my chest. I remember it hurting sometimes, like it was sucking all of my guts into this hole, like my body’s integrity was crumbling. I assume this was related to both the BPD (chronic feelings of emptiness) and also the depressive part of my schizoaffective mood shifts. It felt like I had no personality, just a blank space; not even a blank slate, because a slate would imply that some type of base was there, but there was just nothing inside.
Once I was put on a high dose of antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anti-anxiety meds, it seemed to lessen over time. I still notice it in a way, but it’s not nearly as painful. It feels like the start of a base is in there somewhere, and faint lines of personality are being traced on it as time goes on, but it’s a slow recovery. With med changes, it feels like parts of it are overwritten or wiped, some parts are added. I worry that changes in meds will change who I am as a person, make me better or worse, as it feels like my personality is easily modified.
When I was on a much higher dose of a few different antidepressants (partly to help with sleep as well as the depressive episodes) I was a lot calmer, a lot more patient, gentle, and compassionate. Since that’s been changed, I’ve changed too, more than what I’d consider just mood-wise – personality too. I’m somewhat fiery now, and while I am still compassionate, I am not nearly as docile as I was before. I’m more confident, more independent, even though those things are sometimes set back by episodes. Maybe this is related to the BPD affecting my ability to form a personality, or maybe it is simply meds changing my behavior. I personally believe that it is a combination of the two.
Another interesting aspect of BPD is simply how malleable one’s personality can become based on their surroundings, particularly the people they are around. For me, I was friends with a variety of people before being medicated. Church kids, punks, geeks, you name it, I had friends in very varied places. And I was a very different person with each of them, and the switch was easy, but it brought confusion to me when these different groups were together. Maybe this is entirely normal, but I feel like in my case, it was more extreme and solid than normal would have been. That’s why there are cliques, because people “fit in” better in one place than another, but I “fit in” with all of them individually because of how my personality would change to somewhat conform.
Someone, anyone, please tell me if these things are too normal to be considered part of this. My BPD is, I believe, very dulled by meds these days and relatively mild, but still noticeable at times. I simply don’t know what of my experiences are “normal” and what would be, well, not.
To be continued…