How can you live with an emotionally unstable personality disorder?
To answer this question, we have to ask ourselves the following questions: What is an emotionally unstable personality disorder in the first place? And, do you have an emotionally unstable personality disorder?
What is an emotionally unstable personality disorder?
Let’s start answering the first question. This disorder or unbalance of emotions or feelings is characterized by black-and-white thinking that makes you feel like even you don’t know yourself.
These unstable emotions result in being often angry and showing impulsive behavior. The feeling of being out of control comes with massive stress. Often this situation is related to anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.
Society has trouble dealing with this disorder, mainly due to the fact they don’t understand what is happening to the affected person on an emotional level.
People suffering from this disorder have difficulties with normal social behavior, like building and preserving lasting boundaries with other people. The subjects often experience isolation, loneliness, and suicidal thoughts in the long run.
Commonly, emotionally unstable personality disorder comes with other mental health issues that each have their traits. Be aware of this!
Do you have an emotionally unstable personality disorder?
If you recognize yourself in the description I gave, then there is a big chance that you are dealing with an emotionally unstable personality disorder, also known as a borderline personality disorder or BPD. Don’t be alarmed; there is also good news.
There are ways of treating this disorder, half of the people that got aware of their condition, and that decided to do something about it experienced long-lasting results.
Ways to deal with emotionally unstable personality disorder
First of all, learn to be gentle with yourself, accept and embrace who you are. Don’t get mad if things are not going the way you want, or you have trouble understanding and dealing with your emotions. This bad attitude will only be translated into anger and anxiety, resulting in depressive thoughts. This process is a vicious circle.
If something goes wrong, you have to be strong enough to be able to say to yourself that this is not a big deal. You start by putting things in perspective. Whatever happened, there are always worse things in life. So, you give yourself some time and ask yourself why this turned out badly.
Then you ask yourself how you feel about this, try to express your emotions. Finally, you think about what you could do to make you feel better. The answer to this question is already a step in the right direction as you will be showing emphatic, constructive behavior.
Before you know, you will be able to be proactive and be one step ahead. As you will know, what you want you will work towards your needs and desires, and good things will start to happen instead of bad things.
You also need to stop overreacting. This change of attitude goes into the spirit of what it previously explained. Overreacting will only result in falling back into the black-and-white way of thinking and your old habits of making wrong decisions and resulting in destructive behavior. You will end up regretting what you did, feel sorry for yourself, and putting you back into the downward spiral.
Instead, find something you love and start having a goal in your life. Go back to school, find yourself a hobby, or do some community service. This positive attitude is the opposite of self-destructing behavior. You will achieve goals. Be proud of yourself and starting to higher your self-esteem, which will give you a deep sense of fulfillment.
During this process, you aren’t allowed to use any type of illegal substance or alcohol. I repeat: this is strongly forbidden! Drugs and alcohol will only give you a false sense of relief. They will lower your self-regulation abilities, increasing drastically your chances of making bad decisions and ending-up being in trouble. It is also scientifically proven that the day after smoking marihuana or drinking alcohol, you have much higher levels of cortisol in your body, which is commonly known as the stress hormone.
This high cortisol level is not what you are looking for.
Also, avoid every type of beverage with caffeine in it, as it also increases your level of anxiety. So don’t drink any coffee, Coca-Cola, Red Bull or tea. Caffeine even higher cortisol levels.
Drink plenty of water instead. Try to drink two liters of water each day. You will experience positive effects quickly as water reduces anxiety, and it keeps you hydrated when you experience heavy stress.
Focus on healthy unprocessed food like fish, chicken, turkey, nuts, bananas, pineapple, cheese, lentils or spinach (this list is way longer). All these healthy foods will higher the levels of serotonin in your body, which is the happy-hormone.
Avoid all processed and junk foods like pizza, hamburgers, snacks, sweets, etc. All these fast foods higher your cortisol level, which will make you feel stressed and depressed. As for refined sugar, it is known to stress your adrenal gland, which regulates..? Yes, your cortisol levels.
As a little extra that I mention so that you can’t lie to yourself pretending you didn’t know: do not self-medicate. Only take controlled substances if your mental health counselor has advised this. Self-medication exposes you to the risk of ending-up addicted.
Once you have all this sorted out, you have to focus on the social aspects of your life. Humans are social creatures, after all. Just explain to people what you are dealing with and let them enter your life. You will be amazed by how open people can be if you put the first step towards them. If you haven’t done this lately, pick up your phone or jump into your car and visit some family or friends.
At this stage, you will have achieved some stability already. Now we have to make this a constant aspect of your life. You will do this by installing a routine. Organize yourself, plan your day, and focus on a couple of things that you do each day at the same hour.
For example, wake up every day at the same hour, go and buy the newspaper and read it for an hour each day or go for a walk with your dog in the park every morning or visit your grandmother every day for half an hour. This routine will give you a regained feeling of control, increasing your sense of stability and confidence.
Now we get to a crucial point that you can’t skip. Start exercising. Yes, I know, you have to do some sport. You can choose which type of exercise. Every kind of physical activity will have a significant effect on you, go for a swim, go for a run, go biking or join a boxing club. You choose.
You will start stimulating the production of endorphins, which provide everything you need. This hormone lifts your mood and keeps anxiety and depression away. Isn’t this everything you need? In addition to this, now that you stopped junk food and are eating healthy you surely will lose some weight, and thanks to sports you will also tone your body. You’ll see, this is a real self-esteem booster!
We have already gone a long way through the journey now. At this point, you will experience moments of emotional relapse sometimes, which is normal. Remember, positive thinking and constructive self-talk. When this happens, you must take as much time for yourself as you need. Just isolate yourself a bit, read a book, go for a walk, do some meditation, or just listen to some music. You will feel much better again soon.
The last one is essential, you have to stay focused and give yourself time to make those changes affect your life positively. Do not see yourself as ill or different; see yourself as sensitive and passionate, and embrace your peculiarities. Before you know, they will ease.
Unfortunately, this condition cannot be treated (yet), so you will not be cured. What we can achieve is that the symptoms will almost not manifest themselves anymore and that you will be able to have what we commonly call a normal life. This improvement means that you will be able to hold a job and have long-lasting interpersonal relationships if that isn’t good news!
But you have to be honest with yourself. No two people are alike. If you’re not seeing any improvement over time, seeking professional help in the form of long-term psychotherapeutic treatment is what you will have to do to get better.
I hope these few lines gave you some perspective and will make you able to put your first steps towards improvement.
If you think you need a therapist right now, read the following article on how to find a good psychologist online.
If you feel like you need to talk with someone right now check out this list of helplines.