When it comes to controlling many of the symptoms of BPD you really need to understand why they are happening in the first place. While at first glance a BPD mind can appear to be a chaotic mind, in reality, it is a perfectly understandable mind because most people are suffering from those symptoms for logical reasons. You don’t have to become a therapist or a psychologist to understand those reasons, as someone who suffers from them you just need to know that they are happening for a reason…
When it comes to the symptoms of BPD you often find one symptom is caused by another one. So “Unstable Relationships” is often caused by the BPD symptom of “Fear of Abandonment“, or the BPD symptom of “Explosive Anger” is caused by “Extreme Emotional Swings” and many of those I have already said will then push the sufferer into deep bouts of depression in which they might “self-harm” and that is what makes those with BPD seem so chaotic and random, its because chaos and randomness is exactly what is going on in their minds. Sadly for most people with BPD, all the symptoms come about because of a life shockwave, an event that happens in the lives that often sends aftershocks through the rest of their years until those waves finally die down.
Even having face to face therapy for years isn’t going to cure anyone of BPD nor will it squash their symptoms, but it is all about getting control over them. Yes, even after a whole year of DBT you will still suffer from ‘Fear of Abandonment’ or “Chronic Feelings of Emptiness” but hopefully with control, you can learn to prevent them getting out of control and interfering with your life. That is what these self-help pages are trying to teach you! Is it better to go to therapy meetings? Yes, but if you can’t afford them or don’t have access to those kinds of services for some other reason these pages are just as useful.
There is always a 4 step approach when it comes to DBT. The first is the teachings of mindfulness, then distress tolerance & Emotional regulation all of which we have already covered in these pages and if you have been doing the homework you should have most of those skills down to a tee. In the coming months, we will be dealing with Interpersonal effectiveness which is the last part of DBT then, once the 52 weeks is up you should have all the skills you need to take control of your life again. Once again, I remind you that this is not about being cured, it is about giving you the control so your BPD doesn’t affect your life. If you are at least starting to think about your emotional mood swings or fears of abandonment you are already getting the gist of these DBT teachings.
This Week’s Homework: This week I would like you to try and perform what most of my own clients find impossible. Because this week I am going to ask you to stay off social media. I know that for many of you it is a job and a way of life, but do try. Maybe just look at your own usage and try and use it 50% less at least. So if you use it for 1 hour, try only using it for 30 minutes. I know this is a big ask, but staying away from social media or at least cutting down really can change your life for the better and give your brain a little rest time that with those for you with BPD it so desperately deserves.