How to Cope with Borderline Personality Disorder?
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental disorder that affects the way you think and feel about yourself and others, causing unstable relationships and emotions. Coping with BPD is not easy, but with the right treatment, you can lead a fulfilling life. In this article, we’ll discuss some coping strategies to help manage your symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.
Understand the symptoms of BPD
The first step to coping with BPD is to understand the symptoms of the disorder. BPD is characterized by intense emotions, impulsiveness, unstable relationships, poor self-image, and extreme feelings of emptiness. People with BPD may also engage in self-destructive behaviors such as substance abuse, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts.
Get a proper diagnosis
If you suspect you have BPD, it’s important to get a proper diagnosis from a mental health professional. A qualified therapist or psychiatrist can assess your symptoms and provide the appropriate treatment, such as therapy or medication. A diagnosis can also help you better understand your condition and develop coping strategies that work best for you.
Find a therapist
Finding a therapist who specializes in treating BPD is essential to managing the disorder. Therapies such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) have been shown to be effective in treating BPD symptoms. A therapist can also help you develop coping skills such as mindfulness techniques and emotion regulation strategies.
Develop a self-care routine
Self-care is an essential part of coping with BPD. Practices such as exercise, getting enough sleep, and eating a healthy diet can all improve your mood and reduce stress. Other self-care activities such as meditation, yoga, or journaling can also be helpful for improving your mental health.
Reach out for support
Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and family for support. Having a strong support system can help you feel less isolated and provide you with the emotional support you need. Joining a support group can also be helpful as it can give you the opportunity to share your experiences with others who understand what you’re going through.
People with BPD may turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to manage their symptoms. However, self-medicating can exacerbate your symptoms and lead to addiction. If you’re struggling with substance abuse, seek professional help as soon as possible.
Stay on top of your medication
If you’re taking medication for your BPD, it’s essential to stay on top of your dosage and take it as prescribed by your doctor. Skipping medication can lead to a relapse in symptoms and make it harder to manage the disorder.
Build a safety plan
Having a safety plan in place can be helpful in preventing self-harm or suicidal thoughts. A safety plan can include activities that make you feel good, phone numbers of loved ones, and emergency contact information for your therapist or crisis line. It’s also essential to remove any harmful objects from your home.
Practice emotional regulation techniques
Emotional regulation techniques can help you manage intense emotions associated with BPD. Practicing mindfulness, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation techniques can help you stay calm during stressful situations.
Be patient with yourself
Coping with BPD is a journey, and there may be setbacks along the way. It’s important to be patient with yourself and remind yourself that recovery is a process. Celebrate small victories and focus on your progress rather than your setbacks.
Stay connected with your treatment team
Staying connected with your treatment team is crucial to managing BPD. Regular follow-up appointments with your therapist or psychiatrist can help you stay on track with your treatment plan and make adjustments as necessary.
BPD is not your fault, and you shouldn’t blame yourself for your symptoms. It’s essential to remember that you’re not alone and that there is hope for recovery.
Set healthy boundaries
Setting healthy boundaries can help you maintain stable relationships and reduce stress. Learn to say no when you need to and communicate your needs clearly with others.
Staying motivated can be challenging when you’re coping with BPD. Setting realistic goals and breaking them down into smaller steps can help you stay on track and feel accomplished.
Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is essential to managing BPD symptoms. Aim for at least eight hours of sleep each night and establish a relaxing bedtime routine to help you wind down.
Take care of your physical health
Taking care of your physical health can improve your mood and reduce stress. Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Create a crisis plan
Creating a crisis plan can be helpful in preventing self-harm or suicide attempts. A crisis plan can include emergency contact information for your therapist or crisis line, a list of activities that make you feel better, and instructions on what to do in an emergency.
Practicing self-compassion can help you feel more at peace with yourself and improve your self-esteem. Be kind to yourself and offer yourself the same compassion you would offer a friend.
Seek professional help
If your symptoms are severe or interfering with your daily life, it’s essential to seek professional help. Treatment options such as medication and therapy can help you manage your symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.
Coping with BPD is challenging, but with the right treatment and coping strategies, it is possible to lead a fulfilling life. Remember to be patient with yourself and seek professional help when necessary. Ultimately, managing BPD is a journey, but with consistent effort, you can learn to manage your symptoms effectively.
- Can BPD be cured?
BPD cannot be cured, but with therapy and medication, symptoms can be managed effectively.
- What causes BPD?
The exact cause of BPD is unknown, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and social factors.
- Is BPD a serious disorder?
Yes, BPD is a serious disorder that can have a significant impact on a person’s life.
- Can BPD be treated with medication?
Yes, medication can be helpful in managing certain symptoms of BPD such as depression or anxiety.
- How long does it take to recover from BPD?
The recovery process from BPD is different for everyone and can take several years. It’s important to be patient and focus on progress rather than setbacks.
- Can BPD go away on its own?
BPD does not go away on its own, but symptoms may become less severe over time with proper treatment.
- Borderline Personality Disorder. (2022, January 21). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/borderline-personality-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20370237
- “Living With BPD.” National Education Alliance of Borderline Personality Disorder. https://www.borderlinepersonalitydisorder.org/family-connections/living-with-bpd
- Sharp, C, et al. (2011). “Psychotherapy for Borderline Personality Disorder: Progress and Remaining Challenges.” Current Psychiatry Reports, 13(1), 69-75. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21063934/