People with Borderline Personality Disorder experience very intense feelings, and their reactions can appear disproportionately extreme when compared to their triggers.
Appropriate medical treatment, therapy, a support group, and personal coping mechanisms can help us to identify triggers, and to anticipate the onset of intense and potentially uncomfortable emotions, how to cope with complicated situations or even how to reinterpret some experiences in a more positive way. However, an exhausting characteristic of BPD is that our triggers, impulses and intense feelings will not fully disappear. So learning how to manage crises when they arise might be helpful. Here are some tips:
- Let your emotions be. Try to avoid judging your feelings. Most of us humans with BPD, or not, tend to automatically pass judgement on our own feelings. Eg. Feeling sad or angry is bad. Feeling happy is good. Feeling jealous or insecure is stupid. Feeling dependent is lame. These judgements are not necessary, helpful nor are they always accurate. All emotions are natural to human beings, even the unpleasant ones. Mindfulness allows one to stay in the moment, and to embrace one’s emotions for what they are. Attempt self reflection. How do you feel? Happy. Sad. Angry. Anxious. All of them are just fine.
- Don´t be hard on yourself. Nobody is perfect. The fact that you are reading this means you are considering ways to improve and that is amazing! Try not blaming yourself for feeling a certain way, and no matter how many times these feelings arise. In my experience with BPD I can say I am very impatient and hard on myself. Why am I more patient with others than with myself? Why don’t I cut myself some slack? Throughout my journey to understand and to work on my BPD, I have also realized that people with mental illnesses are more likely to work on themselves than people without them. We are forced out of an urgent need to travel to our inner selves and reflect more often than neurotypical people.
- Try not to be afraid. I myself feel very scared that abandonment triggers can take me to very dark places which can be occupied by feelings of suicide. But please try to take a pause, breathe and realize something great! You’ve made it through these very tough situations, and on many occasions. You are a fighter. You are a survivor. You are a warrior. You know the way to get back on track better than nobody else. You can do this.
- Take time. Take all the time you need. It’s ok to take a break.
- Reach out. A support network is very useful. Reach out to your friends, support group, family or loved ones to share how you feel. This helps to alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation. You don´t have to do this alone. And we’d be happy to hear from you – you can always email us!
- Do what works for you. What can help you feel better? Cathartic, energizing or relaxing activities can help you to release steam and to calm down when you are experiencing unpleasant emotions. For eg. listening to your favourite song or meditating; maybe boxing or writing. TIMING: we all know that the inspiration to do better, to bring yourself out of a slump when things are at its worst isn’t easy. But this is the best time to do precisely this.
- Ask for help. If you feel you are in danger, call an emergency service, your therapist, psychiatrist or any professional right away. Don´t be shy if you feel your life may be at risk.
- Grant yourself recognition. Surfing through a crisis is physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting. You managed to survive again! That is no minor thing. Recognize that you did great. Congratulate yourself for succeeding.
- Learn some tips for the next time. Try to observe what works best and keep it in mind for next time. Practice will make thing easier every time.
We would love to know from you, if you have a story to share please contact us!