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A borderline personality disorder is one of the most misunderstood and stigmatized illnesses of all of the mental health diagnoses. This misunderstanding results in even more difficulties for patients when they are already struggling with their view of themselves. If you have this disorder then you are unable to trust your perceptions of yourself and other people. This results in changing your views from a really positive one second to really negative the other. You see the world in only two shades either it’s all good or all bad. This makes it very difficult to have healthy relationships and interactions. One minute a person is your best friend or the love of your life but the minute there is some slight perceived misunderstanding they become the worst person in the world with no redeeming qualities.
You also struggle with your tendency to make impulsive decisions, self-harm, mood swings, and abandonment issues. It is very difficult for you to maintain a healthy relationship with people. Anything can trigger a bad BPD episode. So you need to have a crisis plan that will help you pull through.
- Leaning on Support System
You must have some people in your life that you can absolutely lean on and talk out all your feelings with. Be it your best friend, parents or your partner. Make sure that they are capable of understanding your feelings without judging you and are prepared to deal with an episode in advance. Because at that time you won’t be able to have any rational thought and might try to push them away so your support system should be strong and prepared. Leaning on someone who doesn’t get you can make the situation worse.
- Peer Support
Connect with people who are going through the same experiences. It will help you break the isolation and you will realize that you are not alone. There are many peer support groups online. Join these communities and talk to people who are managing their BPD successfully.
- Engaging in Distraction Techniques
Another coping mechanism is to distract your mind and redirect your thoughts and emotions. Instead of draining all your energy on negative emotions focus on something else. Count your breaths, watch a movie you love, read or start drawing. Do whatever necessary to divert your attention from negative feelings.
- Engaging in a Physical Activity
To ride out the intense overwhelming emotion engage in some physical activity. Take a walk, go to the gym, dance, or even start jumping. The goal here is to train yourself physically to avoid emotional stress and let the feelings pass without harming yourself.
- Noting down Thoughts and Feelings
Put your feelings and emotions in a journal no matter how irrational they are. Try to label your emotions, identify what you are feeling. Once you know it will be less scary and it will be easy to cope with them. Figure out whether you are feeling anger, sadness, depression or anxiety and try coping skills for that specific emotion.
Focus on caring for yourself. Take meals timely and exercise regularly. In BPD your self-esteem is very low. Taking care of your body will help you in forming a positive self-image. Likewise, going out for shopping can be a good distraction. As this piece by ClothingRIC shows, you can revamp your wardrobe even if you’re short on cash. Just be smart about it and don’t waste too much money.
- Reaching out to things that Comfort You
Try to find solace and comfort in the thing that you absolutely love. Your old photos of good times in life can aid you tremendously at that time. It can be anything from your favorite blanket and slippers to a scented candle that helps you soothe your nerves. To relieve your stress and rage you can resort to a punching bag or a stress ball.
- Getting a Pet
Everything is not so bad when pets are around you. In BPD you feel like the whole world is out to get you and you automatically find negative aspects of life. Animals offer just the unconditional love and everything you need at this time. They are always there for you to cuddle and relax you even during your toughest times. They will give you hope to come through. You will know that they are depending on you for food and care. This way you will have an added motive to become a better and healthier person.