Most people with a diagnosis of BPD want quick and lasting relief from their symptoms that may include depression, anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, difficulty controlling anger, self-sabotaging behaviors, suicidal thinking, self-injury, and substance abuse.
While you may not have asked for BPD, you are responsible for taking steps to help yourself feel better.
Recovery from BPD requires us to:
• Work exceptionally hard in therapy or treatment
and at the same time
• Be patient with ourselves
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based treatment for BPD. That means that there is lots of evidence to show that it is highly effective in helping people get better and stay better.
Within DBT we strive for the synthesis of opposing views and ideas so that we can let go of black and white thinking patterns.
That synthesis (or balance) is most commonly referred to as Wise Mind.
Wise Mind is a place where we are acting neither out of Emotion Mind nor Reasonable Mind. We honor both but cling to neither. It's here where we begin to let go of some of our black and white thinking and find room for a middle path. You already know that this is a much healthier place to live.
Finding the dialectic between the two has been challenging.
Work exceptionally hard in therapy or treatment
People who keep a diary card every day, make every therapy appointment, consistently reach out and ask for help, and put their recovery first will see some pretty significant (and lasting) results anywhere between six and twelve months. Having a mental health diagnosis can be emotionally and fiscally devastating and from a relational and financial perspective, making an investment in an evidence-based treatment like DBT can yield great returns.
This same idea is true for any goal we set in life. The harder we work, the more results we'll see. The greater the effort, the richer our reward. Hard work really does pay off.
Be patient with ourselves
The other side of working really hard to get better in the fastest time frame possible is to be patient.
Being patient means taking the time (even if it takes years) to figure out what works, what doesn't, and how we can learn and grow from our mistakes. We learn from failure in a way that we do not learn from our successes.
Patience also teaches us an important lesson in watching life unfold in just the way it was meant to transpire.
What to expect in recovery from BPD
Even though we'd like for things to be different, recovery simply doesn't happen in a nice linear and predictable way. It's usually full of encouraging starts, disappointing stops, and progress that can sometimes be challenging to spot even on the best of days.
People with a diagnosis of BPD are often under a great deal of pressure to change quickly. For example, spouses may threaten divorce or well-meaning parents may insist that their child return to college shortly after a suicide attempt. For some people, these may be effective motivators for change but for others it will only be an impediment that will stall recovery.
The secret is in honoring the dialectic between pushing for hard work and being exceptionally patient with ourselves or someone you love. The bigger secret is to know when to push and when to practice patience.
Are you ready to get the help you need today? Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.