7 Days of BPD - Day Three: Q&A with Jane Keal

  1. Did you realise you had symptoms of BPD before being diagnosed with it? I knew something wasn't right, but I didn't know what. I didn't seem to fit the criteria for depression/anxiety that I'd previously been diagnosed with, so had to keep pushing.
  2. How did your diagnosis come about? I started having another really rough patch of it, the severe lows etc, and so went to the GP. From that she mentioned the idea of BPD, which I'd read a little bit about but not loads. It seemed to match up perfectly though!
  3. What is your understanding of BPD? That its incredibly misunderstood! For me its a case of not always knowing how to react, but not being able to trust my reaction either, that tends to be a big part of it. Ties in to the unstable emotions, tiny things can set me off, but I don't know if I have a right to be upset or not.
  4. Have you always agreed with your diagnosis? If not, why not? Even doctors can't always agree with it! There seems to be an unwillingness to diagnose BPD. Thats the 'label' thats made it make most sense to me though, the one I can identify with
  5. What do your family, friends or loved ones think of your diagnosis? When I told one of my friends her first reaction was 'well yeah, that kinda obvious...' and the vast majority have been supportive. I've lost friends and relationships because of it though.
  6. What treatment have you been offered for BPD? I was offered DBT but so far nothings happened.
  7. What treatment do you have or have you had? E.g. therapy, medication etc. Before the BPD diagnosis I've been on antidepressants and been through CBT but I don't feel either of those really tackled the BPD issues properly.
  8. Which symptoms of BPD do you have? Oh god I'm textbook at times haha! Unstable identity, severe mood swings, impulsive behaviour, fear of abandonment so being a bit extreme with that. Luckily I don't tend to have the hallucinations
  9. Can you describe what they’re like? I wish I could, it would make it so much easier! Its hard because I can see that I'm being irrational, but can't do anything about it until after that episode is over, so a lot of mistakes get made. The lack of identity can get really confusing sometimes too.
  10. Which do you feel is worse, and why? The emotional instability, especially when I know deep down the reaction is incredibly extreme. Feeling that is horrible, and it just gets you into a vicious cycle that makes you feel worse.
  11. How are you treat by mental health professionals? One once told me that BPD was used as a diagnosis when nothing else would fit.
  12. Do you feel they treat you differently to service users with other diagnosis? I feel like its not always taken as seriously as others.
  13. Have you had any bad experiences of mental health services? Yes, when I was in A&E off an attempt, I was treated awfully (I'm actually about to do a blog post about this, will send you the link :))
  14. What has been your best experience? I once had a GP who really listened, she was the one who gave me the diagnosis, and that meant the world. Everyone else just brushed it off.
  15. Do you have any advice for others with BPD? Talk to people. If you can't talk to family/friends then get on something like Twitter, because you're not alone in it. Having it does not make you a bad person
  16. What or who has helped you the most and how? Twitter because there is an understanding from speaking to people who've been there you don't otherwise get, and that can really help you make sense of it in your own mind.
  17. Is there anything you wish you’d known when you first began your journey? That there is a massive online support community, thats been my biggest help.
  18. Do you have any regrets of things you’ve done because of BPD e.g. self-harm etc? I think regretting things would make them harder to deal with. It happened and I've learnt from it.
  19. Have you had experience of being in a medical hospital since your BPD diagnosis? Was it different to before your diagnosis? No
  20. Why did you begin blogging? To try and help make people more aware of BPD because its so massively misunderstood.
  21. What affect has it had on your life? Its nice to have somewhere I can be completely honest, writing it down seems to help.
  22. Have you ever been admitted to a psychiatric ward? If so, what was your experience like? Thankfully not
  23. What do you like to do in your spare time? E.g. career/education and hobbies/interests. The normal stuff! Work Monday - Friday, spend time with friends at the weekend, that kinda thing! I'm also involved in local radio which is a bit different!
  24. Is there any last thing you’d like to say? Massive thanks to the lovely Aimee for doing this, cannot wait to read other peoples replies!
Jane has a blog at: http://bpd-me.blogspot.com/
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