Bipolar or Borderline? Part 1

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Although I was recently diagnosed with Bipolar type 2 mood disorder, honestly, I wonder myself if it might not be Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) instead, or even in addition. The reason I say this is that so many of the stories of other Borderlines hit close to home and so do the symptoms. My greatest fear is fear of abandonment, and has been since childhood. It doesn’t matter if that abandonment comes from rejection or death, it all feels like being abandoned to me.

As a child I wouldn’t even spend the night at friends’ houses normally because I would have panic attacks at night and end up calling my mom to come get me. I was always afraid something would happen to my family or they would somehow be gone in the morning if I wasn’t there with them all the time. This fear became much, much worse after my dad died when I was 12. After that, my fear centered on my mom dying or leaving me, which wasn’t helped at all when she remarried when I was 15 and started dumping me off on anyone she could while she went on trips with her new lover.

When I got married at 20 years of age, that fear transferred to my husband. At first I feared he would just get sick of me and leave or find someone else he liked better. I was extremely insecure for a long time. I would get upset over the silliest things, like thinking he loved the kids he worked with more than he loved me. It was ridiculous. The one and only time we have been apart since being married was when I went with a church group to Tennessee for a week. One night during that week he told me he would be home by 10pm, so I called him after that and couldn’t get an answer. I freaked out, and ended up leaving 19 tearful messages for him within an hour because I was so scared something had happened to him.

Fortunately, I have matured over the years and my fear of my husband leaving me or cheating on me has greatly reduced due to his loving nature, although deep down I know I must still have some of those fears because I have nightmares about those things happening. However, now my fear focuses mostly on my worries that my husband will die before I do…a fear that might be somewhat justified by my being about a decade younger than him. This fear of something happening to him is so strong it literally gives me panic attacks if I think about it too much.

My fear of abandonment and rejection greatly affects my ability to develop other relationships because I tend to push people away before they can get too close, mostly out of fear of them rejecting me once they really get to know me. I know I have poor self-esteem and a flawed self-image, which I’m sure I will address further in part 2 of this post.

* Art by Maranda Russell

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14 thoughts on “Bipolar or Borderline? Part 1

  1. In no way meant as patronising. You have come through a lot you are brave and Stronger for it. Bipolar is a scary place for someone who suffers I can only imagine of course. I am lucky.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know you are a great person. I’m sorry about the bipolar! It can be a difficult illness to live with. I, of course, will always be here to assist you in any way I can.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was diagnosed about 11 years ago with Bipolar II. A year later I was also diagnosed with BPD. I have been treated over all of these years for both condition and am thankful that I am doing better than years past. I hope you have a good relationship with your psychiatrist and therapist as they will help you with both BPand BPD.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have Bipolar ! and also BPD. I only found out about the BPD 2 years ago. Things made so much more sense when I found out. Most of my problems come from the BPD. My therapist is a God send. I would bring up the BPD for sure at your next appointment.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve heard multiple instances where borderline had originally been misdiagnosed as bipolar, it happens because both experience intense mood swings but with borderline those mood swings can happen within the same day or week where BP there’s usually a longer period between swings. It’s also entirely possible you have both. I totally relate to what you’re saying, I have intense fear of rejection or abandonment. I hope you talk to your psychiatrist about this and let us know the development. X

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t know if I am one or the other or both, but I know when I read that thing about borderline people having favourite people that they get kind of consumed with, my life suddenly made sense.

    Liked by 1 person

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