A New Chapter Begins

As some of you know, I have started a new chapter in my mental health treatment. I am currently seeing a new therapist at the Minnesota Center for Psychology in St. Paul and I am undergoing an intensive group therapy called DBT (Dialectal Behavior Therapy).
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For more information, feel free to do your own research on DBT, or to check out this link to the NAMI page with information on various forms of therapy below!
https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Treatment/Psychotherapy
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I have met with my new therapist three times and I had my first DBT group session this past Monday. It was intense. Not intense in the sense that it was so emotionally draining, but it was more that I was so anxious because I did not know what to expect, but once I realized that I was in a safe space, I let go of my fears and anxiety and I had an intense crash. I sat for the remaining half hour of group just kind of zoning out, even though I was trying my hardest to be present, mindful, respectful of others, and engaged. I was just fried.

My new therapist has given me a diagnosis based off of the information I have given her into my life. She believes that I have borderline personality disorder.
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For more information on borderline personality disorder, feel free to do some of your own research with credible sources, or check out the link from the Mayo Clinic below!
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/borderline-personality-disorder/basics/definition/con-20023204
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This was a pretty intense moment for me; altering my diagnosis. I have always associated with bipolar disorder, and I may still have it. However, since I began seeing my (not-so-new-anymore) psychiatrist so many years ago, she has fought and believed I am mostly living with borderline personality disorder and possibly a very mild case of bipolar II disorder.

I have been hesitant and resistant to altering/changing/adding to my diagnosis in anyway. I knew I was bipolar II and that was it. I mean, come on! It was like the one thing I FOR SURE knew about myself, after all.

I say that because I have always struggled with my sense of self and my identity. I have constantly questioned 'who am I', 'what do I like', 'do I enjoy that', 'am I doing this for me or someone else', or 'what makes me happy'. Bipolar was the one thing, MY diagnosis, that I was SURE about. So for others to come in and change or alter my diagnosis was a very difficult acceptance I had to slowly attempt to make.

It has been a struggle, there is no doubt. The medications I am currently taking do help. There is no doubt in that either. However, they do not 'solve' everything. I am not 'normal' when I take my medications. I am still extremely sensitive to others' emotions and situations. I have had some severe trauma in my upbringing. I still suffer (although not as regularly anymore) with stress-induced seizures. And so on and so forth.

I was faced with a choice. And it has not been an easy one to make. I wanted to run and hide from this choice, and I did for several years.

Do I stick with what I know; bipolar disorder? Or do I allow the change and additional diagnosis of borderline personality disorder?

As much as I have attempted to steer clear of this additional diagnosis, I cannot avoid it any longer. I associate myself with living with borderline personality disorder. Some, if not most of the signs and symptoms are there.

This hasn't been easy. Acceptance of this has been one hell of a ride. I walked into the Minnesota Center for Psychology for the first time and nearly turned around and ran out of the door. I left after my second meeting swearing I would never go back again. I showed up, telling myself that I would not change for anyone but myself! But-- Who am I? If I can't even answer that question, what am I fighting for? A hollow shell of a 'person' who lacks an identity, is still suffering with these symptoms, and who longs to live a higher quality of life? Well, my friends, change is in the air and it makes me nauseous. It makes my nose wrinkle, my stomach do flips, and it makes me squirm in my seat. Even at this moment, I feel the panic rising within my gut, higher and higher. Deep breaths-- In for five-- out for seven--

Okay. I'm ready.

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