Our personality is usually defined by how we speak, behave, think, and feel. Additionally, the experiences, habits, and environment also shape and influence an individual’s personality. Owing to all these factors, our personality becomes an essential element that makes us different from the people around us.
A personality disorder is a mental condition that leads you to think, feel, and behave differently from others. One of the common forms of personality disorder is borderline personality disorder (BPD). Some of the prominent characteristics of BPD are self-image issues, unstable relationships, and difficulty in managing emotions.
What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?
BPD impacts the way you feel for others or yourself, as it may cause problems and impact the functioning of your life. In BPD, you may face severe fear of abandonment, instability, impulsiveness, and difficulty managing being alone. BPD usually begins in the early adulthood phase; however, it can gradually improve with age. Some of the common symptoms of BPD are as follows:
- Intense fear of abandonment
- The pattern of unstable and intense relationships
- Changes in self-identity and self-image
- Stress-related paranoia
- Loss of contact with reality
- Suicidal threats
- Wide mood swings
- Intense anger
- Feeling of emptiness
- Impulsive behaviour
What Does a BPD Relationship Cycle Look Like?
A BPD relationship cycle is a continuous and repeating series of lows and highs in a relationship with a person suffering from BPD. Initially, everything feels good, safe, and uplifting, and the person would be one of your favourite people. In the next second, you would feel anger, escalating negative emotions, and chaos. This kind of cycle can prove to be a shock for a person if you are in a relationship with a person diagnosed with BPD.
BPD cycles in relationships often lead to dysfunctional relationships; however, people suffering from BPD are fully capable of being compassionate and nurturing. People suffering from BPD often have strong feelings for the people they love or are in a relationship with.
How to Overcome a BPD Relationship Cycle?
BPD relationships are challenging to deal with, especially if it’s a friend, partner, or family member in question. There are many ways to improve and overcome your relationship.
Some of the mechanisms to overcome the BPD who is living with it are as follows:
- Search for a support system – You should make sure that there are enough people in your life to support you. Also, if any additional support is required, you should contact a therapist or seek guidance from a professional to help you overcome a BPD relationship cycle.
- Use music as a tool – Great music has a tempo opposite to your tumultuous feelings and can help you overcome your emotions. For instance, if you are feeling sad, try and play fast, upbeat music to change your mood, and if you are feeling restless, play slow music. Thus, music acts as a tool to overcome BPD.
- Participate in an activity that redirects your mind – Participating in an activity can help you get distracted from negative emotions. An activity can just be a walk, talk, or do something that involves more coordination.
- Calm yourself with gratitude meditation – Deep breathing exercises or meditation practices can slow down the nervous system and relax your body.
How to Overcome the Relationship Cycle of BPD?
Some of the mechanisms to overcome if your loved one is suffering from BPD are as follows:
- Set boundaries – When both of you are comfortable and are at the same emotional level, approach the idea of setting boundaries to your partner with grace. Also, try and listen to your partner’s feelings during this time, as going too fast can trigger their BPD.
- Explain the perspective – It is always important to stay calm and give some context to your partner. Explaining ‘why’ in the relationship would keep it healthy.
- Follow your boundaries – If your partner diagnosed with BPD tries to test the limits of your boundaries, and you allow them to be crossed, then you are not helping your relationship in such a situation. This act would convey that it’s okay to cross the boundaries.
- Ensure that the boundaries you have set are respected – If your BPD partner does not follow the limits set by you and you start witnessing abusive behaviour from the BPD partner, there should be consequences for such an act. A person suffering from BPD does not have a pass to abuse or disrespect others.
The Importance of Self-love and Self-care!
If you want to love others, you need to start with yourself first. Thus, self-love and self-care is essential aspect of life. These aspects support your life and allow you to take charge of your own life. Self-love or self-care is anything but to take care of your mental health, emotional health, and physical health. It also helps you keep yourself away from negativity, be calm, and focus on your work. Self-care helps relax our brain cells, reduce stress, and get good sleep. Also, self-care and self-love help people to opt for healthy choices and develop a healthy lifestyle.
The Importance of BPD Therapy and Support Groups
It is crucial to find BPD therapy or support groups if you are suffering from BPD.
Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) is one of the popular BPD therapies that help identify specific emotional issues and view the problem from a different perspective. Also, therapy can help the patient when the symptoms flare-up. Psychotherapy can help treat BPD, but medication is also needed. Some of the types of psychotherapy treatments for BPD are as follows:
- Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT)
- Schema-focused therapy
- Mentalization-based therapy (MBT)
- Systems training for emotional predictability and problem-solving (STEPPS)
- Transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP)
You can look for support in various ways such as:
- Support from family
- Support from friends
- Support from professionals
- Support groups
- Social groups
If you’re suffering from BPD and feel low, demotivated, stressed, or irritated, remember to love yourself and take good care of yourself. You can get in touch with certified mental health professionals at United We Care and get access to a range of counselling and therapy services.