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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    I am diagnosed with bipolar type 1, borderline personality disorder & SAD, please advise?

    Trying to get info on how others can "deal with me"
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    Dr Pek Ang


    Dr Ang is a Malaysian born Psychiatrist who grew up in Newcastle when he moved there at 11. He received his Medical Degree from the … View Profile

    Hi.  Firstly I'm assuming that the diagnoses have been made after a thorough assessment from a Psychiatrist.  If not confirmation from one would be helpful.  That said, because the symptoms of Bipolar and Borderline overlap considerably [also ADHD by the way] sometimes Psychiatrists will have different opinions as well.

    SAD [Seasonal Affective Disorder] is more a descriptor.  It is more common in Bipolar then non Bipolar.  There is usually a Family History of Depression, Alcoholism, Self Harm or Violence in patients with Bipolar.

    In Borderline Disorder, you will usually find either traumatic experiences in childhood or interruptions and inconsistencies in the experiences of being parented.  Often symptoms of anxiety, frustration and anger occur and can change when triggers in relationships tip you off.

    What some people forget is that you can have Bipolar and Borderline together.  Unfortunately sometimes one is overlooked and so treatment is only partially successful.

    Overall if you have both, getting the Bipolar settled is essential.  Until then the Borderline component is difficult to treat.

    I would encourage you to find a good Psychiatrist who specialises in Bipolar and who is comfortable with Bordeline Personality Disorder as well.  Often a team approach of GP, Pschologist and Psychiatrist will give you the best results.  

    The message is that these conditions are treatable.  Work hard with your Health Professionals for your outcome.  Meanwhile Lifestyle measures are critical.  Cut Alcohol, Nicotine, Caffeine, other Drugs, Gambling.  Get sleep, exercise and good nutrition.  Sometimes these changes are difficult to implement while your conditions are not yet tamed, but start small anyway.

    Be patient.

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