Any tips for people suffering from borderline personality disorder?
First of all, hey there stranger! I’m Finola (r-jects) and I actually suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder myself. It can be really confusing having such conflicting emotions that can change at the drop of the hat and I fully sympathise with you.
Borderline Personality Disorder (herein will be known as BPD) is a tricky one to get your head around, and if I’m honest, since my diagnosis, I still don’t fully understand what exactly it means. It used to be the borderline between neurosis and psychosis. However, a better way to describe it would be Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder.
As for dealing with it, I think that sometimes it’s easier to try to just roll with your emotions, as if they were a wave in the sea. If you have a psychotic episode, try not to react to it as you feel you want to. It’s okay. Maybe everybody has them from time to time.
It might feel very isolated and empty right, but although they say that BPD is a lifelong illness, I believe that it gets better over time. Don’t try to control your emotions too much; it’s okay if you’re being ‘oversensitive’ or ‘overreacting’. You might feel ‘too much’ but it’s much better than not feeling at all.
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy is meant to also be really helpful, though I’ve never tried it. It is all about being okay with being happy and sad at the same time, and dealing with your conflicting emotions. Mindfulness is a huge part of this, and I believe that this has helped me hugely.
Mindfulness is all about just letting things be; noticing them as they are and not trying to change it. This fits into my earlier analogy of ‘riding the wave’. Bear in mind that mindfulness will take some getting used to, and you might find it very difficult to let go at first. Try not to beat yourself up about it too much.
Also, in terms of tackling some of the more severe symptoms such as self harm and suicidal thoughts, they are best left to some professional techniques. I’ll make a list of websites that could help you (and anyone else who reads this) to help to prevent anything harmful.
I find that in order to stop myself from self harming, I use the 15 minute rule - where you wait for 15 minutes, and see if the urge has passed. If it has, brilliant. If not, you take a decision to wait another 15 minutes or you can hurt yourself. This of course is risky if you’re at a high distress level, and is not for everybody.
There are plenty of distractions and alternatives to self harm, and these distractions can cross over with suicidal thoughts as well. Again, there will be several resources listed at the end of this. An important thing to remember for BPD is that your emotions will change soon. It won’t be like this forever. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but when you have such a volatile state of mind, you’ve got to use it to your advantage.
You’re worth life. You’re worth food. You’re worth being safe. People care. I care.
- Finola <3
Sirius Project (self harm): http://sirius-project.org/
Recover Your Life: http://www.recoveryourlife.com/
Lifesigns (self harm): http://www.lifesigns.org.uk/help/
Befrienders (suicide hotlines internationally): http://www.befrienders.org/
Get Self Help: http://get.gg/
HelpGuide (self harm): http://www.helpguide.org/mental/self_injury.htm
Hope that’s helpful. Please feel free to message me privately (I won’t ever publish anything you don’t want me to unless it’s anonymous), and ask for more help if you need it.