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What it’s like to live with two personality disorders



Hattie Gladwell for

People look at me in confusion when I tell them I have two personality disorders. And I’ll admit that often, I’m confused about it myself.  I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in early 2016, and borderline personality disorder just five months ago. I first went to the doctor after having a serious meltdown. I’d been having lots of them throughout 2015 and they were getting worse every time. Alongside my meltdowns, which often included screaming, shouting and sobbing until my lungs couldn’t bear it, I was self-destructive. I’d go months feeling as though I was unstoppable. Powerful. As if I was the most important person in the world. I was spending large sums of money in small amounts of time on things I didn’t even need. I was having brilliant ideas, certain I was about to write a best-selling book. In the space of a week, I’d have written five chapters to five different books, convinced I was going to be the next J.K Rowling. I wasn’t sleeping properly. Three hours maximum. Sleeping late and waking early. I’d be tired but my mind would be racing far too much to rest.

What it's like to live with two personality disorders

I’d also have periods of depression. I’d go from feeling everything to feeling nothing. I’d be tired all the time. Groggy. I’d feel as though I was worthless, that the world didn’t benefit from having me in it. I was contributing nothing. People wouldn’t care if I wasn’t here. There have been times when I’ve convinced myself of that – and put myself in danger by attempting to do something about it. One night, things got so bad that the next day I was booked in for an emergency doctors appointment by my mum. The GP was worried about me and sent me to a psychiatrist. Long story short (if you want to read the long story, you can do so here), I had a few sessions and was eventually diagnosed with bipolar. I was then trialed on a number of medications until I found one that worked. Although I’d still experience some periods of hypomania – a smaller form of mania – and some periods of depression, after finding the right medication I became more stable. I wasn’t acting recklessly. My mind wasn’t always working at a mile a minute. I could process things calmly. I was sleeping properly. And when I had my so called ‘brilliant ideas’, I wouldn’t rush into them.


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