This is the time of year that everyone starts remembering to be thankful. In a perfect world, we would remember year-round to practice gratitude and appreciate what we have, but when one of the things you have is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), the world can feel far from perfect.
When you have Borderline Personality Disorder, the world can feel like a pretty scary place. With a list of characterizing symptoms that includes extreme anxiety, inability to control anger, unpredictable mood swings, and emptiness, gratitude can be hard to come by.
While it may seem like a challenge, consider the following reasons to feel thankful when struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder:
- The outlook on Borderline Personality Disorder is changing. Whereas, in the past, young medical professionals-in-training were advised to “avoid Borderlines,” labeling them as difficult and even beyond help, that attitude has thankfully changed significantly. Therapies such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) have proven to be successful at treating BPD symptoms, and more and more therapists are getting trained in how to treat BPD. As of 2008, thanks to a unanimous vote in the U.S. House of Representatives, Borderline Personality Disorder even has its own awareness month: May. Not bad for a mental illness that used to be considered untreatable.
- There is help. There are countless Borderline Personality Disorder treatment centers out there. All you have to do is research them and decide which one is right for you. A Borderline Personality Disorder treatment center will provide you with a support system of peers and professionals who understand what is going on inside of you. In group and individual therapy, you’ll be given the tools you need to identify your triggers, be aware of your emotions, and better monitor your reactions. Many BPD treatment centers offer classes like yoga or meditation that will keep you grounded and centered in your body.
- Recovery from BPD is possible. A 2010 study by Many Zanarini of McLean Hospital in Boston showed that, of 290 patients hospitalized with Borderline Personality Disorder, 93 percent achieved a remission of symptoms lasting at least two years and 86 percent lasting at least four years. Half of the patients recovered from BPD symptoms after 10 years. When you are in the midst of an episode, it can feel hopeless and endless. This study shows that, with treatment and support, recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder is out there.
- There is a silver lining. It may sound impossible, but give it a try. Imagine the opportunity for growth you have, and the feeling of accomplishment you’ll have when you gain control of your BPD symptoms. Very few people who don’t struggle with a personality disorder get the chance or take the time to learn as much about themselves as those who seek treatment for BPD. You are unique, and you are not defined by your Borderline Personality Disorder. In the right environment, you can learn to control your BPD symptoms and get back to who you really are.