BPD and Eating Disorders

BPD often has co-occuring diagnoses. For me, one of the things it overlaps with is an eating problem. This is quite common.

Now, I haven’t been formally diagnosed but I believe that I have Binge Eating Disorder.  To me, saying I have an eating disorder feels like a cop out, when really my problem is poor self control. It is hard to accept that maybe there is more to it than that. I can accept that eating disorders are real for other people, and yet I cannot accept it for myself.

I have been a binge eater since a fairly young age. This is more than just comfort eating; I am ashamed to admit I eat until overfull most days. I stuff my face with random stuff; not always chocolate and crisps. Last night my binge was on chocolate hoop cereal.

I still feel sick.

I am not sure how to tackle this. It has a profound effect on my happiness; I feel disgusting and trying to lose weight is nigh on impossible right now. I desperately need to lose weight, yet even talking about my weight leads to an insatiable urge to binge.

I have hope though.

I am currently undergoing EMDR therapy. It is my hope that as this continues I may be able to curb my bingeing. EMDR sounds weirdy weirdy, but is actually very cool and I believe, very effective.  EMDR stands for something like Eye Movement Desensitisation and Restructuring. My therapist makes me follow her fingers side to side with my eyes as I focus on a specific target memory. The process changes my reaction when I bring up the memory; from anger/hurt to a more positive emotion. I think EMDR is very clever, and am looking forward to continuing my therapy.

This reminds me that although it may seem I am complaining about my binge eating, actually right now I feel very grateful for all I have in life. Not everyone is as fortunate as me to have a good therapist, an excellent psychiatrist,  strong support network and a home in supported accommodation.  I am grateful for all that I have.

Fryn

 

*Insert Original Title Here*

Hi there blogosphere!

Following recent twitter successes (700 followers! Whoop!) and kind comments, I figured I’d write a new blog post. I’ll try to make these updates more frequent too.

I’ve been really busy lately (doing what, I hear you ask!) so I’d like to write about that. I have been doing some new volunteering with British Heart Foundation doing admin and telephone stuff. This is really exciting, because although it is only 9 hours per week, it is vital experience that will update my CV and make me employable when I’m ready to work again (which I hope will be relatively soon). I’m thrilled. The general life plan is 1) get a job 2) stick at job then 3) move out of supported accommodation (into my own flat! Exciting!) ….. I’ll keep you informed with how that goes, but on the whole I’m feeling really positive about the future (yay for aripiprazole!)

In other news, I have recently made a huge 180-degree change in opinion on faith. I used to be a hard line atheist, believing there is nothing after death and that life is futile and pointless. Now I believe in God! A huge, exciting/scary change for me. I’m interested to learn your opinions on faith with regards to mental health conditions; how do they compliment/oppose one another? My previously atheist beliefs seemed to fit with my negative, depressed view of the world.. Is it because I have a more positive outlook that I am able to believe in God, or is it because I believe in God that I have a more positive outlook? Puzzling. I appreciate this is a hot topic, I don’t wish to be too controversial, I’m just interested to hear your opinions!

Thank you,

Peace out,

Fryn

Update

So, it’s been a long time since I last blogged. Lots has changed.

I am now living in supported accommodation yay! It’s very good here. I have a lovely support worker and I’m doing pretty well. I’m in a relationship with my ex again, and it’s going well so far.

I’d like to talk about a few things today; firstly about my diagnosis and secondly I’d like to talk about self harm.

My diagnosis is Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder. I’m not sure how many times I’ve mentioned it already… But it would mean a lot to me if you could wrap your head around it, dearest reader. I have extreme mood swings. I may look fine on the inside but something may have changed on the inside. I’m very sensitive. I have extreme lows of depression, but, as I feel things very strongly, my highs are correspondingly very high; I feel both extreme joy and extreme sadness. I can be impulsive,  and not in ways that are necessarily noticeable or overly obnoxious. I decide very quickly that yes, I will have ten cookies or no,  I won’t leave the house today. I have many unhelpful coping strategies for toning down my extreme emotions. I sometimes get really anxious about seemingly small things, and have to fight hard to face my fear. Having EUPD really affects my every moment of every day.

Now, back to unhelpful coping strategies: today I’m going to talk about self harm. Self harm seems very scary to outsiders, I appreciate that. I’m not hurting myself for attention, if anything I DON’T want you to know I do it. My emotions, as I have said, are very extreme.  I’m not just saying this; I feel things strongly! Sometimes, too strongly. Sometimes I want to tone it down, or let my mind go blank. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed. At these times, I may turn to self harm. Self harm is very ingrained behaviour,  sometimes I don’t realise I have self harmed until after the event. I KNOW self harm is bad and unhelpful. But the point is, it is very effective at calming me down.

Types of self harm; it’s not all ‘angsty teenager’ stuff. There are many ways of self harming, some are quite subtle! The most obvious and widely known form of self harm is cutting/burning the skin. This can be done to any part of the body; often in places that are not ever visible to others. Pain can be grounding and the act of self harm releases endorphins; this behaviour can be very addictive.

There are less well known forms of self harm; binge eating or overeating as a form of self harm is something I am ashamed of, but suffer with. The effects are less immediately visible. But often eating rubbishy food in vast quantities is accompanied by lovely self-loathing thoughts such as ‘I deserve to be fat’ and very uncomfortable physical sensations of being bloated etc. One can alternatively self harm through neglect of oneself; by restricting food or water ‘because I deserve it’ or by not looking after oneself – such as taking less care in my appearance, letting chores build up etc. Another form of self harm, one that I only recently realised I do is deliberate sleep deprivation; forcing myself to stay up beyond a reasonable hour, knowing my eyes hurt, my brain hurts, I’m drained and that tomorrow I’ll have a sleep hangover!

Phew. Those are all the self harms I can think of, but the take home message is that ANY self-damaging act can be seen as self harm. It can be very subtle, or blatantly obvious. I am not proud to say I self harm often, to regulate my emotions. But my aim today is to shine a light of awareness on it.

I hope you have found my post interesting or educational. Feel free to ask me any questions (I think you can be anonymous!) in the comments.

Thank you for reading,

Fryn 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Oh dear, but hope’s near!

So, a blog post. They say that when one door closes another opens. Whoever ‘they’ are, I hope those doors are opening for me!

My relationship is over. I don’t know how I feel about that yet.

But I have some new beginnings; and they are what I’d like to blog about. Because I know how I feel about my new beginnings. I am hoping to move soon, it hasn’t gone through yet and it may still not materialise, but fingers crossed for a place in a supported accommodation facility for people with mental illnesses. Hopefully, this will help me regain some independence. I have applied to be a volunteer at a charity shop, and I am excited to prove to myself that I can stick to something.

A new project of mine is to make figurines/small sculptures from clay and paint them with acrylic paints. I am hoping to maybe have a stall at a Christmas craft fair and sell what I make, I hope this gives me a sense of purpose. I don’t intend to get rich from it, but I enjoy creating with clay and if I can fund it through a few sales then that makes me excited!

So, feeling a little sad but hopeful for the future. I’ll keep you informed, blogosphere!

Fryn

Guest Post by Fryn Lane – BPD & Creativity

I did a guest blog! Check it out!

BY LAUREN HAYLEY

Recently I’ve decided to feature some guests here on my blog to showcase some other people’s troubles with mental health. Here we have Fryn Lane who talks about having EUPD/BPD, and how she uses creativity as a way of managing it. Please check out her blog by clicking here.

fryn

Hi, I’m Fryn, I’m 22 years old and I have recurrent depression as a result of Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, also known as Borderline Personality Disorder. This has quite a big impact on my daily functioning; my feelings are very intense. Relationships with me can be intense at times no matter how hard I try to curtail it. My boyfriend Joe has his own mental health problems (we click because we have good mutual understanding and empathy) and it is very tricky to manage our individual problems alongside supporting one another. I also have extreme self-loathing, and a constant stream of self-critical thoughts…

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Medication and The Hunger

I am having a bit of trouble. Since increasing my dose of Aripiprazole I am finding myself with an unbearable urge to eat. I’m not sure if it counts as hunger; I don’t get stomach rumbles but just a craving for food gnawing at me.

Aripiprazole is not the first medication to do this. I have also tried Olanzapine, Quetiapine and Mirtazapine. They all made me extremely hungry. Mirtazapine especially; I would eat constantly. That’s how in January, I weighed in at an overwhelmingly increased 107.5kilos. Obese. I had to change it, to fight it.

With the help of changing to Quetiapine at low dose (I’ve found that low doses of these make me less hungry than when the dose increases) then Aripiprazole at low dose, and no small measure of determination, I managed to lose weight. Since January, I have lost 16.5kilos. That’s 2.5stone, and I feel much better for it. I have less of a double chin. I’m fitter. I feel good.

Well, I DID feel good.

Since increasing the aripiprazole a fortnight ago, the hunger, the craving for food has become unbearable. In just 2 weeks I have easily gained a kilo while trying desperately not to eat. I’m devastated. I was just in the range of ‘overweight’ rather than ‘obese’. I was feeling good. Now I feel horrible. I’m terrified of going back to my old weight. I have new clothes now that I feel good in; I don’t want to get too big for them. I was just starting to fall in love with my size. So what am I going to do about it?

I have been trying to increase my activity levels; going swimming, regular walks. But its gonna take a lot of walks to offset what I’m eating! Aaah! I’ll keep it up though. Convince myself any weight gain is in muscle rather than fat… I get so exhausted, its going to be tough fitting in more exercise when I always seem to need to recoup after each session.

I can try drinking a tonne of water, but the medication I’m on already makes me thirsty a lot.. There is room for me to drink more water though. So I’ll do that, that’s something I guess.

I could alter my diet – I already eat a lot of veggies, but maybe hummus is too fattening to snack on continuously? Should I cut back on hummus, oh most almightiest of vegan staples?!

The trouble is, not only am I craving food but the craving is for unhealthy food. Carbs carbs carbs! I’ve tried snacking on fruit instead, its not satisfying the hunger.. I guess there is always room for me to try harder. Try harder, Fryn! Stop making excuses, Fryn!

I just feel so disheartened. My weight loss was doing so well, and now I’m stalled and what if I go back to the weight I was before I hated it I can’t face how much I’ll hate myself for it. It’s hard enough that the EUPD creeps in with unhealthy coping mechanisms of binge eating.. It just feels so much to fight.

Hmmph. Well, rant over. I’ll do my best and update soon. In the meantime, internet, do you have any advice for me?!

Much love,

Fryn