While it is only week 7 of what I plan to be a 52-week DBT course I know a lot of you are thinking that this isn’t working, so what is the point in reading any more of it? Just imagine yourself as a troubled, twisted knot of emotions and feelings. Each little pull on any of them feels like you are being strangled and you find yourself getting wound tighter and tighter. This is not a position you have reach overnight, it has taken years of trauma and mental health neglect to reach the point you are in now, so to undo that knot is not going to happen overnight. For this weeks session, we are going to talk about some hard truth stats about BPD and how successful therapy is to those with the disorder…
The terrible stat that tells us 75% of people with BPD will try and take their own lives at least once a year is a reminder of how life-inflicting this disorder can be. I bring you back to week one in which you filled out the Kessler-10 sheet. As suggested in your results (back in week 1) anyone with a score of 25 or over really shouldn’t be doing these weekly self-help sessions. In fact, anyone scoring over 25 in a Kessler-10 really shouldn’t be trying to do any sort of therapy and I myself (as well as many, many other therapists) refuse to take on anyone scoring higher than 25. The reason is the mind is probably in such a chaotic state that you probably need some form of medication to help slow your thinking and emotions down a little. If you did score over 25 you really need to consider not reading these pages at all and getting help from a medical professional. I know that is often easier to say that it is to achieve, but that really is my best advice.
The hard truth for myself to swallow is that well over 82% of those with BPD will NOT reach their mind goals when it comes to CBT or DBT. While over 68% of my own clients with BPD do report feeling better after a year of therapy no amount of therapy will ever make your BPD go away. Sadly there is no cure, no magic bullet. But you can feel better for having finished a year of therapy and that is the kind of mind-goals that you should be thinking of achieving with these pages of self-help guidance. In fact, if you really want to improve your chances of feeling better after a year of reading these pages try seeing a therapist as well and get them to walk you through it!
Those of you that are still here after reading that I hope you are not feeling too disheartened about not feeling any different so far. Who knows, some of you might well be feeling better already and if you are I would love to get some feedback from you in the comments below. But for those who are not all I can suggest is that you don’t quit now. As long as you are reading each page every week and actively engaging in the homework I promise you it will help you feel much better. I wouldn’t be doing this if I thought these self-help pages were pointless. It doesn’t have to take years to undo that emotional knot you have got yourself in, but it will take a good few weeks. So don’t set yourself a timeframe and look for small changes for the good rather than only looking out for the bigger ones.
This Weeks Homework: For this weeks homework I would like you to consider growing a small potplant. You can pick any of these 52 plants and flowers as all of them take exactly one year to grow. As the plant grows week after week I want you to try and grow with it. From a tiny seed, a flower or plant will grow into something beautiful and amazing and indeed you can do the same thing as a person! Just keep your expectations grounded and remember you can’t see what you will be like in a year from now as you are still in your shell.