Mental Illness Recovery Series: Story # 56

This is the 56th story of the Mental Illness Recovery Series. Anonymous’s emotional instability affected her tremendously, but by accepting her mental disorders and receiving help, she has been able to move forward. This is her story:

Anonymous is from South Carolina and she likes to study astronomy, geology, and psychology. She loves pizza, tacos, and sushi. Anonymous’s favorite bands are Fall Out Boy and Panic! At the Disco. She is also fond of drawing. Her goal is to graduate from college, hopefully with a degree in Biology or Psychology. Anonymous has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Depressive Disorder NOS (DD-NOS), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) traits. She believes her mental disorders were caused by different situations, she said, “The way I grew up, with constant bullying and being mistreated by others, and growing up with the feeling I never belonged.”

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Her therapist does not want to officially diagnose anonymous with BPD because of the stigma around it. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) hasn’t helped, but Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) has. She has dealt with numerous symptoms; Anonymous said she felt, “Intense feelings and fears of abandonment, mood swings but frequently depressed and felt empty, impulsive, constantly worried and paranoid about others around me, irritable, prone to having meltdowns and shutdowns, lots of panic attacks and dissociation.”

Her daily life was affected in many ways. It became difficult for Anonymous to make and maintain friendship and relationships. Whenever Anonymous became upset she would either shut down and not communicate, or melt down and scream. Anonymous said, “I would think others were planning things behind my back to hurt me and was mistrustful. It also affected school as I had trouble paying attention and working with others.” She has considered and attempted suicide a few times. Not only that, but Anonymous would hit, bite, scratch herself and hit other people. This type of behavior made her constantly feel upset, she said, “It made me confused as to why I felt that way and behaved the way I did.”

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The turning point for Anonymous was after she had a complete meltdown at a friend’s house that consequently got her banned. She said, “It negatively impacted my life a lot and put a strain on me and my boyfriend’s relationship. That event that took place made me do more research about myself and helped me get into a DBT program, and it also got me on medication (Risperdal, an antipsychotic) to help control my rage and outbursts of emotions.” DBT skills such as mindfulness, distress tolerance, and emotion regulation has helped Anonymous a whole lot. Her boyfriend and family do not understand what Anonymous is going through, but they do listen and try to help.

She is now more focused on her behavior and this experience has changed her outlook in life. She said, “My outlook is a bit more positive than it used to be, and I’m happy with that.” This is her advice for others struggling with similar situations:

“Things may be hard right now, but with time and help things will improve. Do some research on the disorders you have or may have; learn about yourself, and you may find a solution that can help your situation. Talk to someone that you’re close to, or look for a support group online that you can talk to. If you look for help, I’m sure you’ll find it somewhere.”

Anonymous has struggled throughout her whole life, but thankfully she has been able to control it. Help me make a difference by sharing your story.

Edited by Ranine Swaid.

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