Reading up on your disorder – more harm than good?

I’ve only ever actually bought one book relating to mental health – The Borderline Personality Disorder Survival Guide which I bought straight after my diagnosis. I also have Cyclothymia and anxiety, but BPD was the diagnosis I found hardest to understand and get a hold of what it actually is.

Obviously it goes without saying though that I have constant access to Google – and I do research my other conditions sometimes as well.

20150125_221637But what I want to know is, is it a good idea? Is it a good idea to gain clarity on what’s ‘wrong’ with you, or does it become a self-fulfilling prophecy? Is it better to just get a diagnosis and allow the doctor or psychiatrist to decide what they feel is best for you, and you continue only knowing as much as they think you need to know?

Do I for example read:

It simply means that you have a pattern of thinking, feeling, and behaving that may be hindering your ability to have a high quality of life, keep your relationships going strong, or reach your goals.

…and make that a reality for myself? Do I read that clear defining statement of what BPD is and begin to automatically think that I can’t be in a strong relationship and therefore push my boyfriend further away until the relationship breaks down? Or do I read that I can’t reach my goals and therefore decide to leave university early because it’s been said that it may be too difficult for my personality type to handle?

Being someone with BPD, I already don’t have a strong sense of identity, so what’s stopping the things I’m reading from becoming apart of my already shaky identity and not necessarily in a positive way?

It’s natural instinct to want to find out more. As humans we are inquisitive and seek answers to our problems. But is it wise? Just because we are programmed to do something doesn’t make it the right thing to do.

I’m not necessarily talking about the world of blogging, because that’s on the whole about sharing personal experiences. It allows for us to have a way of letting our frustrations go and it allows us to feel comfortable in the knowledge that someone will listen and understand.

Blogging is like a world where people are OK with talking about their problems and don’t feel ashamed of it (which is great!), and it should happen in the real world too – but it’s not medical.

Is that where the line needs to be drawn? Is it negative when we start to get medical?

Should we know about the ICD-10 of medical classification unless we’re trained to know this stuff for professional reasons? Should we be able to so easily gain access to lists of symptoms that allow us to become self-fulfilling hypochondriacs?

Is it self-destructive? Does it make us more prone to fitting into these black and white labels because we become what we’re told we are?

I don’t know.

lovelauren

Mood tracker app

I am super excited about this discovery that I read about on the blog Schizoaffective Disorder. It’s an Android app called eMoods that’s specifically designed for people with Bipolar, but really can be useful for most mental health disorders.

I don’t know about you, but especially because I have Bipolar symptoms, the doctor is forever asking me to keep a ‘mood diary’. If I actually do it for even just one day after being told I’m impressed, because I forget the second I walk out of the doctor’s surgery and it’s so difficult to know what needs to be included and how to score your moods.

This is why this app is brilliant. It allows you to input your sleep patterns, how low your mood is, how elevated it is, your anxiety levels and so much more as you can see below in my screenshot from this morning.

Screenshot_2015-01-12-10-40-06It’s amazing. And like I said, use it even if you’re not Bipolar. If you have Depression use it to track that, or if you have an anxiety disorder it’s priceless to know whether or not there’s a trend in when it’s at its worse.

Screenshot_2015-01-12-10-40-15

This is my first day using the app – hense the tiny graph!

Knowledge is power. Knowledge provides you with the information to get answers and therefore to get results. And that’s what this app gives you – Knowledge.

The other two features that are amazing for me are:

  1. It tracks whether or not you’ve taken your medication (I’m always forgetting!)
  2. You can set a daily reminder so that you get a notification telling you to fill it in.

Incredible. I am so impressed.
Download eMoods now and let me know what you think.

lovelauren

Relationship thoughts.

Relationships are difficult at the best of times. 

Relationships between you and your friends.
Relationships between you and your family.
Relationships between you and your other half.

But add some BPD and Bipolar tendancies in to the mix and you’ve got yourself something impossible. You envy difficult.

Difficult is normal. Everyday. It’s ironic really because difficult is easy.

I want difficult.

Charlie, you hero.

I haven’t written on here in a long time because – well, I’m completely useless. I haven’t had any inspiration to talk about anything. I’ve been up and down and all over the place recently. I promise to try and do better.

But something caught my eye tonight and gave me some inspiration; Charlie from Educating the East End. Charlie suffered from panic attacks and often didn’t make it to class, and with his GCSEs coming up, the teachers recommended he perform with his band at the school talent show to boost his confidence in crowds.

charlie

And wow, what an amazing kid to rock that Ed Sheeran song on stage whilst suffering from an anxiety disorder which prevented him from carrying out normal tasks. From struggling to sit in a class room to singing and playing guitar in front of 200 people in a matter of hours out of sheer determination to conquer what was holding him back, and because of the love and support from the two band mates and best friends he has (who I’d quite like to be my best friends too).

I also suffer with anxiety and it stops me doing things everyday. Things that look ridiculous to everyone else but are as real as a broken leg in my head. Anxiety is a horrific thing to live with because it’s irrational and noone understands it, including yourself, but it can be beaten.

Tomorrow I’m waking up with Charlie in mind. What a hero.

Watch it on 4od if you didn’t catch it tonight, he’s an incredible young man and by the end of the programme I had a massive cheesy grin on my face out of pride for him; I’m sure you will too.

You can accomplish anything you put your mind to.

love lauren x