Something to Think About

Quotes

Once in a great while, experience teaches us a lesson that that can only be described as an axiom or a truism. It just is. You can try to understand its origins or debate its basis in theory, but if you ask me, that’s just a waste of time. You’re better off just taking it for what it is – an empirical observation – and benefiting from its implications.

Now, I know some of this stuff straddles philosophy and psychology, but there’s a good reason for that. While they are indeed “real world” observations, they were perceived through a subjective filter which, for better or worse, includes all kinds of strange and diverse influences.

So, while you will find elements of TaoismFreudian theory, Ayn Rand, and What They Don’t Teach You At Harvard Business School, make no mistake: they’re all practical lessons that can help your career … or even change your life:

  1. If you don’t know, say so. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, stop talking.
  2. Whether negotiation is strong or weak depends entirely on your goals.
  3. Don’t jump ship before you hit the iceberg.
  4. Anger is never about what you think you’re angry about.
  5. Confidence comes from success, knowledge comes from failure.
  6. A**hole is a subjective noun.
  7. If you’re miserable, quit and do something else. If you’re still miserable, it’s you.
  8. Success is based on current behavior, not past performance.
  9. If you protect your domain or CYA, that’s all you’ll accomplish.
  10. Thin-skinned people are actually thick-headed.
  11. People won’t perform for those they don’t respect.
  12. If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, you won’t be successful at it.
  13. When you have problems with others, look inside yourself for answers.
  14. The workplace is about business, not you.
  15. Conflict is healthy; anger is not. Get some help for that.
  16. No matter how smart you are, wisdom only comes from experience.
  17. Whine and complain all you want; nobody gives a crap.
  18. You can BS others but you really can’t BS yourself.
  19. The boss isn’t always right, but she’s still the boss.
  20. The customer isn’t always right, but he’s still the customer.

If any of this comes across as sort of preachy, just so you know, that’s not my intent. I’m not interested in indoctrinating anyone, just helping you to navigate a complex and challenging working world.

Come to think of it, while I think their meanings should be self-evident – at least after some reflection – I’m probably not the best judge of that. So if you don’t get it, ask and I’ll provide additional color in the comment section.

Quotes from the Archives

“Blessed are those who can give without remembering, and take without forgetting.”
– seen on a whiteboard at Allen Hospital, Waterloo, IA

“Half the leaders I have met don’t need to learn what to do. They need to learn what to stop.”
– Peter Drucker

“Ultimately, the only power to which man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself.”
Elie Wiesel (1928 – )

“To know the pains of power, we must go to those who have it; to know its pleasures, we must go to those who are seeking it.”
Charles Caleb Colton (1780 – 1832), Lacon, 1825

“Never seem more learned than the people you are with. Wear your learning like a pocket watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked.”
Lord Chesterfield (1694 – 1773)

“The game of life is the game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later, with astounding accuracy.”
Florence Shinn

“Consult your friend on all things, especially on those which respect yourself. His counsel may then be useful where your own self-love might impair your judgment.”
Seneca (5 BC – 65 AD)

“Doubt whom you will, but never yourself.”
Christine Bovee

“To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.”
Chinese Proverb

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”
e e cummings (1894 – 1962)

“The truth is the kindest thing we can give folks in the end.”
Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811 – 1896)

“We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh.”
Agnes Repplier (1855 – 1950)

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948)

“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”
Confucius

“Have no friends not equal to yourself.”
Confucius

“When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends.”
Japanese Proverb

“It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.”
Judith Martin

“What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.”
Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784)

“It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.”
Abraham Lincoln

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
Abraham Lincoln

What are your favorite Quotes?

Post your favorite Quote in the comments section and I will add them to the list.  Please make sure you include the author and keep them tasteful.

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Personality disorders: Narcissistic

Narcissistic personality disorderA personality disorder is a type of mental illness in which you have trouble perceiving and relating to situations and to people — including yourself. There are many specific types of personality disorders.

In general, having a personality disorder means you have a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking and behaving no matter what the situation. This leads to significant problems and limitations in relationships, social encounters, work and school.

In some cases, you may not realize that you have a personality disorder because your way of thinking and behaving seems natural to you, and you may blame others for the challenges you face.

Definition

Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. Those with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they’re superior to others and have little regard for other people’s feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

Narcissistic personality disorder is one of several types of personality disorders. Personality disorders are conditions in which people have traits that cause them to feel and behave in socially distressing ways, limiting their ability to function in relationships and in other areas of their life, such as work or school.

Narcissistic personality disorder treatment is centered around psychotherapy.

Symptoms

Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by dramatic, emotional behavior, which is in the same category as antisocial and borderline personality disorders.

Narcissistic personality disorder symptoms may include:

  • Believing that you’re better than others
  • Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
  • Exaggerating your achievements or talents
  • Expecting constant praise and admiration
  • Believing that you’re special and acting accordingly
  • Failing to recognize other people’s emotions and feelings
  • Expecting others to go along with your ideas and plans
  • Taking advantage of others
  • Expressing disdain for those you feel are inferior
  • Being jealous of others
  • Believing that others are jealous of you
  • Trouble keeping healthy relationships
  • Setting unrealistic goals
  • Being easily hurt and rejected
  • Having a fragile self-esteem
  • Appearing as tough-minded or unemotional

Although some features of narcissistic personality disorder may seem like having confidence or strong self-esteem, it’s not the same. Narcissistic personality disorder crosses the border of healthy confidence and self-esteem into thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself on a pedestal. In contrast, people who have healthy confidence and self-esteem don’t value themselves more than they value others.

When you have narcissistic personality disorder, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious. You often monopolize conversations. You may belittle or look down on people you perceive as inferior. You may have a sense of entitlement. And when you don’t receive the special treatment to which you feel entitled, you may become very impatient or angry. You may insist on having “the best” of everything — the best car, athletic club, medical care or social circles, for instance.

But underneath all this behavior often lies a fragile self-esteem. You have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have a sense of secret shame and humiliation. And in order to make yourself feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and efforts to belittle the other person to make yourself appear better.

When to see a doctor
When you have narcissistic personality disorder, you may not want to think that anything could be wrong — doing so wouldn’t fit with your self-image of power and perfection. But by definition, a narcissistic personality disorder causes problems in many areas of your life, such as relationships, work, school or your financial affairs. You may be generally unhappy and confused by a mix of seemingly contradictory emotions. Others may not enjoy being around you, and you may find your relationships unfulfilling.

If you notice any of these problems in your life, consider reaching out to a trusted doctor or mental health provider. Getting the right treatment can help make your life more rewarding and enjoyable.

Causes

It’s not known what causes narcissistic personality disorder. As with other mental disorders, the cause is likely complex. The cause may be linked to a dysfunctional childhood, such as excessive pampering, extremely high expectations, abuse or neglect. It’s also possible that genetics or psychobiology — the connection between the brain and behavior and thinking — plays a role in the development of narcissistic personality disorder.

Risk factors

Narcissistic personality disorder is rare. It affects more men than women. Narcissistic personality disorder often begins in early adulthood. Although some adolescents may seem to have traits of narcissism, this may simply be typical of the age and doesn’t mean they’ll go on to develop narcissistic personality disorder.

Although the cause of narcissistic personality disorder isn’t known, some researchers think that extreme parenting behaviors, such as neglect or excessive indulgent praise, may be partially responsible.

Risk factors for narcissistic personality disorder may include:

  • Parental disdain for fears and needs expressed during childhood
  • Lack of affection and praise during childhood
  • Neglect and emotional abuse in childhood
  • Excessive praise and overindulgence
  • Unpredictable or unreliable caregiving from parents
  • Learning manipulative behaviors from parents

Children who learn from their parents that vulnerability is unacceptable may lose their ability to empathize with others’ needs. They may also mask their emotional needs with grandiose, egotistical behavior that’s calculated to make them seem emotionally “bulletproof.”

Complications

Complications of narcissistic personality disorder, if left untreated, can include:

  • Substance abuse
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Problems at work or school

Preparing for your appointment

People with narcissistic personality disorder are most likely to seek treatment when they develop symptoms of depression — often because of perceived criticisms or rejections. If you recognize that aspects of your personality are common to narcissistic personality disorder or you’re feeling overwhelmed by sadness, talk with your doctor. Whatever your diagnosis, your symptoms signal a need for medical care.

When you call to make an appointment, your doctor may immediately refer you to a mental health provider, such as a psychiatrist.

Use the information below to prepare for your first appointment and learn what to expect from the mental health provider.

What you can do

  • Write down any symptoms you’re experiencing and for how long. It will help the mental health provider to know what kinds of events are likely to make you feel angry or defeated.
  • Write down key personal information, including traumatic events in your past and any current, major stressors.
  • Make a list of your medical information, including other physical or mental health conditions with which you’ve been diagnosed. Also write down the names of any medications or supplements you’re taking.
  • Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Someone who has known you for a long time may be able to ask questions or share information with the mental health provider that you don’t mention.
  • Write down questions to ask your mental health provider in advance so that you can make the most of your appointment.

For narcissistic personality disorder, some basic questions to ask your mental health provider include:

  • What exactly is narcissistic personality disorder?
  • Could I have different mental health conditions?
  • What is the goal of treatment in my case?
  • What treatments are most likely to be effective for me?
  • How much do you expect my quality of life may improve with treatment?
  • How frequently will I need therapy sessions and for how long?
  • Would family or group therapy be helpful in my case?
  • Are there medications that can help?
  • I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?

In addition to the questions that you’ve prepared to ask your mental health provider, don’t hesitate to ask any additional questions that may come up during your appointment.

What to expect from your mental health provider
The mental health provider is likely to ask you a number of questions to gain an understanding of your symptoms and how they’re affecting your life. The mental health provider may ask:

  • What are your symptoms?
  • When do these symptoms occur, and how long do they last?
  • How do you feel — and act — when others seem to criticize or reject you?
  • Do you have any close personal relationships? If not, how do you explain that lack?
  • What are your accomplishments?
  • What do you plan to accomplish in the future?
  • How do you feel when someone needs your help?
  • How do you feel when someone expresses difficult feelings, such as fear or sadness, to you?
  • How would you describe your childhood, including your relationship with your parents?
  • How would you say your symptoms are affecting your life, including school, work and personal relationships?
  • Have any of your close relatives been diagnosed with a mental health problem, including a personality disorder?
  • Have you been treated for any other mental health problems? If yes, what treatments were most effective?
  • Do you use alcohol or illegal drugs? How often?
  • Are you currently being treated for any other medical conditions?

Tests and diagnosis

Narcissistic personality disorder is diagnosed based on signs and symptoms, as well as a thorough psychological evaluation that may include filling out questionnaires.

Although there’s no laboratory test to diagnose narcissistic personality disorder, you may also have a physical exam to make sure you don’t have a physical problem causing your symptoms.

Some features of narcissistic personality disorder are similar to those of other personality disorders. It’s possible to be diagnosed with more than one personality disorder at the same time.

To be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, you must meet criteria spelled out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). This manual is published by the American Psychiatric Association and is used by mental health providers to diagnose mental conditions and by insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.

Criteria for narcissistic personality disorder to be diagnosed include:

  • Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power or beauty
  • Believing that you are special and can associate only with equally special people
  • Requiring constant admiration
  • Having a sense of entitlement
  • Taking advantage of others
  • Having an inability to recognize needs and feelings of others
  • Being envious of others
  • Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

Treatments and drugs

Narcissistic personality disorder treatment is centered around psychotherapy. There are no medications specifically used to treat narcissistic personality disorder. However, if you have symptoms of depression, anxiety or other conditions, medications such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications may be helpful.

Types of therapy that may be helpful for narcissistic personality disorder include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy. In general, cognitive behavioral therapy helps you identify unhealthy, negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with healthy, positive ones.
  • Family therapy. Family therapy typically brings the whole family together in therapy sessions. You and your family explore conflicts, communication and problem solving to help cope with relationship problems.
  • Group therapy. Group therapy, in which you meet with a group of people with similar conditions, may be helpful by teaching you to relate better with others. This may be a good way to learn about truly listening to others, learning about their feelings and offering support.

Because personality traits can be difficult to change, therapy may take several years. The short-term goal of psychotherapy for narcissistic personality disorder is to address such issues as substance abuse, depression, low self-esteem or shame. The long-term goal is to reshape your personality, at least to some degree, so that you can change patterns of thinking that distort your self-image and create a realistic self-image.

Psychotherapy can also help you learn to relate better with others so that your relationships are more intimate, enjoyable and rewarding. It can help you understand the causes of your emotions and what drives you to compete, to distrust others, and perhaps to despise yourself and others.

Lifestyle and home remedies

Whether you decide to seek treatment on your own or are encouraged by loved ones or a concerned employer, you may feel defensive about treatment or think it’s unnecessary. The nature of narcissistic personality disorder can also leave you feeling that the therapy or the therapist is not worth your time and attention, and you may be tempted to quit. Try to keep an open mind, though, and to focus on the rewards of treatment.

Prevention

Because the cause of narcissistic personality disorder is unknown, there’s no known way to prevent the condition with any certainty. Getting treatment as soon as possible for childhood mental health problems may help. Family therapy may help families learn healthy ways to communicate or to cope with conflicts or emotional distress. Parents with personality disorders may benefit from parenting classes and guidance from therapists or social workers.

Also, it’s important to:

  • Stick to your treatment plan. Attend scheduled therapy sessions and take any medications as directed. Remember that it can be hard work and that you may have occasional setbacks.
  • Learn about it. Educate yourself about narcissistic personality disorder so that you can better understand symptoms, risk factors and treatments.
  • Get treatment for substance abuse or other mental health problems. Your addictions, depression, anxiety and stress can feed off each other, leading to a cycle of emotional pain and unhealthy behavior.
  • Learn relaxation and stress management. Try such stress-reduction techniques as meditation, yoga or tai chi. These can be soothing and calming.
  • Stay focused on your goal. Recovery from narcissistic personality disorder can take time. Keep motivated by keeping your recovery goals in mind and reminding yourself that you can work to repair damaged relationships and become happier with your life.

By Mayo Clinic staff

Personality disorders: Borderline

Borderline personality disorderA personality disorder is a type of mental illness in which you have trouble perceiving and relating to situations and to people — including yourself. There are many specific types of personality disorders.

In general, having a personality disorder means you have a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking and behaving no matter what the situation. This leads to significant problems and limitations in relationships, social encounters, work and school.

In some cases, you may not realize that you have a personality disorder because your way of thinking and behaving seems natural to you, and you may blame others for the challenges you face.

Definition

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is an emotional disorder that causes emotional instability, leading to stress and other problems.

With borderline personality disorder your image of yourself is distorted, making you feel worthless and fundamentally flawed. Your anger, impulsivity and frequent mood swings may push others away, even though you desire loving relationships.

If you have borderline personality disorder, don’t get discouraged. Many people with borderline personality disorder get better with treatment and can live happy, peaceful lives.

Symptoms

Borderline personality disorder affects how you feel about yourself, how you relate to others and how you behave.

When you have borderline personality disorder, you often have an insecure sense of who you are. That is, your self-image or sense of self often rapidly changes. You may view yourself as evil or bad, and sometimes may feel as if you don’t exist at all. An unstable self-image often leads to frequent changes in jobs, friendships, goals and values.

Your relationships are usually in turmoil. You often experience a love-hate relationship with others. You may idealize someone one moment and then abruptly and dramatically shift to fury and hate over perceived slights or even minor misunderstandings. This is because people with the disorder often have difficulty accepting gray areas — things seem to be either black or white.

Borderline personality disorder symptoms may include:

  • Impulsive and risky behavior, such as risky driving, unsafe sex, gambling sprees or illegal drug use
  • Strong emotions that wax and wane frequently
  • Intense but short episodes of anxiety or depression
  • Inappropriate anger, sometimes escalating into physical confrontations
  • Difficulty controlling emotions or impulses
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Fear of being alone

When to see a doctor
People with borderline personality disorder often feel misunderstood, alone, empty and hopeless. They’re typically full of self-hate and self-loathing. They may be fully aware that their behavior is destructive, but feel unable to change it. Poor impulse control may lead to problems with gambling, driving or even the law. They may find that many areas of their lives are affected, including social relationships, work or school.

If you notice these things about yourself, talk to your doctor or a mental health provider. The right treatment can help you feel better about yourself and help you live a more stable, rewarding life.

If you notice these things in a family member or friend, talk to him or her about seeing a doctor or mental health provider. But keep in mind that you can’t force someone to seek help. If the relationship is causing you significant stress, you may find it helpful to see a therapist yourself.

Causes

As with other mental disorders, the causes of borderline personality disorder aren’t fully understood.

Factors that seem likely to play a role include:

  • Genetics. Some studies of twins and families suggest that personality disorders may be inherited.
  • Environmental factors. Many people with borderline personality disorder have a history of childhood abuse, neglect and separation from caregivers or loved ones.
  • Brain abnormalities. Some research has shown changes in certain areas of the brain involved in emotion regulation, impulsivity and aggression. In addition, certain brain chemicals that help regulate mood, such as serotonin, may not function properly.

Most likely, a combination of these issues results in borderline personality disorder.

Risk factors

Personality is shaped by both inherited tendencies and environmental factors, or your experiences during childhood. Some factors related to personality development can increase your risk of developing borderline personality disorder. These include:

  • Hereditary predisposition. You may be at a higher risk if a close family member — a mother, father or sibling — has the disorder.
  • Childhood abuse. Many people with the disorder report being sexually or physically abused during childhood.
  • Neglect. Some people with the disorder describe severe deprivation, neglect and abandonment during childhood.

Also, borderline personality disorder is diagnosed more often in women than in men.

Complications

Borderline personality disorder can damage many areas of your life. Intimate relationships, jobs, school, social activities and self-image all can be negatively affected. Repeated job losses and broken marriages are common. Self-injury, such as cutting or burning, can result in scarring and frequent hospitalizations. Suicide rates among people with BPD are high.

In addition, you may have other mental health disorders, including:

  • Depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Bipolar disorder

Because of risky, impulsive behavior, you are also more vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, motor vehicle accidents and physical fights. You may also be involved in abusive relationships, either as the abuser or the abused.

Preparing for your appointment

If you have a pattern of difficult relationships or personality traits that seem common to borderline personality disorder, call your doctor. After an initial appointment, your doctor may refer you to a mental health provider, such as a psychiatrist.

Use the information below to prepare for your appointment and learn what to expect from your doctor.

What you can do:

  • Write down any symptoms you or people close to you have noticed, and for how long.
  • Write down key personal information, including traumatic events in your past and any current, major stressors.
  • Make a list of your medical information, including other physical or mental health conditions with which you’ve been diagnosed. Also write down the names of any medications or supplements you’re taking.
  • Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Someone who has known you for a long time may be able to ask questions or share information with the doctor that you don’t remember to bring up.
  • Write down the questions you want to be sure to ask your doctor so that you can make the most of your appointment.

For symptoms common to borderline personality disorder, some basic questions to ask your doctor or a mental health provider include:

  • What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
  • Other than the most likely cause, what are possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
  • What treatments are most likely to be effective for me?
  • How much can I expect my symptoms to improve with treatment?
  • How frequently will I need therapy sessions, and for how long?
  • Are there medications that can help?
  • If you’re recommending medications, what are the possible side effects?
  • Do I need to follow any restrictions?
  • I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What Web sites do you recommend visiting?

In addition to the questions that you’ve prepared in advance, don’t hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you don’t understand something.

What to expect from your doctor
A doctor or mental health provider who sees you for symptoms common to borderline personality disorder is likely to ask a number of questions, including:

  • What are your symptoms?
  • When did you first notice these symptoms?
  • How are these symptoms affecting your life, including your personal relationships and work?
  • How often during the course of a normal day do you experience a mood swing?
  • How often have you felt betrayed, victimized or abandoned?
  • How well do you manage anger?
  • How well do you manage being alone?
  • Do you get bored easily?
  • How would you describe your sense of self-worth? Have you ever felt you were bad, or even evil?
  • Have you had any problems with self-destructive or risky behavior, such as reckless driving, wasteful spending, gambling or unsafe sex?
  • Have you ever tried to harm yourself or attempted suicide?
  • Do you use alcohol or illegal drugs? How often?
  • How would you describe your childhood, including your relationship with your parents?
  • Were you physically abused or neglected as a child?
  • Have any of your close relatives been diagnosed with a mental health problem, including a personality disorder?
  • Have you been treated for any other mental health problems? If yes, what treatments were most effective?
  • Are you currently being treated for any other medical conditions?

What you can do in the meantime
If you have fantasies about hurting yourself, go to an emergency room or call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

Tests and diagnosis

Personality disorders are diagnosed based on signs and symptoms and a thorough psychological evaluation. To be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, you must meet criteria spelled out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). This manual is published and updated by the American Psychiatric Association and is used by mental health professionals to diagnose mental conditions and by insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.

For borderline personality disorder to be diagnosed, at least five of the following signs and symptoms must be present:

  • Intense fear of abandonment
  • A pattern of unstable relationships
  • Unstable self-image or sense of identity
  • Impulsive and self-destructive behaviors
  • Suicidal behavior or self-injury
  • Wide mood swings
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Anger-related problems, such as frequently losing your temper or having physical fights
  • Periods of paranoia and loss of contact with reality

A diagnosis of borderline personality disorder is usually made in adults, not in children or adolescents. That’s because what appear to be signs and symptoms of borderline personality disorder may go away with maturity.

Treatments and drugs

Borderline personality disorder treatment may include psychotherapy, medications or hospitalization.

Psychotherapy
Psychotherapy is the core treatment for borderline personality disorder. Two types of psychotherapy that have been found effective are:

  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT was designed specifically to treat borderline personality disorder. Generally done through individual, group and phone counseling, DBT uses a skills-based approach to teach you how to regulate your emotions, tolerate distress and improve relationships.
  • Transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP). TFP centers on the relationship between you and your therapist — helping you understand the emotions and difficulties that develop in that relationship. You can then use what you have learned in other relationships.

Medications
Medications can’t cure borderline personality disorder, but they can help associated problems, such as depression, impulsivity and anxiety. Medications may include antidepressant, antipsychotic and anti-anxiety medications.

Hospitalization
At times, you may need more intense treatment in a psychiatric hospital or clinic. Hospitalization can also keep you safe from self-injury.

Because treatment can be intense and long term, you face the best chance for success when you consult mental health providers with experience treating borderline personality disorder.

Coping and support

Living with borderline personality disorder can be difficult. You may realize your behaviors and thoughts are self-destructive or damaging yet feel unable to control them. Treatment can help you learn skills to manage and cope with your condition.

Other things you can do to help manage your condition and feel better about yourself include:

  • Sticking to your treatment plan
  • Attending all therapy sessions
  • Practicing healthy ways to ease painful emotions, rather than inflicting self-injury
  • Not blaming yourself for having the disorder but recognizing your responsibility to get it treated
  • Learning what things may trigger angry outbursts or impulsive behavior
  • Not being embarrassed by the condition
  • Getting treatment for related problems, such as substance abuse
  • Educating yourself about the disorder so that you understand its causes and treatments
  • Reaching out to others with the disorder to share insights and experiences

Remember, there’s no one right path to recovery from borderline personality disorder. 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 misery decreases, you can go on to sustain loving relationships and enjoy meaningful careers.

By Mayo Clinic staff