Healing from borderline personality syndrome with severe medication dependence

U. K. (47), Waidhofen an der Thaya (Austria)

1. Borderline personality syndrome

I grew up as an overprotected only child trained for success and accomplishment. I had hardly any contact with other children. Except for when I went to school, I almost always only left the house when accompanied by my parents. They kept a strict eye on me. The first thoughts of suicide came when I was 13 or 14. I intended to take an overdose of medication if I ever got a bad grade at school.

Probably out of protest to this pressure to perform, I was very lazy at school and was consequently also very afraid of examinations. At 16 or 17 I would sometimes take tranquillizers to be calmer when doing homework. There were in packets in a cupboard in our living room because my mother worked in a pharmacy. I took 20 tranquillizers at once for the first time when I was 17 because I wasn’t allowed to go out at least once like other teenagers.

I made very high demands of myself which I wasn’t able to fulfil, and my self-esteem sank more and more. I went on countless starvation diets and from 20 years of age I had cosmetic surgery several times, always thinking I would get back my self-esteem in this way-which wasn’t the case. I stuffed myself into the tightest jeans, which even caused pain and numbness in my thighs. The starvation diets would be followed by bouts of binge eating.

My daughter was born when I was 20. Although I was very happy about the birth, I kept going down-hill emotionally and physically.

At around 22 I had my first contact with a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist diagnosed a ‘masked (latent) depression’. I was given psychiatric drugs (Ludiomil and Temesta among others). After six weeks the doctor increased the dose to 13 tablets a day. The binge eating worsened during those six weeks, and I gained quite a few kilos.

Apart from the evening dose, I then began to also take Temesta during the day in order to cope with my housework and job. At 25 I was taking ten tablets a day. Without Temesta doing any kind of work was an insurmountable hurdle. It was then that I went to hospital for the first time to wean off them, and realized there for the first time that I was addicted. Until then I had rejected that completely. The withdrawal symptoms were very severe. My resting pulse rate was 150 and I was tormented by an unbearable uneasiness. I couldn’t stand someone saying even a few words and spent almost the whole day alone next to the loft window of the hospital. I was incapable of doing anything at all.

After a few months I started taking medications again: Temesta, Mogadan, Lexotanil and Rohypnol-and then back to Temesta. I was still naive enough to think that I could always stop again whenever I wanted.

Many diets, several cosmetic surgery operations and further withdrawal treatments both at home and in hospital followed. I was almost always hungry and felt cold, probably because of my weight, which had ‘sunk’ to 44 kilos (I had a tendency to anorexia). I always had appetite suppressants such as Adipex at hand.

I had relapses again and again, felt totally desperate and hopeless, and had pain and weakness combined with the feeling that my body weighed a ton and could hardly move. I also harboured continual thoughts of suicide. My life was defined by a number of suicide attempts. I underwent three two-month inpatient therapies, several stays in the psychiatric ward which included some in the locked ward, and had ten years of psychotherapy with various therapists. Yet none of this helped me progress; on the contrary, it got worse year by year. I had reached the end of the line and really didn’t want to live any more.

In addition, insomnia was also making my life a torment; the medications were helping less and less. I suffered from paralysing anxiety states which would cause my throat to totally constrict and my solar plexus would feel like a hole or a vacuum. On the whole I experienced these anxiety states as very severe, and I often didn’t dare to leave the house at all any more. With this there was often also a feeling of unreality, which caused me to lose almost all contact with my environment and reality. I was incapable of looking after the household and didn’t have the energy to pursue any interests. I had an indescribable fear of life, and the tablets (Temesta) often didn’t help at all any more. Sometimes I would voluntarily seek admittance to the psychiatric ward because I simply couldn’t stand it at home any more. Since there was practically a permanent danger of suicide, I was also admitted every time.

At 25 years of age I separated from my husband and we were divorced a year later. My daughter remained with her father. At 34 I moved to another area and was pensioned off due to being unfit for work. I hoped that my condition would get better in the different environment (small village in the country), but that was naturally not the case.

I spent the years mainly in various destructive relationships with men whom I allowed to emotionally abuse me. It was only with my St. Bernard dog that I enjoyed a bond of affection. When she died I lost my last hold on life and in the following year went into hospital ten times. During this period I made a desperate attempt at suicide by taking 450 tablets (Rohypnol, Temesta, Lexotanil, among others) all at once. I wasn’t found until the next day. I was hardly breathing, was intubated and flown by emergency helicopter to hospital. After waking up I was sent to a locked institution for four days. After another suicide attempt with respiratory arrest a month later I was back in the locked institution again for two weeks. Once I was back at home, I got another dog, to keep me alive, so to speak. Still, the next suicide attempt wasn’t long in coming. By the time of my introduction to the teaching of Bruno Gröning it had got so bad that life was unbearable for me.

2. Insomnia

For years I suffered from insomnia. I would toss and turn in bed for hours and couldn’t fall asleep. I would often sit up until four o’clock in the morning doing needlework in the hope of being able to sleep out of exhaustion. I tried all kinds of tablets-sleeping pills, tranquilizers, an antipsychotic and an antidepressant.

Sometimes I could only sleep two to three hours a night for months and consequently was tired and exhausted all day long. Even with medication I didn’t get much more sleep, even 4 mg of Rohypnol would often only last for a few hours. In addition I had terrible nightmares in which I was being persecuted and someone always wanted to kill me in the most bizarre ways. The dreams during both day and night were also full of severe emotional torments.

3. Medication dependence

From the age of 25 onwards I took addictive medication almost regularly for 20 years. During this time there was no six-month period where I was able to be without it. Each time I would increase the dose within a very short time since the effect of the medication would get weaker and weaker as I developed tolerance to it.

I took mainly benzodiazepines such as Lexotanil, Temesta und Rohypnol. With Temesta I would also be physically dependent within a week; the emotional dependence was already there anyway. In every unpleasant situation-and they would occur several times every day-my first thought was of a tranquilizer. And I usually acted on the thought. Later there was also the painkiller Tramal (an opioid) which I at first ‘only’ took for pain, however I soon also sensed that it somehow ‘gave me wings’ and made me physically more capable and that I was thereby enabled to do the most essential housework for a few hours again.

It was a continual inner battle. I knew that I was becoming - and was - dependent on this medication, yet I couldn’t do without it. I had a medication stock of several thousand tablets and a number of bottles of Tramal drops.

4. Irritable bladder

From when I was 26 I suffered from chronic bladder infections which sometimes had to be treated with antibiotics. The least excitement, whether pleasant or unpleasant, would cause urinary retention, and then I would have to go the hospital every time to have a catheter inserted.

The bladder infection healed up after about eight years, that is, there were no longer any bacteria present. Yet afterwards I still suffered from an irritable bladder and an almost continual need to pass water. At night I would regularly have to get up three or four times and in the worst cases up to ten times a night. This was especially bad since I also suffered from insomnia anyway, and after the nightly trips to the toilet it was even harder to get to sleep again.

5. Hormonal disturbances (Amenorrhea)

As a teenager I had severe pain and nausea during my period. I couldn’t talk to anyone about it even though I felt deathly ill every month. After I turned 25 my period stopped without pills or hormone preparations. Although it would come regularly by taking tablets, I kept having severe pain with it. After several years I had my hormones checked and this showed a massive disturbance. Thus, the only treatment that remained was to constantly take the pill. The many weight loss diets and emotional problems were probably responsible for the hormone disturbances.

6. Fibromyalgia

From the time I was 25, pain would appear again and again in various places in my body, such as tenseness of the shoulder girdle and severe neck pain (cervical syndrome). In winter I was often unable to wear an overcoat because the weight would trigger unbearable pain in my upper back.

I could only sleep on my left side because the right side always hurt. When I got up in the morning I would be completely stiff, and my bones would feel like glass about to shatter at any moment. My tendons, muscles and joints, too, hurt. I underwent many therapies (physical, massage, kinesiology, inpatient psychotherapy), but nothing helped in the long run. Rheumatic medication brought no relief either. Only Tramal helped a lot in the beginning. Later during a special test fibromyalgia was diagnosed.

7. Sensitivity to cold

For as long as I can remember, I was inordinately sensitive to cold. In winter I would heat my living room up to 27 degrees centigrade and often even put on a thick pullover as well. Winter visits to flats where the heating wasn’t up so high were very unpleasant because I would always be freezing.

8. Eczema on my fingers

Some six or seven years before my introduction, I got a very unpleasant eczema on my hands. It began with fever-like blisters on the outside of the fingers and thumbred, wet and itchy. After this the skin on the inside of my hands became very dry and cracked. It peeled and was so rough that it got caught on everything. Underneath, the skin was very sensitive and every contact hurt. An attack would usually last several months, and the cause was unknown.

However, as it got noticeably worse and more frequent the dermatologist gave me a cortisone ointment. It helped in the beginning for a few weeks, but when I discontinued it the condition came back again. Later I only used a dermatological greasy ointment for skin care and cortisone only for open cracks.

9. Carpal tunnel syndrome

In early 2000 my fingers started to feel numb. In the mornings particularly the fingers were asleep and it took around 15 minutes for them to ‘wake up’. After needlework, too, this numbness would noticeably appear more frequently. Later there was also a tugging pain in my fingers. After a special test they diagnosed a ‘carpal tunnel syndrome’. Physiotherapy and an operation were recommended, whereupon I underwent a cell-bath treatment which, however, brought no improvement. I had less pain during the day, but at night and in the morning it was often quite severe.

10. Severe heartburn

For about 15 years I suffered from heartburn, which became increasingly more severe. At first it was especially after eating certain foods (for example, jam or plum cake), but also after certain movements such as bending over. Sometimes it would also seemingly just come on for no apparent reason. In the course of the years the problems got worse and worse, and I would then have severe heartburn regardless of whether I ate sweet or sour things, a lot, a little or nothing at all.

In the year 1999 blood was found in my stool during an examination, whereupon a gastroscopy was carried out resulting in a diagnosis of ‘hiatus hernia’ and ‘inflammation of the oesophagus due to the reflux of the gastric juices (reflux oesophagitis)’. Various acid blockers were prescribed as therapy. One of them stopped the problem, but whenever I would want to discontinue the medication the heartburn would immediately start again.

Initial contact with the Bruno Gröning Circle of Friends

A car with some people I didn’t know suddenly stopped when they saw me standing near the curb next to my car. They were Bruno Gröning Friends. I really must have looked pretty miserable. They were very kind to me and gave me an introductory pamphlet along with a cassette and their telephone number. I wasn’t capable of reading or listening to these things, but I kept the telephone number. In early September I was introduced to the teachings of Bruno Gröning.

I attended on average two community hours a week. Each time I had to overcome my fear of driving. It was very important to me to participate in the community hours because I felt such a wonderful effect from them. When I came home at night from a community hour I suddenly had the energy, for example, to mow the lawn. However the next morning it was all the same as before. And so I wished that there was a community hour I could get to every day so that I would have that good feeling at least once a day.

Healing

I had to wait one and a half years, however, before the full healing came about. During this period the medication dependence remained the same-just as excessive as before. In February of 2001 I went to hospital again because I took an overdose of medication to calm down.

Except for small headways, mostly in the emotional area, most of the burdens remained unchanged until then. After several months, however, I had a strong inner need to separate myself from the many things that I had accumulated over 25 years. My house was crammed so full of many thousands of things that I could hardly breathe. Therefore in November 2000 I got rid of a whole lot of things, and suddenly I was also able to let go of everything that just a short time earlier would have been completely impossible.

The healing of the constipation and heartburn (see below) and the well-being I felt every time after the community hours strengthened me and gave me courage to go further on this path.

And then suddenly it went very quickly. Within a week in February 2002 a healing of almost all the problems came about.

During a conversation with a community leader, she told me her own life story and how everything had been put in order through Bruno Gröning. She gave me words of encouragement and said I should trust that everything would go well for me, too. I was deeply moved. When I drove home again around three hours later, all the fog and visual disturbances which I had had as side effects of the many medications I was then taking had disappeared. The next morning I called her up and told her that I felt that the healing was now beginning.

Physically I was very weak, incapable of washing myself or brushing my teeth. I ate only very little because eating, too-like all other activity-exhausted me. Moreover, I was hardly able to sleep at all during the first few days and nights. My skin was grey and wrinkled, but my eyes shone like never before. I took care of my pet - a dog and a cat - with great effort. I sometimes had the feeling of not being entirely in this world, and I also wondered who would look after my animals if I were to die now.

I knew the whole time with a joyful certainty that this was the healing from all the decades-long suffering.

I had a strong need to sleep again for at least a few hours. After a telephone call and Einstellen with the community leader I took half a Rohypnol tablet. Earlier this wouldn’t have had any effect at all, but now I was actually able to sleep a few hours. I noticed also that I slept on my right side, which before I would have avoided because of the pain. For several years I had only slept on my left side. Once during these days I had a beautiful dream about a mountain lake and flowers of all colours and kinds which were blooming, although normally they wouldn’t all bloom at the same time.

One day at the start of that week I had a clear realization of all the bad things I had taken on in my life-anger, impatience, arrogance. In a period of about 24 hours all the people who had played a role in my life appeared to me in front of my inner eye, and I was able to forgive them all-and above all I was able to ask for forgiveness for all the worry I had caused them. I cried a lot on that day, yet it wasn’t a sad or desperate crying, but rather a good, liberating crying. All the bad was washed away, and all at once there was so much love - and then the forgiveness was simply there. I felt a profound peace in my soul and sensed that the healing of my soul was complete. Everything that I had already known in my head for a long time, but couldn’t put into practice, had gone straight to my heart.

1. Healing from borderline personality disturbance and (3.) medication dependence

After that week I left the house on shaky legs for the first time after grooming myself from head to foot. I drove down the country lane five kilometres to the next town to do some shopping.

In the period that followed I paid special attention to my relations with other people. I only went to places where I got a lot of energy and encouragement, or went shopping at times when only few people were about. There was no television, radio or other media.

Since then I haven’t needed tablets of any kind, and I am have become a happy and life-affirming person free from fear. I was able to discontinue the psychotherapy I had begun; like everything else, it hadn’t been able to bring me the longed-for help. This healing of my soul is for me the greatest possible liberation-it can hardly be expressed in words. I also have a good relationship with my parents today, for which I am grateful. I feel up to my daily tasks and am happy every day to have so much energy again.

2. Healing from insomnia

Since that week I have been able to go to sleep again at night and sleep the whole night through, and my dreams are for the most part harmless to pleasant. I also had a few sleep Regelungen, during which I didn’t sleep so well for two or three weeks, but this passed-after all, I had learned to trust and believe during that week.

4. Healing from an irritable bladder

I also determined after that week of healing that I didn’t have to go to the toilet at night and that my bladder had calmed down completely. I also no longer have any excessive urge to pass water or any urinary retention during the day, even when something unusual happens or while under stress.

5. Healing from hormonal disturbances (Amenorrhea)

Since June 2002 I have had a regular period and here, too, no longer need any medication (the pill). After over 20 years of having menstruation only by taking hormones, at 46 years of age that was also put in order.

6. Healing from fibromyalgia and (9.) healing from carpal tunnel syndrome

I determined that after the week of healing the pain in my body was rapidly coming to an end. I can once again handle any work that comes up in the house and garden. Last autumn I brought all the hardwood for the winter into the barn by myself and was able to manage it well. Earlier, that would have only been possible with huge amounts of painkillers. I can also sleep on my right side again. My hands don’t hurt any more, my fingers don’t get numb any more and the carpal tunnel syndrome has disappeared.

7. Healing from sensitivity to cold

I am now no longer overly sensitive to cold. When I get up in the morning in winter it is frequently 13 to 14 degrees in the house, and it takes awhile for it to get warm. Earlier I always needed a radiant heater; now a jacket suffices. I can live with temperatures around 19-20 degrees Celsius again without freezing.

8. Healing from eczema on the fingers

The eczema on my hands hasn’t appeared since that week. My skin is smooth and soft.

10. Healing from severe heartburn

About five or six weeks after I was introduced to the teachings I increasingly got the feeling that I no longer needed the heartburn medication and discontinued it rather suddenly. To my joy none of the old problems reappeared, and at first Regelungen* appeared in a weakened form (once or twice a month). Here too, the interval between each occurrence increased. After about six months I was finally problem-free.

I can’t say how infinitely grateful I am that I was able to become acquainted with the teachings of Bruno Gröning and with the dear people who untiringly and lovingly encouraged me and helped me in difficult situations.

And I know what I’m talking about, if I may be allowed - full of joy and conviction - to tell others, "there is no incurable, God is the greatest physician!"

Doctor's comment:

Ms. K. thought about suicide already at the age of 13, took sedatives when she was 16 and with 17 took many pills all at once in an attempt at suicide. Later she went through a development marked by a terrible self-image, neurotic suppression of aggression, weakness, addiction, and at times extremely dangerous suicidal tendencies, all of which lasted over 31 years. Ms. K. was unable to work most of the time and was given a disability pension. The mental problems she exhibited are generally considered to be Borderline Personality Disorder, and include such symptoms as severe lack of self-esteem, addiction (diazepam) depression and suicide attempts, insomnia, histrionic and narcissistic personality traits, as well as chronic conflicts in relationships. In addition she suffered from massive physical problems, e.g. severe bladder problems or fibromyalgia.

After Ms. K took in the Healing force over the period of one and a half years, she received a complete and spontaneous disappearance of all these chronic symptoms within the period of one week.

In the face of such an extreme and severe affliction as here described, the healing is truly quite unusual. That which some well-experienced psychiatrists rarely manage even with highly motivated patients over the period of many years of cooperative work, occurred here in a very short amount of time through the taking in of the Heilstrom and the application of the teaching of Bruno Gröning, and in complete perfection. I am speechless – I didn’t think such a thing to be possible!

Dr. E. S., Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist

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