The Mental Health Merry-Go-Round

Try as I might to ‘get better’ there has always been something holding me back. I guess it’s true what they say about mental illness and depression – if left untreated (whether it’s through talk therapy or psychotropic drugs) it will get worse. In my life I’ve found that it gets worse even IF you treat it.

More recently I’ve found that it was likely the very drugs they used to treat me that made the problems worse. It’s quite possible they’ve done irreparable damage to my brain and body. No one told me what my diagnosis of borderline personality disorder actually meant. I mean “depression,” “anxiety”, even “bi-polar” are all pretty self-descriptive terms. I had been diagnosed with BPD for more than a decade before anyone bothered to tell me what the fuck it was. Then, in reading about it, I discovered that the psychotropic drugs DON’T WORK on people with BPD! Why? Because it’s NOT the usual suspects causing the depression, anxiety, PTSD, and anti-social behavior that people with BPD suffer. Back in the ‘90s, when I was first put on anti-depressants, the psychiatrist told me that I would literally be on them for the rest of my life. BPD was a defined mental illness at that time, defined and diagnosed Quite Well by the results of the Minnesota Multi-Phasic Inventory (MMPI) test. They even gave me that test, but apparently MISSED it.

I finally picked up a book from my therapist’s office that was written by a doctor who treated patients with BPD. It was called Lost in the Mirror: An Inside Look at Borderline Personality Disorder. That’s where my learning about BPD started. Then I got mad – a trait fairly common to people with BPD. I got mad at my therapy community for NOT explaining to me that I was dealing with this Incredibly MASSIVE problem to which there really was No Fucking Solution other than ‘classes’ called Dialectic Behavioral Therapy. Forgive me… DBT does actually work for some, but I sat through it six times, five of which I had no idea why I was there or WHAT I was supposed to be working on and gained only minimal insight into my problem. The book, however, was enlightening, so I searched out more books on BPD and kept reading. By the way, when looking for a therapist to help you with BPD, make sure the therapist you choose deals Specifically with BPD. People with BPD have actually been Rejected by therapists Because they have BPD and can be difficult for ‘normal’ therapists to deal with.

There are also things online that either I’ve discovered or have been suggested to me that can be sources for useful information. A site that one of my sisters pointed me towards is called Mad in America ( It’s also on Facebook and twitter. I’ll let you look into that to see what they are about. The article she pointed out to me was about how long-term anti-anxiety drug use (clonapin, Xanax, valium, even benadryl and a host of others) can cause not just long term withdrawal (measure in YEARS)  but can cause different levels of psychosis as part of that withdrawal. She knew that I had been on clonapin for literally decades. I researched the withdrawal effects – a list that was Several Pages long (and alphabetized!) – and found myself checking nearly every single one of them.

My point in all this is simple, sometimes there is no remedy. I took anti-depressants until 2018 and I am still fighting to get off the clonapin – a prescription I can no longer refill.

When you’ve spent your life (60+ years in my case) learning one way to be, with no Substantial input or education about Other ways to be, change can be next to impossible. People ask me what I do for fun. I give them a blank stare because – on any kind of regular basis, I don’t do much that I consider “fun”. Though I ‘enjoy’ my job, it’s only in comparison to the more horrible jobs I’ve had in the past. They haven’t fired (rejected/abandoned) me yet. When I work, I feel a sense of impending doom and my anxiety goes off the charts. It exhausts me.

Referring to my last post, I’ve even discovered that my AA meetings are starting to drag me down rather than lift me up. From life experience, I have realized that No One (who isn’t a therapist) really wants to listen to me talk about my problems. People in AA keep saying “Call me (before you pick up a drink)” – a noble gesture, but if I did call them mostly what I would get would be people who don’t/can’t understand my problems, don’t want to hear it, or preach at me about ‘let go and let god’. I don’t want to have the 12 steps reiterated back to me, nor do I want to listen to the benefits of ‘god’ and ‘jesus’ – neither one of which I believe in.

I had gained an emotional equilibrium (even though I was drinking) before I went into treatment in 2017. I WANT THAT BACK! No, I don’t want to drink, especially since it will kill me if I go back, but I Cannot Stand facing that guy in my meetings anymore. Yes, he talked about having a girlfriend in a recent meeting. I thought hearing that might help me, but it didn’t. I just don’t even want to see him anymore. This ‘exposure therapy’ sucks dick! I suppose it doesn’t help that I’m weening off prednisone… yet again. But I can’t blame everything on that.

I am in therapy – where I’ve been for nearly two decades. I have no idea if it will ever help.

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