Having Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) does not mean that you must resign yourself to a life of broken relationships, emotional instability, and fear of abandonment. While living with borderline personality symptoms certainly can lead to a frustrating and painful day-to-day existence, they are not by any means impossible to cope with once you begin to learn new ways of handling the situations that trigger your borderline personality symptoms.
When we discuss BPD therapy, we refer to it as a recovery process, much the same way we refer to people who are overcoming substance abuse problems as being “in recovery.” The underlying causes of Borderline Personality Disorder will always be present, but that doesn’t mean that the symptoms will be. Taking a proactive position and seeking information and treatment options for BPD are the first things you must do in order to begin your recovery process.
While you may feel embarrassed, shamed, or resistant regarding a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, there is no need to feel alone or hopeless. With approximately 30 million Americans suffering from personality disorders, it is time for us to understand that mental health problems are not the fault of those who suffer from them, but are serious illnesses with genetic components, just as many physical illnesses such as cancer are.
Treatment options for BPD, regardless of the specific approach, are characterized by teaching clients the skills they need to resolve conflicts, explore feelings and their causes, and effectively self-soothe.
In order to effectively cope with BPD, you will need to do the following:
- Seek proper diagnosis if you have not already.
- Explore your treatment options for BPD. Look at your insurance coverage and local mental health providers. Find your best way forward with the resources at your disposal.
- Take any medications your doctor prescribes as directed and report to them about side effects or changes in your feelings. The right meds can alleviate some borderline personality symptoms that could impair your ability to focus on BPD therapy.
- Educate yourself about Borderline Personality Disorder. Knowledge is power. There is no shortage of good books and online information available to get you started.
- Engage fully in the therapeutic process. You are the single most important factor in your own recovery and must commit to practicing the skills necessary to overcome your borderline personality symptoms.
- Get the support of friends and family. BPD affects all of the important people in your life. Get them informed and on board with your recovery. Encourage them to educate themselves and seek support as well, if necessary.
- Give yourself some credit and be patient with yourself! The process of BPD therapy can be lengthy and challenging. You will face setbacks from time to time, or perhaps have trouble mastering a particular skill. Don’t be discouraged! Remember to note your successes and give yourself a pat on the back for taking on a difficult task.
Coping with Borderline Personality Disorder is possible through commitment to the therapeutic process, education, and support. Stick with the recovery process, practice the skills taught to you, and you will find that as your borderline personality symptoms recede, your quality of life will improve.