Lifestyle and home remedies
Along with your professional treatment plan, consider these lifestyle and self-care strategies:
- 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 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 street drugs can worsen personality disorder symptoms or interact with medications.
- Get routine medical care. Don't neglect checkups or skip visits to your primary care professional, 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.
Coping and support
Having a personality disorder makes it hard to engage in behavior and activities that may help you feel better. Ask your doctor or therapist how to improve your coping skills and get the support you need.
If your loved one has a personality disorder
If you have a loved one with a personality disorder, work with his or her mental health professional to find out how you can most effectively offer support and encouragement.
You may also benefit from talking with a mental health professional about any distress you experience. A mental health professional can also help you develop boundaries and self-care strategies so that you're able to enjoy and succeed in your own life.
Sept. 23, 2016
- Personality disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed July 26, 2016.
- Overview of personality disorders. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/psychiatric-disorders/personality-disorders/overview-of-personality-disorders. Accessed July 26, 2016.
- Get help with personality disorders. American Psychiatric Association. https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/personality-disorders/what-are-personality-disorders. Accessed July 26, 2016.
- Skodol A. Personality disorders. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 26, 2016.
- Tyrer P, et al. Personality disorder 1: Classification, assessment, prevalence, and effect of personality disorder. The Lancet. 2015;385:717.
- Newton-Howes G, et al. Personality disorder 2: Personality disorder across the life course. The Lancet. 2015;385:727.
- Bateman AW, et al. Personality disorder 3: Treatment of personality disorder. The Lancet. 2015;385:735.
- Palmer BA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 17, 2016.