Someone who suffers from borderline personality disorder will probably feel like they are on a roller coaster- not solely based on their unstable emotions or relationships, but also the wavering sense of who they are. Their self-image, goals and even their likes and dislikes may change frequently in ways that feel confusing and unclear. People who suffer from BPD tend to be extremely sensitive. Small things can trigger intense reactions. And once upset, they have trouble calming down. Their emotional volatility and inability to self-soothe, leads to relationship turmoil and impulsive, even reckless, behavior. When experiencing these overwhelming emotions, they are unable to think straight or stay grounded. They may say hurtful things, or act out in dangerous, or inappropriate ways that leave them feeling guilty or ashamed afterwards. From the outside, we may perceive them as people who tend to “stir the pot” or play “devil’s advocate”. They seemingly thrive in chaos.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE MOST COMMON SYMPTOMS OF BPD:
- Fear of abandonment. People with BPD are often terrified of being abandoned or left alone. Even something as innocuous as a loved one arriving home late from work or going away for the weekend may trigger intense fear. This can prompt frantic efforts to keep the other person close. They may beg, cling, start fights, track their loved one’s movements, or even physically block the person from leaving. Unfortunately, this behavior tends to have the opposite effect- driving others away.
- Unstable relationships. People with BPD tend to have relationships that are intense and short lived. They may fall in love quickly, believing that each new person is the one who will make them feel whole, only to be quickly disappointed. Their relationships either seem perfect or horrible, without any middle ground. Their lovers, friends, or family members may feel like they have emotional whiplash because of their rapid swings from idealization to devaluation, anger, and hate.
- Unclear or shifting self-image. When someone has BPD, their sense of self is typically unstable. Sometimes they may feel good about themselves, but other times they hate themselves, or even view themselves as evil. They probably don’t have a clear idea of who they are or what they want in life. As a result, they may frequently change jobs, friends, lovers, religion, values, goals, or even sexual identity.
- Impulsive, self-destructive behaviors. When someone has BPD, they may engage in harmful, sensation seeking behaviors, especially when there are upset. They may impulsively spend money they can’t afford; binge eat, drive recklessly, shoplift, engage in risky sex, or overdo it with drugs or alcohol. These risky behaviors may help them feel better in the moment, but they hurt them and those around them over the long term.
- Self-harm. Suicidal behavior and deliberate self-harm are common in people with BPD. Suicidal behavior includes thinking about suicide, making suicidal gestures or threats, or carrying out a suicide attempt. Self-harm encompasses all other attempts to hurt yourself without suicidal intent.
- Extreme emotional swings. Unstable emotions and moods are common with BPD. One moment, they may feel happy, and the next, despondent. Little things that other people brush off can send them into an emotional tailspin. These mood swings are intense, but they tend to pass quickly (unlike the emotional swings of depression or bipolar disorder), usually lasting just a few minutes or hours.
- Chronic feelings of emptiness. People with BPD often talk about feeling empty, as if there’s a hole, or a void, inside them. At the extreme, they may feel as if they’re doing “nothing” or that they are a “nobody”. This feeling is uncomfortable, so you may try to fill the void with things like drugs, food, or sex. But nothing feels truly satisfying.
- Explosive anger. When someone has BPD, they may struggle with intense anger and a short temper. They may also have trouble controlling themselves once the fuse is lit, yelling, throwing things, or becoming completely consumed by rage. It’s important to note that this anger isn’t always directed outwards. They may spend a lot of time feeling angry at themselves.
- Feeling suspicious or out of touch with reality. Someone who has BPD will often struggle with paranoia or suspicious thoughts about other motives. When under stress, they may even lose touch with reality, an experience known as dissociation. They may feel foggy, spaced out, or as if they are outside their own body.
BPD is treatable.
In the past, many mental health professionals found it difficult to treat BPD, so they concluded that there was little to be done. But we now know that BPD is treatable. In fact, the long-term prognosis for BPD is better than those for depression and bipolar disorder. However, it requires a specialized approach. The bottom line is that most people with BPD can, and do, get better and they do so rapidly with the right treatments and support.
Healing is a matter of breaking the dysfunctional patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that are causing a person distress. It’s not easy to change lifelong habits. Choosing to pause, reflect, and then act in new ways, will feel unnatural and uncomfortable at first. But, within time they’ll form new habits that help them maintain their emotional balance and stay in control.
These are some natural methods to treat BPD:
- Therapy. Psychotherapy (or talk therapy) is almost always the first line of treatment for people who’ve received a BPD diagnosis. The most common and effective forms of BPD therapy include cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, and dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT.
- Vitamin C supplements. Vitamin C supplements might be beneficial for some people whose BPD symptoms include anxiety and nervous tension. One study found that taking 500 milligrams of vitamin C a day reduced anxiety in some people. If you’re looking for how to treat BPD naturally, vitamin C might be a good option to explore.
- Herbs. Another way to learn how to treat BPD naturally involves herbs. Several herbs have shown promise as potential alternative treatments for BPD. Remember that herbs, like any other holistic treatment, can be most effective when used with other therapeutic methods. Never consider substituting herbs for medication and/or therapy, and make sure to consult with a licensed physician before starting to take any additional supplements. Some examples of herbs to treat BPD are valerian root and Ashwagandha.
- Foods with omega-3 fatty acids. Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, mackerel, and sardines have shown promise as a BPD treatment without medicine.
- Magnesium. Magnesium supplements seem to be beneficial for some people with BPD who also suffer from migraines. Additionally, it’s believed that it can be beneficial for people who have depression, or high anxiety, in addition to BPD. In a study by a research team, it was found that people with BPD often have very low levels of magnesium. After administering supplements for a year, the team concluded that treating people with organic salts of magnesium ultimately improve their condition, and largely reduce the need for some medication.
- Vitamin D. Taking vitamin D supplements might be one of the more effective BPD alternative treatments out there. Approximately 50% of the global population is vitamin D deficient. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to increased anxiety, mood disorders and depression. Research shows that people deficient in vitamin D are also at higher risk for some mental illnesses like schizophrenia. For people with BPD, particularly those who suffer from anxiety and depression, doses of the sunshine vitamin might be effective in managing and lessening symptoms.
- Chocolate or cacao. If you want to know how to treat BPD naturally (and enjoyably), some research suggests you might just want to turn toward chocolate. Nutrients in chocolate may help reduce depression and improve memory and focus on people with BPD, things that are common problems.
- Stress management skills. Believe it or not, there’s actually a difference between good and bad stress. Understanding how to identify each, and knowing how to manage the unhealthy type, can go a long way in treating BPD. Stress is a known and common trigger for BPD, so having the skills to manage stressful times in your life can be key in overall condition management.
If you, or someone you know, is suffering from BPD, contact Can-am Interventions or, mental health professional today to start a treatment program to best suit your needs.
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