Have you ever been told you might have a personality disorder? The good news is that I have solutions to treat and cope with personality disorders!
Once your personality develops during adolescence, it remains instilled within you throughout your life. All personality disorders are stemmed from your childhood. You may have experienced trauma, abuse, neglect, or inappropriate attachment with parental figures. Regardless of your circumstances, you are not alone. Connect with a mental health professional to create a treatment plan suited for your unique needs. This may include psychotropic medications or psychotherapeutic interventions, or both. As a psychotherapist, I personally consult with the psychiatrist to ensure that the appropriate medication regime is given based on my clinical observations.
Whether you are struggling with a personality disorder or you know someone else who is struggling, these strategies will help equip anyone affected.
- Medications– Take your medications as prescribed. Many people struggle with consistency. I have witnessed people discontinue their medications because the symptoms have dissipated, therefore they believe they are cured. Unfortunately, personality disorders will never be completely rid of your life. However you can learn to manage the disorder and not allow it to take power over you. If you forget things easily, set an alarm or have someone else help remind you.
- Psychoeducation– Educate yourself about your condition, be an active participant in your care. Remember knowledge is power. Even some of the clinicians you will encounter are not 100% aware of all personality disorders so do not completely trust everything they recommend.
- Physical care– Pay attention to your diet and maintain exercise regimes daily if possible. Many personality disorder traits can lead to symptoms related to eating disorders, therefore plan out your meals balanced with good fats, proteins, and eat some carbs that consists of vegetables and fruits.
- Numbing out– Avoid drugs and alcohol because they can negate your medications and create mood instability. When mixed together they cause mood swings, motor and cognitive functioning, heightened feelings of depression, addiction to those substances, and impaired alertness.
- Coping mechanisms– Develop health coping skills to better handle situations and the emotions that follow. Identify what works for you, such as distractions, self-soothing, and even helping others.
- Mindfulness– Be in the present rather than depressed about the past or anxious about the future, notice the emotion you are experience and ride it out rather than attempting to suppress it
- Spirituality– Pray or meditate to help you stay grounded, or use breathing techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation. Keep your body, mind, and soul working together. If you believe in God, then spend more time worshiping or reading the bible.
- Disorders vs. you– Separate yourself from your behaviors. To communicate with others effectively, it would be helpful to explain some of your personality quirks before people get offended. Separate your feelings from the facts and recognize that the actions of others are not usually directed to harm you.
- Talk therapy– Seek out Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), these approaches utilize strategies that help with emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and decreasing irrational thought processing.
If you or loved one is suffering from a personality disorder, be sure to share these strategies on how to manage symptoms.
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