I don't know about anyone else's experiences with BPD or depression, but I know for me it can take me surprise, even after months of almost daily therapy. Just yesterday I was reading a study that referred to people with "serious mental illness," and I thought to myself, "would I fit in that category?" And my immediate response was "oh course not, I mean yeah, things get bad sometimes, but I'm largely functional and relatively well adjusted and blah de blah." But by the time I went to bed I realized that maybe I'm not as well adjusted as I'd thought. All of a sudden things were "that bad" again, and all it took was feeling slightly overwhelmed by things, feeling a little worse than usual about myself, guilty about how much I've been eating, guilty that I don't study enough, shame about some of the more self destructive things that have been going on, and I can go from feeling pretty okay to actively suicidal in a matter of hours.
Now, I know that this has probably been building up for a few days if not longer and that emotional lability is one of the symptoms of BPD, but it still shocks me how quickly things can implode in my life. And despite all the therapy I've had in the past year or two I still don't know what to do when this happens.
Even more alarming is how hard it becomes to ask for help when I feel my life start to collapse. It's really counterproductive because when things are going relatively well I find it easy to open up in therapy or to friends, but as soon as I become suicidal I retreat, desperately hoping someone will notice and help but completely unwilling to risk someone knowing because I half hope that this is the day I manage to go through with it, that this time I will be better at suicide than I've been in the past. But even though I can't bring myself to tell someone when I know they will stop me, I hope someone does.
It occurs to me that maybe what makes BPD so serious is that most of the time it's easy for me to seem okay. I can fake it just well enough that no one knows when I most need help.
Now, I have no idea if anyone actually reads this, but if anyone is reading I'd love if you'd leave a comment about how you ask for help when you need it. Who do you talk to, what do you say, and how do you know to ask?