5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats or self-injuring behavior such as cutting, interfering with the healing of scars (excoriation) or picking at oneself.
I have never self-harmed or attempted suicide. I’ve had thoughts of not wanting to live anymore because life became too painful. Yes, I’ve thought about ways I could end my life, but never attempted them. If I didn’t have my two beautiful children, things probably would have been different. They are my life and I can’t and won’t walk away from them. They are the reason I get out of bed every day.
6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).
I’m not sure if people can accurately see how intense my mood is and how quickly it changes. Some say they can, but often times I try to keep it to myself unless I see it affecting somebody else. I get irritable and depressed a lot. I used to have intense anger, but I’ve come a long way with it. My mood swings or episodes can last from a couple hours to a couple days depending on the trigger. Self-awareness is most important because once I realize I’m having an episode, it’s so much easier for me to control my actions. Sometimes it takes a stupid reaction to something to realize I’m not doing OK, but luckily with a lot of work I can catch it before I react. In part due to medication and better understanding of the illness, my episodes happened more often a couple years ago than they do now. If I miss one day of my meds, I will be in a dark place within 24 hours and it’s tough to get out of because I blame myself for causing it, albeit unintentionally.