Borderline Mood Swings

My mood swings from pole to pole multiple times a day. It does so seemingly unpredictably and alarmingly fast, and this chaotic (lack of a) pattern can feel terrifying in itself. 

For some hours, days, or even weeks, the mood swings are far less pronounced, and I feel more mentally stable overall. Recently however – I think since Thursday last week – I’ve felt so much more volatile and erratic internally.

I wish that I could “blame” PMS, like I described in this post here, but it’s not the right timing and so I have to accept that actually maybe I’m simply hurting right now, no justification needed.

I’m not even sure quite what’s going on for me – just that one moment I feel so anxious or paranoid I can feel my heartbeat all over my body, the next I’m dissociated, apathetic and low to a point of hopelessness and suicidal ideation, and the next I’m connected, happy and have found a sense of purpose again. There is little way I even could know with the whole process being so sporadic and changeable. 

This morning I was despairing from the get-go, and a few hours later I was actually “very okay” and in little distress at all. People from treatment ask me how I am doing and my answer varies within the space of a few hours; I tell one friend I’m struggling immensely and that things are going downhill, and I tell another that I’m doing so much better than I have done in years. And yet I am being honest in both instances, expressing my experiences and my truth for what they are.

It is hard for me to remember how I can be in one specific state, when I am so gripped by another within a moment. Whatever I am feeling at one point in time can all too easily take over – nothing else exists and nothing else matters – “I feel therefore I am”

Not always the most effective internalisation… But I feel so frikkin’ Borderline right now!

I guess it’s a paradox; a dialectic if you will. These two seemingly opposing truths can coexist and both be true, despite the apparent contradiction – I may be doing well generally, working my recovery hard and using many new skills to help me cope… AND at the same time, I am experiencing my current emotional world as pretty bloody challenging too.

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13 thoughts on “Borderline Mood Swings

  1. I have a question. I was diagnosed BPD almost 3 years ago when I was hospitalized. I have BP too and I said my mood swings were out of control and rapid. There were times I would run out of the house in the middle of the night because the walls were closing in and I didn’t know what to do with myself. After the hospitalization I was seen by a psychiatric nurse who does my medications. She told me that the anti-psychotic she was putting me on would work on the mood swings for both and it has. I am also on Cymbalta. The mood stabilizer is called Trilofon (sp) and is one of the older ones that first came out. It is working beautifully for me. In fact I have been stable for 12 weeks now. Are you on any medications? Do they work at all on the mood swings?

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    • Hi Tessa. I can’t answer this as much as I would like to because a) it varies so much from person to person, b) I am no psychiatrist and c) I am probably biased based on my personal medical history and what I have read about BPD with regards to medication. I’ll do my best though.

      I have been on about 15 different medications of different sorts throughout my life, including a range of antipsychotics (though not necessarily to treat psychosis), and none of them were obviously life-saving nor noticeably beneficial for me. There is a lot of literature about how BPD is extremely medication resistant / hard to successfully manage through medication. Whilst there are many specific meds for the treatment of BP (antipsychotics, lithium, sodium, mood stabilisers, etc), there remain none for BPD, even to this day!

      There are very specific types of therapy which are evidence-based and were created initially to target BPD. DBT is one and MBT is another. My experience and so many other people’s is that these therapies (DBT especially for me) are what leads to managing the illness and even recovering, not the meds themselves. Did you know you can actually fully recovery from BPD, whilst sadly this isn’t true of BP. I think this is one of the main differences.

      I am not really keyed up enough on BP to know the ins and outs of it or how it works when one has BPD too. I just find it confusing because BP is primarily treated with meds whilst BPD is not, and though their symptoms can appear similarly, they actually have quite different manifestations too! So I guess there needs to be multiple facets to an individual’s treatment if they have both, and I’m sorry to hear you have experience of two such painful illnesses. Also, I am a big believer that if something works for you with regards to your recovery, you should totally do it, no matter what society thinks or what is more common or expected than not. I am so glad you have found medications to be helpful for you, and I know others who feel the same whether they have a dual-diagnosis or not.

      For me I had a different experience and didn’t find they regulated my moods at all, in fact a few of them made the swings even more pronounced (especially the highs, ironically!) and so I came off all my medication in Boston and have remained off of them until today. I wrote a post about it here – https://borderlinebabble.wordpress.com/2015/05/31/life-without-medication/

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      • I did read that post. I find it amazing that she told me it would help the mood swings of both and it did. She tried old medications with me because I was so med resistant. I am surprised I can take the Cymbalta. It was originally prescribed for Fibro and works better as an anti-depressant.

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  2. I know, I’d tell others the same. That type of medication just makes me feel like I have psychosis. I’ve no idea if I do or not & that’s horrible. Sometimes I think I definitely don’t, sometimes I really have no idea. Tho at the moment my whole mental health feels way beyond my comfort zone

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    • My psychiatrist described me as ‘borderline psychotic’ (excuse the pun) which I think is totally accurate. It is so hard to know though… I really relate. I’m sorry you are having such a hard time. Let me know how it goes, if you want to connect/ rant/ chat about it at all!

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