DBT Self Help

If you rewind history back far enough you will always get to the bottom of why something is happening. After all, this is how the theory of evolution works. But there are still things in this world that you will come across that make no sense at all (hence the reason for the Intelligent design theory). Today we need to keep things slow and dig a little deeper into the past mind. Don’t worry, this is not going to be as heavy as you might think…

Week 14: Rewind
One of the main symptoms of BPD is ‘Fear of Abandonment‘ which can often lead to arguments, accusations and even all-out violence towards anyone it is aimed at. Many of my clients with BPD often call me up in a hell-of-a state because of this very symptom. They tell me they have pushed someone away they loved very much or even turned on a FP who they need now more than ever. No matter who it is here is what I tell them…

I ask them if the traumatic moment they are currently experiencing is based on facts or just feelings. I ask them to stop, take a few deep breaths and calm the mind a little. Then I will ask them the same thing again. If they then tell me once again that it was based on facts I will remind them that they are probably perfectly justified in feeling mad and upset so shouldn’t really feel that way. After all, the reason it happened was out of your control. You didn’t do anything wrong, it was just you who confronted someone else about it.

But if the client says they think it was all in the mind (which many of my clients do once they have been coming to me for a while) I will tell them to stop once again, take a few deep breaths and tell me what feelings and thoughts were happening at the moment the situation occurred. Most of the time it is nothing that happened in the exact moment that caused them to get angry or lashout, but it was a memory or just a feeling rather than anything based on fact.

Week 14 Rewind

The point I am making here is that most of the time the negative thing you are feeling or thinking at that exact moment is often not based on what is happening there and then, but rather that has already occurred previously in the past. At some point in anyone’s life, they will start to ask themselves why they are who they are. With BPD you should be trying to deal with the here and now, rather than the past or future because your emotions are often racing out of control all day long. With many different forms of mental health disorders, the mind is racing and you can indeed feel out of control. But the fact that you are still alive and breathing tells me that you are in control of this panic attack or flashback. You can slow down your breathing and relax because you and only you control your breathing. Once you have control of your breathing you will find it easier to control the mind as well.

Week 14: Rewind

This Week’s Homework: For homework this week I would like you to try and get hold of a rubberband. Just the one will do, but the more the married. Then, place that rubber band over the wrist and leave it there for as long as you can. Why? Because when you are feeling depressed, anxious or angry I want you to snap that band as hard and as fast as you can. While it will be a little bit of a shock at first that “SNAP” will bring you back to earth and help you to address the situation properly. The reason this works is that it brings you back to the present. When your mind is running into the past or future you need to get control of it fast and a rubberband will do just that.

Week 13 Fight ClubWeek 15: You Give a Little, You Get a Little

Related Posts

Please do Leave a Comment