Along with your professional treatment plan, consider these lifestyle and self-care strategies:
Jan. 31, 2014
- Be an active participant in your care. This can help your efforts to manage your personality disorder. Don't skip therapy sessions, even if you don't feel like going. Think about your goals for treatment and work toward achieving them.
- Take your medications as directed. Even if you're feeling well, don't skip your medications. If you stop, symptoms may come back. You could also experience withdrawal-like symptoms from stopping a medication too suddenly.
- Learn about your condition. Education about your condition can empower you and motivate you to stick to your treatment plan.
- Get active. Physical activity and exercise can help manage many symptoms, such as depression, stress and anxiety. Activity can also counteract the effects of some psychiatric medications that may cause weight gain. Consider walking, jogging, swimming, gardening or taking up another form of physical activity that you enjoy.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol. Alcohol and illegal drugs can worsen personality disorder symptoms or interact with medications.
- Get routine medical care. Don't neglect checkups or skip visits to your family doctor, especially if you aren't feeling well. You may have a new health problem that needs to be addressed, or you may be experiencing side effects of medication.
- Personality disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed July 5, 2013.
- 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 5, 2013.
- Silk KR. Personality disorders. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 3, 2013.
- Staying well when you have a mental health condition. Mental Health America. http://www.nmha.org/go/mental-health-month/staying-well-when-you-have-a-mental-illness. Accessed July 5, 2013.
- Lenzenweger MF. Current status of the scientific study of the personality disorders: An overview of epidemiological, longitudinal, experimental psychopathology, and neurobehavioral perspectives. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. 2010;58:741.
- Personality Disorders. Mental Health America. http://www.nmha.org/go/information/get-info/personality-disorders. Accessed July 5, 2013.
- Skodol A, et al. Approaches to the therapeutic relationship in patients with personality disorders. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 5, 2013.
- Johnson JG, et al. Parenting behaviors associated with development of adaptive and maladaptive offspring personality traits. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. 2011;56:447.
- Palmer BA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 27, 2013.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. August 12, 2013.