treating bpd and panic disorder without medication?

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by wdicwg, Nov 15, 2012.

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  1. wdicwg

    wdicwg Member

    So I'm not sure if this will make much sense but about a month ago I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and panic disorder, which was a bitter sweet occurrence. It in some was helps to be able to put a name to the monster and in many ways it makes me feel more hopeless about dealing with the monster. The main reason this has been such a problem is due to other existing medical problems (systematic lupus, hashimoto's thyroiditis, and asthma) that cause me to have chemical sensitivities and be prone to allergies. In the past month I have been put on 7 different medications which have all caused a lupus flair, asthma attack, or allergic reaction. It has been so bad that most of the time I have delayed medical care assuming it was another panic attack to be told that no it was just a case of not being able to take medication x, and taken off of it and put on something else. :sigh:

    This process has become absolutely tiring and frustrating and I don't see many options. I mean what is the likely hood of me finding a medication I can take when I haven't even been able to take many otc medications for most of my whole life (not even tylenol, cough syrup, imodium, ect.). The list of meds I can't take at this point is so long its pathetic. I just fear the problem persisting no matter how many meds I try for the bpd and panic disorder, and I fear taking each new med they give me and what reaction I will have to it. :hiding:

    After bringing up the level of distress to my therapist and the desire to try treating the mental disorders without medication, is response was very very negative. He said there was no way to treat the two without medications and if I went off the medications he would fire me as a patient. When asked about alternative therapies he called most of them pretty much useless with the exception of dbt, which he said absolutely would not work without meds, so I would just have to thought the process of finding a med I did not have an adverse reaction to out. :boo:

    So my questions are are there any alternative treatments that MIGHT work (I know nothing is 100%)? Does dbt need the addition of meds to work properly? Has anyone had any success with treating either bpd or panic disorder without meds? What is probable cause to leave one therapist to find another, is the situation of him making me feel like my concerns and distress are not valid and telling me to tough it out that its just part of the process probable cause? :anyone:

    Sorry this has turned out so long and thank you for sticking with me this long. Any help or advise will be greatly appreciated.

    p.s. sorry for all of the similes I just found them and felt the need to uses them, lol
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    Hi hun sorry the process of finding you a medication has been so tiring I do know that dbt does work hun and i think with meds it works even better therapy without meds i think would take a long time for it to be effective as you would be so unstable for awhile. I do hope you find that combination soon hun that will help hugs
  3. Brighid Moon

    Brighid Moon Member & Antiquities Friend

    I can't tell you to not take your meds. I can certainly empathize with you about phobias over medications, because I have that, myself, due to being a guinea pig over the years. So much so I'm having to go back into therapy just to learn to put things in my mouth again. True story. You may want to do a bit of research over the BPD issue, and go back to your shrink. This is a good place to start. As for the anxiety and panic disorders, I use 4 things - relaxing breathing exercises (which basically is a type of meditation), cognitive therapy techniques (basically self-talk), an herbal supplement, and my dog. When it began I was agoraphobic. I still am, but now I can function outside of the house without any medications. I hope you can find something that works well for you!
  4. wdicwg

    wdicwg Member

    Thank both of you for responding and caring enough to read. I know I am just beginning the meds and that it could take a while even without further complications but the preexisting conditions make it difficult since I have had to switch so often.

    I have been trying to research on my own but have not been able to make much progress, because I had really no idea where to look, so thank you for the link brighid_moon, it seems very helpful and seems to have a lot of other links off it to read, I think it will help a lot. Also thank you for some of the ideas on dealing with the anxiety, they seem like they would help even if I find meds that I can take since I know it will probably be a while before the panic attacks go away if ever.
  5. catecholamine

    catecholamine Well-Known Member

    That REALLY sucks about the med sensitivities and side effects they've caused.
    The good news is that one if the primary treatments for borderline is DBT or CBT (DBT preferred, usually), not just medication. It's about teaching you coping skills and to retrain the way you think, to challenge your bad thinking patterns. Therapy can also help with Panic Disorder to an extent. That's more about learning to deal with it, learning techniques to help calm yourself somewhat during a panic attack. For both things, it's about coping skills. Therapy is key for that.
    It's tougher without meds, sure, but it CAN be done! Best of luck!
  6. octopod

    octopod Active Member

    Breathing exercises helped me with panic attacks. So did progressive relaxation. I had to practice them during calm times so that they were nearly automatic when a panic attack started. During this time of my life, I found a fantastic massage therapist. I went every week and for half an hour I just went blank while she worked to unstress my bod. I was a limp noodle when she finished and that feeling of total relaxation lasted for quite a while.
  7. I've been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and delusions. So far only anti depres prescribed (remeron). I'm researching all psych meds, along with ECT - electroshock therapy - and ALL of the meds and the ECT cause brain damage. After autopsies were performed on patients that had epilipsy and that were given these drugs showed that there frontal lobes had atrophied - shrunken, collapsed. There are no empirical studies that show that these meds will "cure" your emotional problem. There are no empirical studies that show that the brain "leaks chemicals" and causes psychosis. I'm depressed because I was deceived, betrayed, and fucked over by all my friends and a narcissistic and psychopathic man that I made the sorry mistake of believing in. My life is fucked up, so I'm depressed, not the other way around. I need someone with real empathy to TALK TO. The meds make it so I can't think. If I can't think I can't work. Period. I like my brain and want to keep what's left of it after months and months spent with a man that deliberatly sleep deprived and humiliated me, tortured my soul.

    Again, what I need is someone that will listen to me with tenderness, that will help me work through my feelings of humiliation and loss. Not drugs that take ME away, that take all feelings away, even good ones.
  8. I'm with you, Brighid Moon, about medications. They are toxic. They cause brain damage. And my brain is my second favorite organ! I posted a response a second ago and said there are reasons people get depressed and psych drugs aren't the answer. A depressed person needs to do some research on the psych industry and the meds and other treatments like ECT and learn how dangerous they are and how little they help in addressing the real problems that make us depressed in the first place.

    There are holistic things we can do to feel better.
  9. catecholamine

    catecholamine Well-Known Member

    Um, patients with epilepsy? Helloooo, it's much more likely that the EPILEPSY caused the brain damage.
    ECT is used only as a last resort for patients who have not responded to antidepressants and mood stabilizers and also for whom therapy has not helped. It is not something the average person with depression would get.
    There are 2 causes of depression. One is situational - for many with this, therapy and talking about it is key. For those with clinical depression caused by physical/chemical factors, therapy can often only do so much and medication becomes required.

    Meds do not CURE depression, they treat it. The same as insulin treats diabetes or synthroid treats hypothyroidism. From what we know, psychosis can be caused by several chemical issues, the most common being excess dopamine. Why do we know that dopamine often plays a major role? Because dopamine antagonists (i.e. atypical antipsychotics) bring many people out of psychosis, and medications that increase the amount of dopamine available to bind to receptors (i.e. amphetamines) tend to induce psychosis in people with certain mental illnesses (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder) and even in those with no mental illness (drug-induced psychosis).
  10. Jackie's Strength

    Jackie's Strength Staff Alumni

    Just thought I'd add my two cents here since I have BPD, depression, and at least one anxiety disorder (GAD). I know from my experience that my therapist pushed medication at a time when I was in severe, suicidal distress, and yes, he did give me the same ultimatum. I believe it has to do with proper ethical care and with the degree of risk that the therapist feels comfortable with. Generally speaking, therapists are responsible for providing a certain standard of care, which includes both adding adjunct therapies (e.g., medication) and referring on when they feel that they can not provide the service necessary. Furthermore, individual therapists differ with regards to how much risk to the safety of the client they are willing to tolerate. For example, despite my often significant and at times immediate suicidal feelings, my therapist has yet to put me in the hospital, whereas many other therapists would have likely done so on more than one occasion by now.

    Things with BPD are complicated because crises involving self-harm and/or suicidal thoughts and feelings are relatively frequent. These crises slow the therapy process in that attention constantly needs to be paid to these events, inhibiting progress in other important areas. From what I have read and heard, medication allows a client to stabilize enough to be able to take part in the therapeutic process more effectively (this is part of the reason why both therapy and medication is recommended for the treatment of BPD). That said, I myself have been on and off medication over the years, and am currently in a state of weaning off my current antidepressant. No, my therapist is not happy, but after some time on any medication I just seem to need a break, at the very least. To be completely honest with you... BPD is an exhausting illness. The intense emotions really tucker you out, and there comes a time when you just need that extra support... at least that's how I feel. And I'm really not a "go meds" kind of person... I'd really rather have my body as drug-free as possible. So the fact that I've "given in" to them many times in the past is significant, I think.

    Best of luck with the meds and I highly, highly recommend DBT - it really teaches you some wonderful skills, which I believe should be taught to everyone. There are also many websites out there describing the different skills that you can take a look at some time if you wish :)
  11. wdicwg

    wdicwg Member

    Thank you all for responding. I was forced to be away for a while, due to health and didn't expect there to be so many replies in that month. As an update I am now with another therapist at the suggestion of 2 of my 3 main support people, after even they were put off by the last therapist by his repetitive push for meds even though they were causing me severe physical issues. While none of the three nor the new therapist are particularly happy with me going at it med free, all five of us (me +the 3 +the therapist) feel that at this point in time I have to focus on my physical health and that the meds were creating more health issues atop of the other ones I already had. I will also be starting dbt in February as long as my health allows it, and my panic attacks have reduced after practicing meditation and breathing techniques, which seems to also be lessening the self harm as well. TBH the panic attacks were the main reason for me seeking help in the beginning.

    I know choosing not to use meds can be very controversial (which is clearly represented in the responses as well) but in my personal situation with the health issues and my new therapist not seeing suicide as a severe threat (I have had suicidal thoughts for a long time but no attempts and have never harmed myself badly enough to require medical treatment) not using meds seems to be the best option.

    The biggest thing I have learned from this situation is how much of a difference an individual therapist can make.
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