I’m one of several who are caring for my cousin. She has Emotionally Unstable Borderline Personality Disorder. The worst of it is, is that she uses alcohol to try to numb the mental pain, and this always results in massive blowouts. She actually stayed off the booze for a couple of years, and all was really good, but we all feel as though we are now back to square one!
She is married with a 2 year old, and Social Services are now getting involved as she has drank when in charge of the little one on her own (when her husband has been at work). The rest of us (her parents and my Mum) live almost 2 hours away, so not as easily on hand as would be preferred. My uncle and I are currently taking it in turns to either stay at her place during the week, or bringing her to stay with us (her Mum is currently so low with it all, that my Mum and I have been having her and the little one stay with us to allow my Aunt to have a break). It is absolutely exhausting for us all at the moment, especially as she is so reluctant to come and stay with us in the week, where we can share the load.
Her husband looks broken at the moment, and is also struggling not to take her outbursts personally. The rest of the family have been dealing with this a lot longer, so are now more able to deal with that side of things. Her husband absolutely adores her, but is really not coping at the minute. For obvious reasons (namely the safety of their daughter), he does not want her alone in their home while he is at work, and would prefer that she stayed with us then. My cousin feels as though nobody wants her (typical BPD rejection paranoia), and feels like a naughty child being sent back to her parents. While I sympathise with this, we have to be realistic in that she is not safe enough to be caring for a 2 year old on her own. The constant battle of wills is simply draining.
Her parents are not young enough to be dealing with this (69 & 70) any more, my Mum is 72 and, although I am only in my mid 40’s, I have significant health issues myself.
I have suggested to her that we ask her GP to give her Naltrexone injections (or something similar) to prevent her from feeling any effects from alcohol. My thinking is that, if she no longer gets the desired effect from drinking, then it will negate the need for her to buy and drink alcohol. She is not currently at the alcoholic stage, but I know people with BPD are at significant risk of addiction, and also that when this happens they are clasified as Dual Diagnosis and a lot more difficult to treat (almost impossible apparently!). She is due to start seeing a private therapist next month as the NHS waiting times are simply mad! However, I do not believe that only having therapy once per week is going to be enough, and that she needs something else - more along the lines of drop in (when she feels things are building). My search continues!
Anyone out there who is caring for someone with BPD, especially if alcohol is involved, I would love to hear from you so we can perhaps learn from each other