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How to tell the difference between BPD and depression? - July 20th 2019, 04:24 PM

Triggering: suicide and SH.

I'm having trouble telling what is going on with me lately. I have the diagnoses of both Bipolar Disorder Type I and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). They can often seem similar, and BPD has its own mood swings associated with it. Lately I've been feeling really depressed. I'm going through a lot of life changes and it's hard to find the will to keep living. I actually had a suicide attempt the other day, and I've been frequently self-harming. The thing is I still have a lot of energy. I'm tired but I'm not exhausted to the point of not wanting to get out of bed. I don't feel drained. So I can't tell what kind of depression it is because it's not like your "typical" numb or deep depression where you can't do anything. I mean I'm putting off a lot of stuff but I'm still able to get to IOP and whatnot.

The thing is I'm afraid if I go to the hospital for my self-harm someone is going to tell me it's all BPD and that I need residential treatment. BPD is TOTALLY shit upon a lot of times in the mental health community. I've encountered so much judgment for it. When it's my Bipolar mania or depression they're understanding, but as soon as it seems like it's BPD everyone gets frustrated and impatient. I think they think that I can STOP doing those things, but I'm really struggling to.

I'm not opposed to residential but I'm pretty poor and, in addition, I think I'd get more out of life if I could just volunteer and find a damn therapist. It'd be cheaper and just as beneficial. But I'm struggling. I want on antidepressants again but so many of them make me manic and if it is BPD I probably shouldn't go on them. So how can I tell? What do I do?



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Re: How to tell the difference between BPD and depression? - July 24th 2019, 05:56 PM

Are you able to keep track of your triggers and thoughts and then see if there is a pattern as to what might be the bipolar vs borderline personality disorder? Not sure how helpful that is as I was going to suggest that with borderline personality disorder the mood swings may be centred around relationships/lifestyle changes but then this can also be a factor in bipolar too. The other problem with depression in general is that it's still possible to have energy and function even when depressed. You don't necessarily have to be numb or in a deep depression.

I understand about the stigma of BPD and I'm really sorry that you feel you get taken less seriously when others think it's BPD related. It shouldn't be a barrier for getting help though. If you need or want to go to hospital for self-harm, then it's worth getting it checked out. If anyone suggests that it's BPD, you can always mention that you have bipolar as well. No-one should treat you differently for having BPD but if they do, try not to take it personally. There's a good chance they are wrongly buying into the stigma of the BPD label rather than treating you as person with respect.

How's the search for volunteering and a therapist going? It definitely seems like adding more of a purpose and going to a therapist can be beneficial to you.

I'm not sure how helpful this was. I imagine that tracking your mood and triggers as well as talking to a professional about how to distinguish bipolar vs BPD could be helpful. Hope others can share more of a personal insight with you!


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