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

Bipolar, BPD, big difference in care.


Back in 2009, Chris and I suspected he had Bipolar, before this he just thought he was depressed and that one day he would get himself through it so had left behind all his care in 2007 when we moved to London for a year. However in 2009 thinking it could possibly something along the lines of Bipolar and with how unwell he had been decided it was time to get him to the docs and discuss being referred back to psychiatric services. While he was being passed about from Psychiatric SHO to SHO in 2010 they all agreed Rapid Cycling Bipolar and although his care rather disjointed with seeing so many people he was treated pretty well and they helped as much as they could.

However, one day while Chris and I were seeing his GP and he casually mentioned his BPD diagnoses from 2005, to which I thought ‘what on earth’ yes we then found out that back in 2005 completely unknown to both myself and Chris that he was diagnosed with BPD, but everyone failed to tell him. Now this could have well meant that when we moved to London he would have moved his care to down their knowing he would need it however what you don’t know you can’t do anything about. So when we next saw the psychiatrist we discussed this with them and then they had them both down with a question mark over them.

From the day his BPD diagnoses was used everything changed, the difference in the care he gets now compared to when he was classed Bipolar is huge. Health professionals look at him like he’s a time waster, like he needs to ‘get over his issues’ you name it they have thought it or worse said it! A lot of people are still stuck in the days of ‘BPD can’t be treated and anyone who was more complex or difficult gets put into that group’ where as now it’s supposed to be seen differently. This comes back to being told things like ‘we can’t section someone with a personality disorder’ and ‘I asked if he had a mental illness, not BPD’ both out the mouths of doctors!

The worst part of all this is, they are pretty sure he’s got BPD but they are also pretty sure there is other underlying issues like a mood disorder of some kind as well, and until we have any idea of what is going on properly he is BPD and treated like he’s a pain in the ass. I would just like to point out his social worker and our GP don’t treat him like that in the slightest and are very supportive for they see Chris like I do, for who he 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.

5 thoughts on “Bipolar, BPD, big difference in care.

  1. These 2 often get mixed up for some bizarre reason. And it’s not uncommon for the health professionals to not have a clue about either illness. Not very helpful eh?

    My GP, a few years ago, asked my why I hadn’t committed suicide, when I told him I felt suicidal! Not very helpful. Puts me off going to get help. Thank god Chris has you x

  2. I am still amazed at how my own BPD diagnosis came about, there was no indication of me having a personality disorder until I brought up something in the past and as soon as I did “personality disorder” was labelled upon me by the CPN I saw and it stuck being officially DX four months later by the psychiatrist. I do not doubt the label anymore I did for a while, but I also know there is an underlying issue with a mood disorder which I suspected long before the BPD diagnosis, that was also confirmed by a private psych. However, it has failed to be recognised by the NHS, that was perhaps until last week and my manic moments thanks to the newly prescribed antidepressant. I have heard many stories from people with BPD and there poor treatment in A&E and it really annoys me that professionals think there illness and diagnosis is worthless.

  3. I saw a commercial for this website about people with mental illnesses and people who are caring for those with mental illness. –thought of you and Chris when I saw it. Thought maybe it’d have some good information for both of you. 🙂

  4. my husband was diagnosed with depression. for five years he got worse and worse. he died with an unconfirmed diagnosis of bpd. the trust stated that the lack of an appropriate diagnosis hadn’t effected his treatment. we had asked re his manic episodes and his self medicating with alcohol for several years. comments that stick in my mind are..’his problems are not mental health ones’, ‘he is very impulsive’, ‘that’s just the way he is’..he was expected to pull himself i can empathise totally..

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