June 12, 2014

Nik blogs about how his friends help him with borderline personality disorderI had always known I was different, but it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder in 2009 that I felt that I understood why.  My illness had been playing havoc with my life, and it was a relief to have a diagnosis that made sense to me.

It was during my time at university that I became quite unwell and after being discharged from hospital, I was evicted from my university campus and had to stay in a hostel.  The university called me into a meeting and said they didn’t feel safe having me there.  They thought I was a danger, to myself and to others.  In fact, due to the stigma around personality disorder many people believed that, even though I had never been violent to another person.  

I felt reluctant to open up, especially when dating

Because of these experiences, I felt reluctant to open up about having mental illness, particularly when dating.  That was until I met my partner, Hardeep.  It was love at first sight. She liked the fact that I was a writer.  I showed her some things I’d written about my experiences.  Unlike others, she didn’t run away. She put her arms around me and said, We’re going to be fine.

In 2010 I vowed to work on my recovery with the guidance of the Cambridge floating support team.  My life has since been transformed.  Currently studying to become a personal trainer after losing 11 stone, I’ve also published two books about my experiences.

I've got a good group of people around me - my own Wolfpack

Aside from my wife Hardeep, a good group of people have stuck with me since university, which I consider my own Wolfpack!  My friend James and his other half Zoe have really been there for me.   As well as Nathan, his partner Gemma and my dear friend Yael.  They’ve been really supportive over the years and I consider them family.  They didn’t leave me when they could have done. 

Nathan and James tell me when I’m being an “idiot”, but have always been there when I’ve needed the odd rant or a cuppa.  They also know when to give me a bit of space.  A lot of people dropped off the radar once they knew I spent time in a psychiatric unit, mainly because they didn’t know what to say.   These friends have been like a rock to me.   I remember simple things they’d do like meet me in town for a coffee just to get me out and about.

There's a lot of misinformation about borderline personality disorder

The three of us stay in touch as much as we can.  Over the years their other halves have become good friends too.  Nathan was the best man at my wedding and I’m very much looking forward to the time when I can repay the same honour.  These friends have really been there for me.  They’re good people.

There’s a lot of misinformation about borderline personality disorder. It affects men, too, and just because someone has it, it doesn’t mean they are, “bad”. The more we speak out, the more things will change and mental health problems will no longer be the last great taboo.

These are my five tips on how to look out for your mates:

  • If your mate is acting differently to what they normally do, try not to make a scene about it and try to have a quiet word to see if they are ok
  • Try to make yourself available to said mate if they need you
  • Try not to judge what is said and what happens if they become unwell
  • If your friend gets really unwell and has a diagnosis maybe read up on it
  • Sometimes honesty is the best policy, walking on egg shells doesn't always turn out the best way

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Comments

Article

Hi I have borederline personality disorder too ( I'm a man ) it was nice to read a news articarle like this I have 2 close friends who are my own wolfpack too Well done for doing what you are doing

Totally relatable!

I can completely relate to this blog post as I too have BPD and telling people about it is difficult as the name itself is scary! I'm trying to be honest with the friends I have and most of them have been so supportive in trying to understand my condition but there are people who don't know how to deal with mental illness and have left me because of it. So helping educate people about BPD is so important to me to help people become as supportive as they can. After-all the brain can get ill just like any other part of our body!

Loosing everyone

Have had a complete breakdown and I have bpd i am in supported housing I was I high functioning mother of 3 girls I worked 3 days a week I had the first break and was in and out of hospital I came home and know one want to know me I can't to ask my husband to leave because he was making it worse I had home treatment so I had support I lasted 18 months before good back to hospital and I had to put up with a lot I was working looking after the girls and running the house with my ex and his family and other saying I was dangerous and a fucking nutter and so much I got it all sorted my girls with me divorces on my ground and I fell again that was 2011 I can't made me better I'm starting therapy had to have. A break as it is to much I know have to weight for a different therapy to get copying skills so iam trying but everyone apart from one true friend has walked away I lost everything and everyone my mum and dad find it hard to deal with I can understand people being scared because I would get on trains and overdose every chance I got but I'm still me the person they know and that what hurts I had to give my girls to there dad and give him the home so I put the girls first To be told I am a danger to my girls and I will never get them back plus I know my ex and his family would fight which I can't do I've not seen the girls for a long time because it breaks my heart and I'm triggered by thoughts of not being there mum it's hard for some people to understand its like looking at something u have lost and just seeing. A picture it is like they have gone to a place I can never go xx I want friends I have problems with people and meeting new people they call it a social phobia and so many issues but I will always say I have mental Heath issues and I have know problem talking about it if they ask questions I will answer the best I can and I Want everyone who has any problem that I see u and u are loved and cared for by me and all who fight if you can listen to Cindy laupers true colours

Borderline personality disorder

I have a friend who has BPD and she makes people believe she has DID which is Dissociative identity disorder. She is very selfish, i will get what i want. Will follow the wrong things in life and gets a buzz from it. Will get cross with you if you tell her the right thing and help her in the right way. Lots of things. One case is she even goes to lengths of storking people and finding where they live and what they do. Will break rules. Will try anything to get what she wants and will try to get help for DID when she clearly does not have it. She will refuse help on BPD as DID people get more care and support. What can i do. Im loosing what was my best friend and is now so selfish and unkind to me. I get from her, you don't care about me ect..... when i help her so much and be a support worker when i shouldnt and leave it to the professionals. But i must be there for her no matter what, in an instant and drop everything or thats wrong and im bad. I could go on forever and ever. She sees a man who has treated her sexualy and just because she gets what she wants from him as he says yes to everything, she will see him and will egnore me. I realy am giving up. Please can you help me with advice? I understand you get lots of posts and will most likely be slow to reply, but im loosing her as a friend and she is anerexic and is severly under weight. Julie

Support

Hi Julie, really sorry to hear about your friend. The good thing is that you are there for her, that is the best thing. We have some support links here, including some phone numbers that you can call for advice: https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/what-are-mental-health-problems/help-support-services Best, Crystal at Time to Change

Thank you (:

I, like you, have also been diagnoised with Borderline Personality Disorder, and have been stigmatised a lot about having it. When I first told my friend the reply I got was "so which Helen am I talking too?" and many others have believed that I must have multiple personality disorders.. but I don't.. and that has led to a lot of discrimination, especially at sixth form etc, but like you, I found I was able to express my feelings etc through writing poetry and have found the most amazing boyfriend who has stood by me through so much and accepted me for who I am... I don't only have Bpd, but I s'h and have anorexia but I just wanted to say a masive thank you for speaking about your experience because am worried what the label of Bpd will have on me at university in the summer but so far they seem to be understanding. But thank you so much, you are one amazing person and you should never let Bpd get you down (easier said then done I know!) But thank you :) Helen xxxxxx

bpd

Wow a report on bpd, thank you for sharing and helping others not only gain a insight into what we live with but raising awareness of the condition full stop, lots of news articles and tv shows show bipolar but never touch on bpd

I totally agree that stigma

I totally agree that stigma towarda mental health especiall personaolty disorder needs to be changed and looked at as not everybody with this condition acts or behaves I the same way and not everybody with a mental health illness is a violent or volatile person. This I have said as social services banned me from seeing my nephew because of my mental health diagnosis as they assumed I am a violent person and would hurt someone as they had only seen what I was like on paper and not what im like in person. I believe that until you have put your self I the position of someone suffering from this illness then you will never know or understand the illness and the many characteristics it entails

newly diagnosed, confused....

I have been newly diagnosed with emotionally unstable personality disorder. (BPD) I am still no sure if I am happy that I have been diagnosed with this or not. for the last 3 years I have been treated for Cyclothymia ( a illness in the bipolar spectrum) I have been heavily sedated for most of this time. now I have a new diagnosis I have had all my meds taken away and replaced by just 1 which makes me really unwell. I am afraid if I talk to my psychiatrist he wont believe the meds are making me ill , as I have just finished a methadone program for drug abuse, I feel he may think im just trying to get 'drugs'. I have no friends, none I have no one to talk to, can anyone help ?

BPD in men

I'm a male with BPD too and it is very hard. I'm on a course of DBT with no other men..just 8 fantastic women! In other circumstances, being the only male in a room full of females would be a dream come true! I also have Bi-polar and PTSD which just add fuel to the fire. I hope to one day feel like I'm in a place I'm happy with, but at the moment it's a struggle. I've just started a blog documenting my struggle with BPD, Bi polar, PTSD and Diabetes. If you ever fancy taking a look you can find it at fitbodychange.com It's new so I haven't blogged much yet. The feeling of being able to share my feelings without judgement, to people I don't know personally is liberating to say the least. It's grate to see another guy making his feelings public (and with a photo!) I don't havethe courage to show my face just yet! I hope you are doing ok, James

friendship guide

I really appreciate this positive post. I'd like to know if there are resources out there on how to be a good friend. While I have not been diagnosed with BPD, my psychiatrist has said that I have BPD "features". Friendships are a real struggle for me. When I google BPD and relationships, I find a plethora of articles about how to deal with or defend oneself from people with the illness. Some of these seem helpful, some insensitive. In any case, I am looking for help for ME. I'd like to be a better friend. I'd like to do relationships better. It seems like there should be resources out there to help with this. Thanks again for your positive post.

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