Through the eyes of a carer for someone with a mental illness

Perhaps you could help me?


Something I’ve been wondering about for ages that no health professional has either helped Chris or I to understand. Now you will have to bear with me because it’s hard to explain as I don’t know what it is and neither does he.

Chris has described to me experiences where he has ‘been in another reality’ so one example he gave me was, he was walking down our road and then everything would turn to look like something had happened and it was the end of the world and he was the only person that survived. Another example was him being in a big black hole with monsters around him talking in a language that he didn’t understand and he could smell all the damp dirt etc. He can go into incredible detail as to what he experiences. While it hasn’t happened now for a long while, thank goodness, I’ve no explanation as to what it is or why it happens.

Something else happened, that I’m not going to go completely into because I don’t feel ready yet but he explained it like he was ‘watching himself’ and had no control over what was happening to him. As you can imagine its a very scary experience for him. Like I said nothing like this has occurred for quite some time now but does anyone have any ideas to help me understand, because I don’t really know why it happened or what it is?


Author: acarerseyes

I am a mum to four gorgeous girls, and a carer to my former partner of eight years, Chris who has a mental illness, BPD. I blog my experiences.. life is tough! We live in Greater Manchester, UK.

9 thoughts on “Perhaps you could help me?

  1. Not to sound scary, but… The first thing you’re describing sounds like psychosis, i.e., hallucination. The second sounds like depersonalization. Depending on what triggers it and the specifics, that can be more like PTSD or more like dissociation, or both, I guess.

    I’m not sure how often psychotic symptoms coincide with BPD, but they can definitely go along with bipolar. Depersonalization seems capable of pairing up with any kind of mental health issue.

    I actually wonder if BPD is the correct diagnosis for Chris. What I’ve seen you describe does not really sound like BPD to me, but perhaps it’s only a partial view so far. Of course, it’s entirely possible for BPD to be co-morbid with other conditions, so it could just be a complex case and no one has picked up on the less obvious bits that don’t show up as clearly because of other distressing stuff.

    If at all possible, it might be a very good idea for Chris to discuss these symptoms with a psychiatrist. There are medications that can essentially eliminate the hallucinations, and could also remove some of the self-harm impetus (which might potentially be related to delusional thinking, also a psychosis symptom.) I’m not a doctor, but I’ve seen others describe having these symptoms and also get complete relief from them with appropriate treatment.

    • Thanks for that. BPD isn’t associated with psychosis or some of the other symptoms Chris has, we know from his psychiatrist that Chris is ‘complex’ and I personally feel along with his social worker that we are dealing with more than just BPD. His psychiatrist will be discussing his file at one of their case conferences to see if a few psychiatric heads can come up with more ideas than just one. Since he has been on antipsychotics he hasn’t suffered any of the above things I’ve described. Most of what I’ve said above occurred around the beginning to the summer of last year and then in various periods of time before that.
      I will however bring it up again with his psychiatrist now we aren’t in such a crisis period and see if we can detangle some of what is going on.

  2. I agree that it sounds like depersonalization. I haven’t had the change to read from the beginning of your blog, so excuse these questions, please, but when did all this start? Was there a traumatic or extremely stressful event that preceded all of this? Obviously, you don’t have to say what it was if there was, but if there was, it could have triggered his underlying condition(s)…… maybe? I only say that because the docs have claimed that some events may have triggered my ‘psychosis’ when I had my breakdown.
    Please remind Chris (although I’m sure you have!) that there are so many people that care about him and wish him well.

    • He’s always suffered in various ways for various periods of time even from being very young. There is traumatic event though that is relative to some of his symptoms. Thank you I will tell him that you said that 🙂

      • You’re very welcome. 🙂
        You should check out Complex PTSD as well, maybe, if you haven’t already. I was diagnosed with that and doctors said it might be the cause of my dissociation. I don’t recall if depersonalization and dissociation are one and the same, but when I read carebpdgirl’s comment below, I remembered it’s dissociation the doctors keep telling me about, not depersonalization. Some additional tidbits–if the doctors ever prescribe Geodon to Chris for some reason, obviously medicine works different for everyone, but this medicine made my dissociation WAY worse where I wasn’t even sure I was alive anymore. I’m on Lamictal now, 100mg, and it’s amazing.
        Again, good luck to you both. 🙂

  3. I suffer from BPD and this sounds like an episode of disassociation. If you look up the term dissociative identity disorder on wikipedia, you will find the following: “Dissociation is recognized as a symptomatic presentation in response to psychological trauma, extreme emotional stress, and, as noted, in association with emotional dysregulation and borderline personality disorder”. It happens to me from time to time, especially during times of high stress. It’s a feeling for me like I am outside of my body, but it can happen many different ways. One trick I am going to use the next time it happens is to find an ice cube and let it melt in my hand. This is supposed to help me “snap back into reality”. Of course that will only work if I know it’s happening. Let me know if you need me to do some further research for you, since I know firsthand that this very scary. Good luck!

    • Yes I see what you mean about this dissociation reguarding the incedent when he felt like he was watching himself. Though the other events hes felt like its reality, infact so much so he took ages to tell me. I know hes heard voices whispering because he asked if I was saying things or if the TV, computer were making noises and I also know hes thought he was feeling bugs crawling under his skin, so much so he took a knife to his back and scratched it to bits. This is what I mean by hes complex, if the health pros cant understand it, its no wonder him and I dont. Thanks so much for helping me, im going to do some searching on google now.

  4. Oh, it’s probably worth noting that antidepressants can cause psychotic (and manic) symptoms too! I had this happen with Prozac, which gave me auditory hallucinations – very scary.

    • Yes, we have noticed he can become quite elated/high on antidepressants, infact its monitored quite closely and we have a plan on reducing them if we do notice his mood heading towards hypomania.

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