Loving someone with BPD

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
My bf has BPD. I have been with him only about 4 months, the first 1-2 months were amazing. He was in a good place when we met. He was eating well, training, had money saved up, seeing his family. Now he has a full blown eating disorder - can't stop eating has gained weight and feels disgusting and hates himself. He has a full blown addiction to Paramol, takes between 15-20 a day in order to prevent achiness and fatigue, he gets no high from it. He plays World of Warcraft for 12 hours every day and has spent all his money on junk food and reckless spending. He isn't going out, isn't seeing family, doesn't want to see me or kicks me out etc.

He has a long history with BPD. His weight has fluctuated between being 27 stone and being anorexic before. He has had severe self-harming episodes in the past and his arm is covered with deep scars and is in constant pain. He has been addicted to various prescription drugs before. He has had 2 or 3 suicide attempts. He has been hospitalised 3 times. He has tried DBT/schema/CAT therapy and was discharged from NHS with no improvement.

I do not know how to help him. We have broken up a few times but we love each other and it only lasts a day. But he is miserable, and he says the last 4 months have been miserable which I try not to take personally but it's not always easy. I am worried for him, I am scared for him. The addiction is probably doing severe damage. If I suggest getting help I get pushed away and he says there is no help, he has been through the NHS, can't afford private help. I listen to him but I feel I can't win. I feel I am either enabling it or pushing too hard risking the relationship. I am miserable and feel like i'm in the relationship alone. He even said the other day that it doesn't feel we're in a relationship. He can't enjoy it because he hates himself. But i try so hard to be there and let him know I love him. And it hurts. It all hurts. I can't walk away but it is so so so hard. I had a full blown panic attack yesterday which I do not usually suffer with and I do not know what to do.
Hello Holly
The first thing to know about BPD and most other forms of mental illness is that you cannot cure him. No one individual can. Such illnesses tend to be lifelong, only varying in intensity of a roller coaster of episodesthat never, ever ends. Some sufferers learn to manage their symptoms some of the time but most do not and have frequent relapses. The only person who can really help him is himself, supported by a team of mental health professionals and medication.

Being in a relationship with someone suffering such a nasty condition is hard, very hard. You will need nerves of steel, a suit of armour and the emotional strength of a saint. It's very hurtful being on the outside looking in, and as you have already found its only too easy to get caught up in their downward spirals and end up walk in on eggshells all the time.

As, after only 4 months, you are already experiencing the hurt, the panic attacks and the sadness you really do need to ask yourself if you have the strength and resilience to carry on being involved. His illness is very likely to drag you down too. He probably doesn't mean to do it but he is not in control of his illness.

Even if you were to persuade him to go get the help he needs, how long before the next episode? And the one after and the one after that?

Do browse the other threads on here about people loving and caring for those with similar issues. It is very very hard, harder even than caring for someone with demetia or an illness or ageing that will be relatively short lived. No one would blame you if you found it too difficult. Many people find it too difficult.

Our role on here is to support carers and our first advice is always to look after yourself and find a balance between self care and caring, and this is especially difficult when caring for someone with severe mental issues. No loving caring person deserves to pulled down by another.

This really doesn't sound like a healthy, fulfilling, equal relationship. It doesnt sound like it could ever grow into one, no matter how much effort you put into it, his illness is always likely to interfere.

Do read up on it. Mind has a good website
https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/
As does rethink
https://www.rethink.org/carers-family-f ... -behaviour

I'm sorry I can't say "yes it will be wonderful" "yes he will magically recover". All I can say is learn more, think hard about how much you can cope with and do explore the threads on here under the mental health section

Xx
MrsA
Hi Holly,
and welcome.
I wholeheartedly agree with all that Mrs A says.

Melly1
Hi Holly and welcome to the forum.
I have been married for over 50 years.A happy marriage with ups and downs but happy nevertheless. Now my lovely husband is in a nursing home. However I have lots of lovely memories to look back on, especially the very early days. My thought and please forgive me, is that you are starting out with difficulties and may end up with unhappy memories from the beginning. Please don't misunderstand, I know you can't help who you love and want to do your very best to be supportive, I just want you to think of the years ahead fraught with heartbreak and anxiety. You are important too.
Like Mrs A, I wish I could say all will be well.Im fearing it won't be.
Holly, it's hard not to agree with the others.

We are telling you what you do not want to hear - but which, I suspect, you are telling yourself 'inside'.

We are taught that 'love cures all' and that people can be 'saved by love' and that can be, alas, a very dangerous belief.

No one knows why this poor man is so afflicted, but it is, from your description a VERY serious affliction - utterly distorting his life.

May I ask a brute question - what is he living on? Is he capable of earning a living? Or will he be dependent on others financially (whether family, you, the state) all his life? It sounds that way....

What are you own friends an family telling you? If you were my daughter I'd be worried sick.

Holly, sometimes in life we choose people who are in a 'worse way' than ourselves because it makes us feel better about OUR selves.

Now, yes, it can be very empowering for someone who feels 'weak' in some way, to realise that they CAN 'look after someone else', BUT, a marriage HAS to be a 'partnership' - it has to!

This forum is full of people who are caring, or who have cared, for a 'vulnerable' other half - BUT, they didn't 'start out that way'! That's the difference. The phrase 'in sickness and in health' means LATER ON, not NOW, not from the very start.

At the moment, there is ONE victim of this poor man's mental illness - himself.

If you stay with him there will be TWO victims. You AND him.

Do remember, too, that for him, it can be - as you are already describing in his 'rejecting' behaviour to him - a PRESSURE on him to 'have' to be your partner.....you yourself may be a source of 'stress' because you are 'expecting and hoping' for him to be your partner, to be 'the man in your life' the 'man you love'....

That puts pressure on HIM.

By severing your 'man/woman relationship' with him does NOT mean you can't be a friend and an ally. You will not be 'abandoning' him.

As the others are saying, and as you - and he himself - recognises - the 'best' he can hope for is a kind of 'damping down' of his extreme behaviour, so that his highs are less high, and his lows less low and he can learn how to 'manage' his condition.

I truly think that, at the very least, giving yourselves BOTH a 'break' from each other - and certainly you not trying to 'intrude' when he is as low as he is when he is playing computer games day in day out etc, is the best action you can take now.

Take 'time out' - ideally, 'go away' somewhere if you can - and let things 'mull' in your mind.

Kindest wishes, Jenny
15-20 Paramol!?!?
That's a serious addiction. Is the GP aware?
https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/ ... 468d100ad8

This is an optimistic article published today on the BBC news website....
Hi Holly

My husband was diagnosed 4 years ago with BDP after six years of living with someone who would
flip over small things it was good to get a diagnosis. But that isn’t the end of it all - now my life is so not my life - if I leave he will kill himself and if I stay I am killing myself.

We’ve been married for 12 years and I was absolutely besotted with him, the compassion he had got me. My bro said there’s something wrong with him, I made home wrong and married him anyway. Six years of anger at the slightest thing, not attending social events cos he gets upset, angry. Walking out and not telling me where he’s going and much more. I thought love would cure it all, How wrong I was. It has drained me to someone who is just passing through life and waiting for it to be over. I wanted children - he didn’t eventually turned and around and said yes but too late, I wanted my own home, he was happy to rent, I spent the last ten years working to do that on my own.

Not the best place to be. I grew thinking that love will always conquer it all - reality is it doesn’t. You can’t imagine the highs and lows I go through. The fact his family don’t want to do anything, my family don’t want to know. It’s a lonely world. My biggest issue is maintaining consistency - following up with people, being able to see them as something has hit the fan that day, missing exams because he’s not well and can’t cope, feeling jealous of what others have. I went from someone with a career, can do and able to give speeches in front of groups to someone who can’t be bothered with people because she know she won’t be able to maintain the relationship. It’s not the life I would choose if I had the choice given to me again.

There are days when I just want to die - I pray for a short life.

I’m sharing this because everything in front of you have will change should you stay with him. I have smaller issues, there are no drugs, no other women, no leaving me but then there are other issues and occasional great moments. Unless you want to live for those great rare moments I would strongly advise you to let go. Move on with your life accept that you love him but just can’t be with him in this lifetime. Over time you will heal and find someone else and hopefully your future will be what you want not what life throws at you.

I am a trained coach and that helped him, he had therapy and that helped but the issues comes back. Low confidence, anger, no self esteem, wanting to be bigger and doing things that cause problems. Not dealing things, not always telling the truth. This weekend we were at a wedding - I looked forward to this for months, we rarely have visitors or get invited to social events, what happened. The night of the reception just as the dancing started - someone said something and he got angry, so angry that I had no choice but to leave. So yet again another disappointment. Is this what you want?

The media churns our love stories and yes sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. When someone has BDP - chances are it’s a different love story not quite what you may have in mind.

Yes this is blunt but then I wouldn’t want someone else to go through the pain I have. I’m sorry that it’s not what you want to hear but I hope you take heed and think carefully about how much you are willing to give and if you can actually live happily by doing that.
Another Zombie thread ?

The author has not been online since the 9th. September 2018.
Hi everyone. Thank you for all the replies, sorry i didn't respond for almost a year xD

I stayed with him. I did break up with him shortly after posting. I messaged his mum letting her know what was going on with him (the first time I'd ever spoken to her as she lives far away from him but was due down to visit so i contacted her saying he needed support and it had sadly ended) he contacted me after 9 days, on the day his mum was due to see him, told me he needed help, i told him i had spoken to his mum already. He asked me to go round to speak with her in person. The three of us had a long chat and next day he went to get help for his addiction and we decided to stay together.

It's now been 15 months. And although things were better for a few months, it is now more miserable than ever. His addiction is under control he is about to finish methadone. Although he insists he will turn back to paramol eventually. His eating disorder is still controlling his life. He put on 7 stone and is currently not eating to try and lose weight. He still can not get help from NHS but the consultant at inclusion (for drug addiction) has diagnosed him with adhd. So BPD, ADHD, addiction, eating disorder and complex PTSD are all in full swing. He hasnt self harmed but says something is goingvto happen he's going to explode. He is so so angry. A ticking time bomb. He is incredibly selfish and loud and my feelings are irrelevant. I can't remember last time he said anything nice. I'm not happy and yet i can't bring myself to leave cos i feel that would break my heart more. I have been signed off work with depression and panic attacks. I had a doctors appointment on wednesday. I text him telling him how it went. And then when i saw him i didnt mention it and he goes on a rant saying how i burden him with my problems and he is suffering also. Like 99% of our conversations isn't about him. Like i dont sit there day in day out listening to him vent and shout and rant about everything. Watch endless videos on bpd with him. And i tell him about my appointment and all of a sudden im a burden and dont i know he is suffering and im not in as much pain as he is.

There's also been some really weird hurtful sexual behaviours that have developed in him. Although he has opened up about this more and more to me and i was clearly naive to him having any strange sexual behaviours til recently when actually he has had them for all his adult life.

Its 3am and I've just left his flat and driven home cos if i watch one more video on bpd which he obsessively watches for hours n hours every day i would scream.

Its a disgusting illness. With no support no help no clear understanding. Co morbid with so many other things its a complete cluster f***. It's not his fault i know. He is suffering. It's heartbreaking. Disgusting.