I Am In Remission

Some time over the past two weeks, a long time friend commented on one of my posts.  I had said that I was level and have been for some. She said that she was glad that I was in remission.  Remission…  It wasn’t until this evening as I was driving  home that I really thought about this.  Is it possible for BPD to be in remission?  Now that I have been diagnosed, I know that the diagnosis is right for me.  But before that, my treatments were hit and miss.  It wasn’t until half way through ECT that I really started to see the light.  There have been a few stumbles both up and down but it feels like my psychiatrist and I have found a good combination of medications.  I haven’t had an extended bout of mania or depression for at least six months.  If that is remission then I guess I’m in it.

Here’s where I question that.  Most of the BPD blogs I follow talk about it being very unpredictable.  They say it can rear its ugly head at any point in time, whether it is well controlled or not.  Since well controlled is where I am right now, how likely am I to relapse?  More importantly, how much faith can I put on being in remission? Can I relax?  I would go on with that train of thought but I know what all the answers would be… No.  I have to remain vigilant.  I have to keep taking my medication and keep seeing my docs and therapist as scheduled.  I have to keep doing the things, like writing on this blog, that keep me level.

Largely used in the Cancer community, remission is defined as: the state of absence of disease activity in patients known to have a chronic illness that cannot be cured. Since BPD is chronic illness that has no known cure, I suppose the use of that term is appropriate for us in the BPD community as well.  But is it right for me?

I don’t want to take anything away from those out there that are battling cancer, who have been in remission and are now fighting again, or are in remission and have been there for a while.  I, myself, am a cancer survivor.  My battle had lasted 3 months when I was pronounced cancer free.  I guess you could say that I am in remission and have been for 10 years.  I guess it all depends upon the type of cancer it is/was and what the prognosis is/was.  As for me, I have a full body scan every year and every clear scan is another year in remission.

Since I am already in remission (have I said that word enough?) I guess it is OK to add another one to the pot.  As long as I understand there are actions I must take in both instances to keep myself there.  As well as certain things I have to look out for and talk to my doctors about in both circumstances.

Hi, I’m Gavin and I am in Remission.

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2 thoughts on “I Am In Remission

  1. Gavin, this is a very thoughtful and thought provoking post…you have me thinking. I want to choose my words carefully so as not to offend or alarm…I do not think there is such a thing as “remission” for BPD. I get the premise, but managed BPD is still like a sleeping volcano IMHO. Of course,we do have SOME control in the sense of continuing on our treatments/medications/appointments, avoiding triggers etc etc etc, but it has been my experience even then BPD has a mind of it’s own and can rear up any time it wants to. In my case, after many years of being “OK” I suddenly and unexpectedly had a major manic {read psychotic} episode a week ago. It was odd timing since I had already been scheduled to guest post about Bipolar on Black Box Warnings before it happened…anyhow, I guess what i am saying is, I don’t think someone with BPD can ever really relax and let down their guard. Sigh!!! HUGS!

  2. Cheri,

    No offense taken. When I started this post I was fully intending to end up with the conclusion that there really is no remission with BPD. Somewhere along the way I lost my path to the conclusion. I wholeheartedly agree that it is something that has to be watched and dealt with on a regular basis.

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