Welcome to the Mood Disorders Forum. Questions in this forum are being answered by Peter Forster, MD and topics covered are anxiety, bipolar, depression, panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and stress.
I have been recently diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder along with Generalized Anxiety and I am currently under a psychiatrist and a psychologist care. I have been having problems with communicating with others, uncomfortable when people touch me, sensitive to criticism and rejection with extreme anxiety along with angry outbursts with my family having these symptoms continously everyday and was wondering if anyone else also has these issues. I have lost 4 jobs in the past 3 years not able to hold down responsibilities as having fears and phobias while working. Can anyone tell me if these symptoms go along with Borderline Personality Disorder? I am currently taking Doxepin 100 mg and Trazodone 100 mg for depression and anxiety. Oh yes, I am having alot fatigue also during the daytime from the meds. I also am experiencing bad dreams at night. Is this normal for BPD to have all these symptoms that I am experiencing ?
I will let others comment about their experiences, but one formulation of borderline personality disorder is that it involves a deficit in the "self soothing" function - the ability to make oneself feel OK/safe. Hence the symptoms of heightened sensitivity, anxiety, and irritability. The most effective treatments focus on teaching people how ways of making up for this deficit - hence the focus in dialectical behavior therapy on "distress tolerance" skills.
I guess bpd for me feels like an intolerance. If something happens which triggers me emotionally then I have a hard time trying to deal with the overwhelming emotions it creates. Most people seem less affected by similar events which I believe is because they experience less stress and anxiety in their lives and have a greater balance. In my life I feel exposed to chronic severe stress which due to my difficulties mean I struggle to resolve the real issues.
My lack of tolerance for uncomfortable emotions could be due to a decreased ability to self-soothe. I have a lot of trouble doing things for myself that are 'nice'. I also struggle when people praise me or pay me compliments. For me it would feel more 'soothing' or validating if someone were to criticise me. (Although when that does happen it can hurt.)
Self-soothing is doing stuff for yourself that you enjoy. Listening to music, going to the movies, having a bubble bath. It's different for everyone. I find reading quite soothing or relaxing. An ice-cream or a coffee could also be considered as self-soothing.
Feeling OK or safe is just that, a feeling. For me I experienced this in therapy where I felt contained. You'll have times when you feel OK. This likely is a time where you are feeling contained.
I personally are not a huge fan of dbt although to be fair I have found it helpful at times. dbt if used correctly consists of individual therapy (where you work through issues with a therapist), skills training (which is done in a group setting where you learn skills) and where you also have phone contact if you need it.
A dialectical approach, I think, basically means that you are trying to achieve a balance. They use the example of a seasaw where it is neither up or down but balanced.
I think the idea is to teach you to use both your head and your heart, rather than just one.
dbt is probably more heavily focused on skills and behaviours where cbt is more on thoughts. cbt uses the think -feel -do approach. Each of these can be placed at a point on a triangle. Each can affect the other. For example, what you think, can affect what you feel and in turn what you do. I think the theory is that you can change your behaviour by changing any one of those. When you change what you think or feel or do you change your behaviour. From memory, changing your thoughts is said to be easier than changing either how you feel or what you do.
I had one therapist who said that dbt wasn't effective for me as my issues were from when I was very young (which affected my emotional development).
She said that learning the dbt skills was a bit like filling a bucket with holes with water.
I was once told that bpd was a bit like holding a broken glass in your hand and trying not to lose that water. It is a bit stressful and can produce a lot of anxiety.
Judging from what you've written it sounds like your anxiety is heightened around communicating at work. To me it sounds like a reasonable place to start with working on your issues, unless there are other more important ones.
To me it was a bit confusing as it felt as though you took my bpd symptoms I gave you and copied them here. I think you could have those symptoms too but have not yet learnt how to describe them or put them into words. That is something dbt also teaches you to do.
I don't know about the meds. If meds help you to manage your life better then they sound like a good option for now until you can work through the issues creating the distress.
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