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Borderline Personality Disorder: How to Support Yourself

Living with borderline personality disorder (BPD) can present various challenges, but with the right strategies and support, it is possible to manage the condition and lead a fulfilling, satisfying life. Here are some suggestions for supporting yourself if you have BPD:

1. Seek professional help: This is a priority when dealing with BPD. Therapy can help to reduce the intensity of BPD symptoms, enhance emotion regulation, and limit unhealthy behavioural patterns. It is a step by step process, but can create significant change in your life. Consult with a mental health professional who specializes in BPD. They can provide an accurate diagnosis, offer therapy options, and guide you through treatment.

2. Engage in therapy: Psychotherapy, particularly Schema Therapy and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, is considered highly effective for BPD. DBT focuses on building skills in emotion regulation, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and mindfulness. Schema Therapy helps to address the roots of unhelpful thoughts, feelings, and behaviours and shifts those in to healthier patterns in a sustainable way. Regular therapy sessions can help you develop coping mechanisms, heal past trauma, and improve your overall well-being.

3. Medication: In some cases, medication can be prescribed to manage specific symptoms of BPD, such as depression, anxiety, or mood swings. Consult with a psychiatrist who can evaluate your situation and determine if medication is appropriate for you.

4. Build a support network: Surround yourself with supportive and understanding individuals, such as friends, family, or support groups. Connecting with others who have BPD or similar experiences can provide a sense of validation and reduce feelings of isolation.

5. Educate yourself: Learn more about BPD to better understand your own experiences and develop strategies for managing symptoms. There are numerous books, online resources, and support groups available that can provide valuable information and guidance.

6. Practice self-care: Engage in activities that promote self-care, soothing, and emotional well-being. This might include exercise, maintaining a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, practicing relaxation techniques (such as deep breathing or meditation), and pursuing hobbies or interests that bring you joy. It can help to identify your core needs, for example safety, nurture, stability, understanding, validation, and engage with people and activities that can effectively meet these needs.

7. Establish a routine: Creating structure and routine in your daily life can provide a sense of stability and help manage mood fluctuations. Establish regular sleep patterns, set goals, and maintain a consistent schedule to promote stability and reduce stress.

8. Monitor and manage emotions: Pay attention to your emotional state and identify triggers that lead to intense emotions or emotional instability. Develop strategies to manage and regulate your emotions, such as grounding techniques, journaling, or engaging in creative outlets. It is important to sit with the feelings and make sense of them or allow them to rise and fall. This can feel overwhelming sometimes, and it’s okay to do that with a loved one or mental health professional as support.

9. Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness exercises can help you stay present in the moment, reduce distress, and build emotional resilience. Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and body scans can be beneficial for managing stress and maintaining emotional balance. Brain studies have shown that regularly practicing mindfulness and meditation strengthen and build connections in brain areas responsible for emotion regulation and attention focus. Behaviourally this is reflected in less intense emotional reactivity and experience, and improved deliberate concentration and focus.

10. Be patient and compassionate with yourself: Managing BPD and healing from past trauma takes time and effort. It is normal to slip up from time to time. See setbacks as part of the process rather than failure. Remember to be patient with yourself and practice self-compassion. Celebrate small victories and acknowledge your progress along the way.

Everyone's experience with BPD is unique, so it's important to work with mental health professionals to develop an individualized plan that suits your specific needs. To get the right plan for you, please book a consultation with Dr. Terrighena on (852) 2521 4668 or


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