The fine print…

I was born on the 16th November 1984, which means that I personally still prefer Terminator 2 – Judgement Day, above any other film within the Terminator franchise…

I have a form of photographic memory, so I sometimes recall images and situations from as far back as maybe 4 years old or so… I never see myself, it’s always like a kind of ‘Peep Show’ style visual (without Mark or Jeremy). More on these memories later, lets start with the science.

I was originally diagnosed in around 2007 shortly after my father died and I came out of the back of a volatile relationship that ended in complete disaster frankly.

I spent about 4 hours with a doctor after admitting to suicidal tendencies and his diagnosis was that I have a disorder within the ‘Bipolar Spectrum’ called ‘Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder’ (or Borderline Personality Disorder in the USA).

Now when I explain it to people I definitely find it’s easier just to say I have ‘a form of Bipolar’ because if you dish out the phrase ‘Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder’ my understanding is that people consider the likelihood of waking up with a horses head in their bed, and no one wants that… It went down relatively badly in the Godfather.

I was further diagnosed, with the condition again, after another suicidal episode in 2009, but he was not as clear as the first doctor, in stating that unfortunately I was ‘not narcissistic enough’ to be diagnosed with Acute Bipolar. Interesting turn of phrase…

So, I have over-viewed the definition as the magical ‘know all’ Wiki see’s it, just to give you an insight into what this might mean…

I might add, that within this type of condition you may have all sorts of traits found within Autism, ADHD, Bipolar etc. and I’ve sat in rooms with people diagnosed with these conditions and had very similar experiences as they’ve had in their lives, that said, before you review the definition below, please be aware that this is a very ambiguous view of the disorder and does not mean that I should be stricken from society as someone who can’t make decisions, or live their day to day life productively…

That all comes down to how you manage your lifestyle…

So, what is Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder? According to Wiki:

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a personality disorder. The essential features include a pattern of impulsivity and instability of behaviors, interpersonal relationships, and self-image. There may be uncontrollable anger and depression. The pattern is present by early adulthood and occurs across a variety of situations and contexts.[3]

Other symptoms usually include intense fears of abandonment, sensitivity to feelings of rejection, extreme anger, and irritability, the reason for which others have difficulty understanding.[3][4] People with BPD often engage in idealization and devaluation of others, alternating between high positive regard and great disappointment.[5] Self-harm, suicidal behavior, and substance abuse are common.[6] There is evidence that abnormalities of the frontolimbic networks are associated with many of the symptoms.[7]

The disorder is recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Since a personality disorder is a pervasive, enduring, and inflexible pattern of maladaptive inner experiences and pathological behavior, there is a general reluctance to diagnose personality disorders before adolescence or early adulthood.[8]However, some practitioners emphasize that without early treatment, the symptoms may worsen.[9]

There is an ongoing debate about the terminology of this disorder, especially the suitability of the word “borderline”.[10][11] The ICD-10 manual refers to the disorder as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder and has similar diagnostic criteria.

What do I think? I think this is a very broad brush, in an attempt to pigeon hole what doctors and psychologists don’t fully understand, it affects different people in different ways and personally I prefer the explanation of Liz, in her blog here, as to how she see’s it: http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/blog/living-with-emotionally-unstable-personality-disorder

The issue with doctors, is that if they don’t understand it, it frustrates them and if they can’t pop their pink (mental health) folder, in the green (mental health) filing cabinet, in the right section they tend to get very anxious… The world and his wife also want to jump on the Bipolar band wagon as a form of excuse for their abuse of substances, failings in their day to day lives etc. and thus it becomes more and more difficult to open up without people feeling that you’ve got some form of excuse for how things ended up in your life…

I don’t class this disorder as an excuse, I take full responsibility for the way I live my life day to day, however, I was made aware by the doctor in the first instance of diagnosis, that it was likely the majority of my issues came as a result of not developing through some of the core social processes that people tend to do when they were growing up… Coupled with the fact that I also have dyslexia and dyspraxia, it makes for a cocktail of potential pitfalls day to day…

Safe to say this is about as science as I want to get, so I’ll sign off on this element for now, but I’ll throw in the odd stat or two as we go…

I think I need to tell you a bit more of the story behind me and who I really am before we get buried in broad brush web definitions and the point is lost…

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