Welcome to the club with more members than we would like to think of. You have lived and survived a difficult life and your efforts have not been in vain. If you are over 50 with BPD and reading this, you know that you can take control of your fate and build a life worth living.
There is nothing more important than your health, there never has been. Now with your lived experience, that is more obvious than before. Your health underscores how you live your life. So, let’s consider your mental health.
It is never too late to change. You know that. You also know it requires a concerted effort to change. Over the years you would have reached out to experts for help and been frustrated with the results – but that was yesterday. It is now, today that counts. It is with the expert support of a therapist who has successfully treated older people with BPD that would be your best support.
Develop a plan to get you where you want to go. A good relationship with your GP can help you get started. Find for yourself non-judgemental and positive support. Be methodical and keep records.
Support of family can make a big difference, good friends too. And of course, there is our BPD Community.
The key to recovery is effective structured treatment and effective structured therapies share the following characteristics (according to the National Guidelines):
The therapy is based on an explicit and integrated theoretical approach, to which the therapist (and other members of the treatment team, if applicable) adheres, and which is shared with the person undergoing therapy.
The therapy is provided by a trained therapist who is suitably supported and supervised.
The therapist pays attention to the person’s emotions.
Therapy is focused on achieving change.
There is a focus on the relationship between the person receiving treatment and the clinician.
Therapy sessions occur regularly over the planned course of treatment. At least one session per week is generally considered necessary.
Structured psychological therapies are effective when delivered as individual therapy or as group therapy.
Have you taken control of your journey to recovery? Do you have a file of your medical and mental health details, a record of who you have visited and what happened? It pays to keep as good a record as possible: then you can track your progress.
A good GP is helpful. If you are in a treatment vacuum, go to your GP and tell them. Say you believe you have BPD and you want a Mental Health Treatment Plan. They will ask a heap of questions, practice patience and answer as best you can. Ask for a referral for treatment. If you can’t afford a private psychologist, ask for a referral to the public system.
If you are uncomfortable with the GPs response, find another one and try again.
We know a structured mindfulness or meditation program can be one of those things that can make a difference. Find yourself a program and stick to it. Keep a journal of your progress and when you fall behind too. Do all you can to work on improving your mental health…you know how important it is.