Living with borderline personality disorder can be difficult. You may realize your behaviors and thoughts are self-destructive or damaging, yet you feel unable to control them. Treatment can help you learn skills to manage and cope with your condition.
You can help manage your condition and feel better about yourself if you:
- Learn about the disorder so that you understand its causes and treatments
- Stick to your treatment plan
- Attend all therapy sessions
- Take medications as directed and report to your doctor the benefits and side effects you experience
- Practice healthy ways to ease painful emotions and prevent impulsive behaviors, such as self-inflicted injuries
- Don't blame yourself for having the disorder but recognize your responsibility to get it treated
- Learn what may trigger angry outbursts or impulsive behavior
- Don't feel embarrassed by the condition
- Get treatment for related problems, such as substance abuse
- Reach out to others with the disorder to share insights and experiences
- Keep up a healthy lifestyle, such as eating a healthy diet, being physically active and engaging in social activities
Remember, there's no one right path to recovery from borderline personality disorder. Usually, the best results come from a combination of treatment strategies.
The condition seems to be worse in young adulthood and may gradually get better with age. Many people with the disorder find greater stability in their lives during their 30s and 40s. As your inner distress and sense of misery decreases, you can go on to maintain loving relationships and enjoy meaningful careers.
Aug. 17, 2012
- Borderline personality disorder. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/borderline-personality-disorder/complete-index.shtml. Accessed July 16, 2012.
- Personality disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed July 17, 2012.
- Hales RE, et al. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry. 5th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2008. http://www.psychiatryonline.com/resourceToc.aspx?resourceID=5. Accessed July 17, 2012.
- Silk KR. Borderline personality disorder: Epidemiology, clinical features, diagnosis, and differential diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed July 17, 2012.
- Silk KR. Borderline personality disorder: Treatment and prognosis. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed July 17, 2012.
- Gunderson JG. Borderline personality disorder. New England Journal of Medicine. 2011;364:2037.
- Leichsenring F, et al. Borderline personality disorder. The Lancet. 2011;377:74.
- Alarcon RD (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 31, 2012.
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