Getting a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder can seem pretty daunting, but it is more common than you might think. It has been estimated that it is diagnosed in the US as much as 3 million times per year. Although this number may seem discouraging to some people, it provides some benefits to those who have been diagnosed with a disorder and their loved ones.
Many of those who have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, or BPD, have shared their experiences with the condition and have given some tips on how to manage specific elements of the disorder.
Luckily, there are some fairly simple ways to manage things like mood swings, bouts of anger, and racing thoughts. Here, we’re going to explain our top 10 tips for managing BPD. Read to the end because the number one tip on our list is possibly the most helpful.
Number 10: Develop some healthy coping mechanisms.
Emotionally stressful situations can be difficult for everyone, but they can be especially hard for those with borderline personality disorder. This is why developing healthy coping mechanisms is crucial for coping with things like mood swings, paranoia, and racing thoughts. All of these things are common within the disorder.
Having some healthy coping mechanisms can help you get through some difficult times. Having a self-care routine, such as having a relaxing bath, going for a nice walk, or even just listening to some relaxing music, can help you take a step away from the emotionally stressful things in life.
If you’re looking for an activity that’s a bit more distracting, then play your favorite video game or try watching your favorite movie. Those are also great options. Practicing breathing exercises can help with managing emotions.
When you’re out, in public, or do not have access to some other healthy coping mechanisms that we’ve previously mentioned. Doing this and learning to walk away from upsetting situations can help prevent outbursts and arguments, which you will likely be thankful for in the long run.
Number 9: Learn about the disorder.
It is extremely important to make an effort to learn about any mental or physical condition that you have, especially if you are newly diagnosed. Being knowledgeable about your conditions or disorders makes it easier to find the best treatment possible for you.
When reading about BPD, you will likely learn about different types of therapies and medications that can potentially help with a disorder that you could ask a psychiatrist or other qualified mental health professionals about.
You can find some great sources online about BPD in the form of articles on credible websites and even YouTube videos. In addition, there are many credible sources of written material in the forms of books and clinical studies. Remember, the more knowledge you have, the better equipped you are for managing this disorder.
Number 8: Remember that a disorder does not define who you are.
Although it is important to learn about the conditions that you have, it is also crucial to remember that a disorder doesn’t define who you are as a person, and this includes borderline personality disorder.
You should never beat yourself up simply because you’ve been diagnosed with a mental condition. Instead, encourage yourself to view this event as a new opportunity for self-growth and healing.
Number 7: Practice mindfulness.
Practicing mindfulness is a great way to organize your thoughts, especially after a long and stressful day. It is also great for relaxing the mind and body when going through a difficult time. There are multiple ways to practice mindfulness.
Meditating is the most structured way to practice mindfulness and it is a great option for many people.
If you’re considering meditation, then it’s recommended to start by meditating for only a short amount of time once a day. Once you’ve been doing this for a while, you can slowly increase the amount of time that you designate for meditation until you find the perfect length of time for you.
Luckily, there are other options if structured meditation isn’t your thing. Going for a walk in nature can be a relaxing way to think away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Many people who go for nature walk away from distractions gain many of the same benefits as those who meditate.
Mindful journaling is another great option for those with borderline personality disorder. This is not only because it helps you gather your thoughts but also because it’s a great way to work through difficult emotions and work on communication skills.
Number 6: Always think decisions through.
Making rash and sometimes even unsafe decisions is unfortunately a common sign of BPD. As a result, remembering to think your decisions through is an important part of keeping yourself healthy and safe if you have this disorder.
Although many people may view this tip as being easier said than done, working on this borderline personality disorder management tip can be made easier when you go through it with a therapist or another qualified mental health professional.
Number 5: Find some activities to keep you busy.
We’ve already mentioned some healthy coping mechanisms that can help you get through difficult times, but sometimes you may need something a bit more involved to distract you. This is where some activities that will keep you busy will likely come in handy.
We have already mentioned that playing your favorite video games can be a great distraction from emotionally stressful situations and this is a better option than something like a relaxing bath.
When you’re looking to distract yourself and keep yourself busy, some other great activities for keeping yourself busy include painting, playing a musical instrument, and exercising. However, anything that is going to keep your mind busy is a great option.
Number 4: Know your triggers.
Triggers are an important factor to think about when talking about borderline personality disorder. A trigger is an event that worsens a person’s BPD symptoms. Many people with this disorder experience social triggers that are usually linked to past traumas, such as feeling ignored or mistreated.
Remember, everyone’s triggers are different, so you have to learn how to identify the triggers that will affect you. It is important to know and understand these triggers for a couple of reasons. First off, knowing the triggers that you have makes it possible for you to try and avoid these triggers whenever you can.
Avoiding triggers helps to manage borderline personality disorder and makes individuals with the condition just feel better overall. However, you may be wondering about the triggers that aren’t so easy to avoid.
Knowing about triggers you have that cannot always be avoided helps you to develop healthy coping mechanisms when these triggers occur. This way, worsening borderline personality disorder symptoms can be managed properly.
Number 3: Know when to disengage.
Sometimes triggers and other upsetting situations can make people angry, and unfortunately, periods of intense anger are often a symptom of borderline personality disorder. This anger can lead to some intense arguments and burning bridges with people important to you if left unmanaged.
As a result, learning when to disengage and walk away from an argument are crucial life skills for people who have BPD. You have the choice to engage in an argument with another person or not.
Once you realize this, you can decide whether the discussion is worth having or if continuing the discussion is just going to make things worse for you.
If you decide to drop the discussion, do so gracefully. You can also let the other person know that you’re willing to talk about the problems later on if you feel up for it.
Number 2: Work on communication skills.
Now, there may very well be times when disengaging with a person during an argument or disagreement just isn’t possible. It is during times like these that good communication skills come in handy. When having a complicated conversation, you should always acknowledge what you may have done to upset the other person, and you definitely shouldn’t blame the entire event on them.
You should also make sure to express your feelings on the issue, commit to making things better, and set up another time to talk about things if you can. This way, you can revisit the disagreement when you are both calmer and more level-headed.
Learning how to express your thoughts and feelings productively can benefit you in more ways than just during an argument. Having good communication skills can also help with strengthening relationships, especially the one with your significant other.
Number 1: Consider therapy.
Nothing is more beneficial than going to therapy with a good therapist, especially if you have a mental condition like borderline personality disorder. It is recommended that those with this condition seek a therapist who specializes in trauma and personality disorders.
Seeking a therapist allows you to express your feelings with an unbiased third person, and they can also help you with some of the other BPD management tips that we’ve mentioned on our list. Learning how to communicate effectively, knowing when to disengage, and developing healthy coping mechanisms can seem pretty difficult.
However, you do not need to do it alone, and a good therapist will be able to guide you through the process. A therapist can also teach you some things about BPD, help you with thinking through some difficult decisions, and help you recognize your triggers.