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Painted Brain | The Biggest Challenges Of Borderline Personality Disorder And How To Overcome Them
We're bridging communities and changing the conversation about mental illness using arts and media.
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  • admin
  • August 7, 2016

The Biggest Challenges of Borderline Personality Disorder And How To Overcome Them

Living with borderline personality disorder (BPD) is challenging in itself, but also presents difficulties that those of us diagnosed with BPD have to overcome every day.

The magnitude of some of these obstacles makes them seem impossible to overcome, but that is only how it seems.

There is a way to overcome any challenge, and when it comes to BPD, one has to try to find a way that works.

People living with BPD face a number of different problems every day, so to identify them, I reached out to the BPD community on Twitter.

User ang_fran said the biggest hurdle she faces because of her BPD is that she says unpleasant things on impulse, and goes to extreme lengths to punish herself after the fact. She also said she has yet to find a way to overcome this.

When unpleasant thoughts directed at others enter her mind, I suggested that she write them down and read them to herself. This will give her a few moments to calm down, and the opportunity to examine her words for validity, and to check whether or not they are unkind.

People with BPD have a hard time expressing their thoughts and emotions in healthy ways, so they often respond with cruel or inappropriate-sounding outbursts.

Because stop and think doesn’t come naturally to those of us with BPD, we really have to try other methods for examining our thoughts, like writing them down before we say them out loud to someone else.

I face several challenges myself because of my BPD, one of the biggest being how I unintentionally manipulate others.

Even though I don’t mean to, I manipulate others to get what I want. To combat this unsavory habit, I’ve asked those closest to me to be direct and honest with me when they feel I have manipulated them.

This way, I can better identify my thought process, and hopefully catch myself the next time.

Those of us with BPD need to be made aware in a gentle way of how our symptoms affect others. If we are kept in the dark, we can’t even make an attempt to correct the behavior caused by our BPD.

Another big challenge I face is how I lie to others on impulse. Again, I may not mean to, but because my BPD makes it difficult for me to express myself and my emotions, I resort to lying about anything and everything.

I’ve overcome this challenge by mentally making a pro/con list of the lie I’m about to tell. I make myself examine the list before I speak, and always find that there are never any pros to lying. When I realize this, I convince myself not to lie.

BPD makes it difficult for those of us afflicted by it to regulate our emotions and express ourselves in healthy ways. Our thought processes aren’t normal, which is why we manipulate and lie to other people so often.

But both of these challenges can be combatted using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which teaches us how to correct our thought processes.

There are many more challenges facing those of us with BPD, including controlling our mood swings and managing our symptoms. Both of these may be overcome through the use of medication, therapy, or both.

Every challenge presented by living with BPD can be overcome, but it takes a great deal of work and diligence on the part of the sufferer. This is why the support of those closest to us is essential. Our loved ones can help us combat these challenges by being there for us as we face them, and by keeping us accountable as we try to overcome them.

A strong support system, solid coping skills, medication and therapy are all effective ways to overcome the challenges of BPD. It is up to those of us who have BPD to choose to use these methods, and we do, because in order to live happy, healthy lives, we have to overcome our challenges and combat our BPD.

Yes, the challenges we face are difficult, but we are strong and resourceful and we can overcome them. We just ask for patience, empathy, and compassion as we do.

Madelyn Heslet is a 24-year-old single mother who writes about mental illness to advocate for mental health and do her part in ending the stigma that surrounds it. She not only lives as a writer, but as a loving mother, and dedicated full-time student. She contributes a weekly column to Painted Brain News

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