This could all be very mixed up and not make sense because I don’t really even know what part of my story to focus on. So I’m sorry about that. I want to share my experience of bipolar, borderline personality disorder and social anxiety.
Firstly I want to explain bipolar.
I was diagnosed with bipolar last year at the age of 21, and if I’m honest it shocked me. Yet after my psychiatrist explained why she thought I had bipolar things did make sense. Why antidepressants caused such a bad reaction, my ups and downs etc. But after reading the side effects of bipolar medication it just wasn’t something I was willing to try and so I decided to discharge myself from mental health services altogether.
I coped fairly well, considering. Seven months of no medication and I was holding down a job and managing to stay stable.
Then one morning I woke up and my anxiety was through the roof. It had come from nowhere. Social anxiety was something I had always suffered with but this time it felt unbearable. I tried to deal with it and carry on but after having a complete meltdown on the bar at work I decided to make an appointment with a GP. I didn’t mention the diagnosis of bipolar disorder last year and to be quite honest, the GP looked as though she was busy.
And an antidepressant…for anxiety
I was prescribed a new antidepressant which was meant to help with social anxiety and after only two days I was on top of the world. Not sleeping or eating, writing stories and, if I’m honest, feeling amazing and making the mistake of thinking that pill had “made me better”.
While feeling invincible I was also extremely irritable. And my head in the end was racing, I couldn’t cope with noise and I just wasn’t myself.
I quit my job randomly because that was a good idea at the time. I started to drink a bottle of wine every night to help me sleep and slow down.
The worst week
And then came the worst week of my life.
I had punched my stepfather in the face and smashed a cup against the wall. I believed I was getting messages from spirits, slit my wrist open and tried to jump off a bridge. All in a week. It was mostly a blur. And after refusing to volunteer to go into hospital because I insisted I was completely fine, I was sectioned.
While in hospital I was taken off the antidepressant, put on an antipsychotic, and diagnosed with bipolar, borderline personality disorder and social anxiety.
Now while I feel well in myself I realised that stigma is still such a problem. While anxiety and bipolar were accepted and family and friends were supportive, borderline personality disorder wasn’t. The responses I had were, “That’s one I wouldn’t want to have”, “I don’t think you’re borderline. You’re not horrible”.
Those responses disgusted me and while I tell myself stigma needs to be fought I find myself hiding the fact I have been diagnosed as borderline.
And it’s wrong that certain disorders are accepted and others are not.
Living with a mental disorder is nothing to be ashamed of. And that goes for all mental disorders!