Symptoms & Diagnosis

Dealing with Stress When you Have Borderline Personality Disorder

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BPD and StressEveryday life is full of stressful little details. There’s a reason they call it the rat race! In Los Angeles alone, there are nearly 4 million residents, and each and every one of them is a human being with a unique personality and a motivation. Four million co-existing motivations equals traffic, lines at grocery stores, crowded elevators, battles for employment … the list goes on.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a national survey on mental health shows that about 2 percent of adults in the United States have Borderline Personality Disorder in a given year. One of the more common triggers of BPD is stress.

If you experience the already stressful symptoms associated with Borderline Personality Disorder, how can you best deal with everyday stress and avoid this trigger?

Understand Your Triggers

Stress is a common trigger, but one of the things that causes stress is simply not knowing when the symptoms of your Borderline Personality Disorder are going to make an appearance. You might consider keeping a log or a journal of when you start to feel an episode coming on and attempt to pinpoint the event that preceded it. Understanding what causes episodes is a major step in the right direction of better dealing with them.

Stay Healthy

Get enough sleep, take your vitamins, and wash your hands! A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that stress causes an increase in Cortisol in your brain, which can compromise your immune system. The last thing you need, on top of symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder and stress, is to get sick. Furthermore, physical illness can lead to depression, a common co-occurring disorder of BPD.

Just … Avoid Stress

This may sound obvious, but as humans who often function at a chaotic level, we sometimes miss the answer that is right in front of our noses. If you don’t like crowds, avoid doing your holiday shopping on Christmas Eve. If loud noises cause you stress, don’t go to rock concerts or NASCAR events.

Of course, there will be times you find yourself unable to avoid a stressful situation. In that case, if you can, visualize the event ahead of time and see yourself making it through without being triggered. For example, if you have a fear of flying and must take a flight, don’t avoid thinking about it until the last minute and then find yourself overcome with fear and stress. Conversely, don’t dwell on it endlessly for weeks ahead of time in a state of stress. Try meditating on the event in the weeks preceding it, imagining what it would be like to fly without fear, so that you have an emotional basis to come back to when the time to fly arrives.

Define Your Stress

Are you stressed out because your alarm didn’t go off and you’re late for work? Did you leave your phone in the car? Or is your stress due to an underlying cause such as a devastating event you lived through, the loss of a loved one, or even child abuse? If you are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), you should consider seeking treatment. A treatment center that offers inpatient programs for those dealing with PTSD can help you cope with past traumatic events and the resulting stress.

Seek Professional Help

A Borderline Personality Disorder treatment center will give you the tools needed for coping with stress and managing the feeling of being out of control or overwrought that come along with it. A holistic BPD treatment center will typically offer yoga and classes on meditation to help relax your mind and body. Find a BPD treatment center that offers several levels of treatment, from inpatient to outpatient programs.

According to “Stressed Out Nation,” an article published by the American Psychological Association, 47 percent of all Americans report that they are “concerned with the amount of stress in their lives.” The good news is that, of those surveyed, 20 percent claimed to have sought professional help that was successful in reducing their stress and helping them get back to enjoying life.

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