I just got back from my first counselling session at Planned Parenthood Toronto (PPT). So far so good, I’m very excited! I’ll be going biweekly for a year.
The first session is always that rehash that I’m sure many of you are familiar with. You break out into the same story you’ve told all professionals before. Your family, you childhood, your suicide attempts, your coping, traumas blah blah blah. That’s what we did and as usual I do it with a smile because years of retelling this stuff has made me not care about it.
My social worker, J, is very into art therapy so her and I should get a long great! She told me that she’s getting the equipment for sandplay therapy (sandplaycanada.ca) so we could try that in the summer! J also does colleges, which I love, so we are going to do some of that too! I’ve never done something hands on like this in counselling so I’m up for the experience!
At my request she’s also giving me a referral to the psychiatrist that comes to PPT once a month so I can possibly get in there during the summer and find out if I’ve changed enough to be deemed mentally healthy, if I’m something else, or if I’m the same. I guess regardless I’m going to carry on as I always do!
We ended with my counselling goals:
- Make the angry moments in my life less intense
- Stop cutting completely and develop more positive coping strategies
I’m hoping that this time around will be my best effort into counselling yet!
I want to continue spreading the awareness of BPD during this month of May and I can think of nothing better to talk about than the criteria to be diagnosed with BPD.
I was diagnosed using the DSM IV so those are the criteria I will use (we can talk about the new DSM V criteria tomorrow).
There are 9 criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder. They are:
(1) Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5
(2) a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation
(3) identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self image or sense of self
(4) impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.
(5) recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior
(6) affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)
(7) chronic feelings of emptiness
(8) inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)
(9) transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms
When I was first diagnosed in 2008 I identified with 8 of the 9 criteria, not identifying with criteria 9. This was probably because I was in a horrible relationship.
I can see how being in a more positive relationship has helped me improve but I have also changed criteria.
I now currently identify with 6 of the criteria. What’s changed?
I no longer identify with:
- Criteria 3- unstable self image. My self image is fairly stable and would not be labeled persistent.
- Criteria 4- impulsivity. I am not impulsive although I do fear this and avoid situations that may cause impulsive behaviour or thoughts to occur.
- Criteria 7- chronic feelings of emptiness. I do not feel this way often.
What was added:
- Criteria 9- stress related paranoia. Due to my previous horrible experiences with relationships I can become very paranoid when in stressful situations involving my current close relationships.
This is progress if I’ve ever seen it
I hope people can begin to understand what BPD is and that with the right support, time and effective treatment (although I haven’t pursued it until recently) BPD can be managed or completely recovered from!