A Dual Diagnosis
by A. C.
I have been presented with a dual diagnosis of Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder. Living with both can be quite challenging but I have learned how to succeed despite the difficulties. The mania and depression swings of Bipolar can dramatically increase the symptoms of other mental illnesses, in my case Borderline Personality Disorder.
The swings of Bipolar escalate the manipulated relationships in a borderline’s life. Mood swings are the driving force of a relationship’s start and end. Mania drives a person’s relationship in an upward motion, while depression makes it hit rocky bottom. Relationships are the consuming joy and dread of a borderline’s life.
A borderline with bipolar is the equivalent of a rat being let into a sick snake’s cage. The snake attempts to consume the rat, as the rat feeds of the snake’s flesh. Borderlines try to control their bipolar symptoms by avoiding connections, but then their mania makes them dive headlong into an unsteady relationship. It is unsteady because one moment they are actively pursuing the relationship with a passion. The next moment is filled with depression and therefore they shove away the other individual because a borderline is apt to always come to this point.
A borderline will sabotage a relationship or situation then blame their depression on bipolar. Bipolar depression though is different. There is no rhymer reason behind a bipolar depression. If bipolar is the cause of the breakup of a bonding the depression comes first. Bipolar is not an illness to blame all of a borderline’s dysfunctions, but bipolar can play a vital role in aggravating the downward spiral of the already onset disorder.
Medicine can be used to help control a person’s disposition. Mood stabilizers do what they’re intended to do stabilize the mood swings that a bipolar person goes through. But medicine can only cure to a point. Medicine can play a role in decreasing a person’s symptoms, but therapy must also be an active part of a person’s regiment. A good therapist can distinguish the difference between a bipolar/borderline’s mood swings and the shakiness associated with disastrous pattern of life.
But someone with bipolar and borderline must also realize that there is hope beyond this seemingly hopeless cycle. I have come to find that with medication and therapy these illnesses can be combined to actually reverse the effects of despair and mania. Yes I said reverse… With therapy you can learn to track your cycles and catch them before they manifest into a horrendous problem. Tracking your cycles shows you where the problem lies, whether it’s a bipolar depression stage or a result of a bad decision.
Learning your patterns will benefit you greatly. I have acquired the knowledge that sometimes my bipolar increases the role of borderline personality disorder in my life because the cycles of mania and depression can intensify the desire to manipulate. Mania leads to initial manipulation because you feel like you’re on top of the world and everybody falls into the category of ones to be conquered. Then depression hits and you have to manipulate your way out of these relationships because you don’t feel like you deserve them.
Mania can be good sometimes when you want to accomplish a great feat, and depression is a natural response to grieving. But uncontrolled these mood swings will control your life and make it impossible to function. Bipolar with Borderline Personality Disorder is a complicated cycle but with determination and with help from a therapist and medicine you can overcome these daunting disorders.
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