People with Borderline Personality Disorder sometimes engage in acts of self harm. These acts of self harm are wide ranging; they’re also dramatic and startling in many cases. These behaviors include:
You’re probably wondering what the motivation is for these various acts of self harm that seemingly would result in no gains for the person who does them. The answer to your question is that there is no single motivation for self harm. Both mental health professionals and those with BPD have suggested a variety of possible motivations including:
We’ve had clouds and rain for the last few days in New Mexico; an unusual occurrence in the land of sunshine (more than 300 days a year). But with the rain came lower temperatures and the quick change to fall. Here in Corrales, we look forward to the harvest festival, roasting green chili, and in early October the Balloon Fiesta. At this time of year temperatures can go from the 80’s in the day to the 40’s at night. It’s a great time of year.
For those with Seasonal Affective Disorder, a form of depression that comes during the darker days of winter, now is the time to make plans. Like the animals that begin to prepare for a season with less food, people with SAD can benefit by making preparations for the winter season. Activities that help people with SAD include more light (especially natural light), social support, and exercise.
If you have had severe problems with SAD, we suggest that you discuss this with your medical provider or a mental health professional experienced with this particular problem. Some people take a certain antidepressant as prevention for SAD. If you want more information about SAD, we have a great book (you can buy it new or used on Amazon) Seasonal Affective Disorder For Dummies.
My first inclination, like many people, is to fluff up the pillows, reposition myself, and will sleep to overtake me. Sometimes that works, but usually sleep remains evasive. So, instead of counting sheep for hours, here are a few tips to manage sleepless nights:
For decades, a considerable body of research has demonstrated that a number of psychotherapies are highly effective in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. Cognitive behavioral treatments have received the most attention from researchers, but other treatments such as interpersonal psychotherapy have also shown significant promise. The treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder has been another matter. Marsha Linehan developed a treatment known as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) which utilizes cognitive behavioral principles in conjunction with acceptance, emotional regulation skills, and principles of validation to the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder (DBT). Significant research supporting its efficacy did not start showing up until the 1990’s or so. And, for a while, DBT virtually stood alone as an empirically validated treatment for BPD. This treatment is fairly intensive and requires at least a full year of treatment, but a growing number of studies have supported its value.
Nonetheless, we have needed more ideas for treating BPD. Dialectical Behavior Therapy, as effective as it is, sometimes fails to improve life satisfaction and quality of life as much as one would hope. And in the past few years, new treatment ideas have begun to emerge. These include:
Research has just started to support these new approaches to BPD treatment. Schema Therapy and Mentalization-Based Therapy look especially promising, but we need more studies before anything definitive can be concluded. Interestingly, having reviewed these approaches, we have failed to discover much that seems especially incompatible among them. Therefore, we suspect that ultimately, an integrated approach to treating BPD may ultimately emerge as the best strategy. Whether or not our hunch is right, the next ten years promise to be quite exciting in the treatment of BPD.
In a future blog, we’ll discuss the role of medications in the treatment of BPD. Although most prescribers of medications recommend multiple medications for the majority of people with BPD, research has demonstrated surprisingly little value from medications for this problem. As we said, more to come…
I’t’s 4 am, I’m awake. I hope that I can go back to sleep. . . . Did I remember to get the coffee ready? I hope the traffic won’t be so bad tomorrow night, last night it took me an hour to get home. I’ve got to decide about whether or not I’ll keep the consulting job. Geez, one of us has to write a blog tomorrow, we’ve been putting that off. I wonder whether I can fit in the gym tonight. I have to remember to take out the trash before I leave. I have to stop thinking . . . I need sleep. Okay, I’ll try to concentrate on my breathing. Breathe in to the count of eight and then let it out slowly and then in. . . I have way too much to do tommorow….breathe in 1,2,3,3,4,5,6,7,8…….
Sound familiar? More and more people complain about poor sleep. The sale of prescriptions for sleep aids and over-the-counter solutions continue to skyrocket. One reason behind this pandemic is likely the modern lifestyle. We don’t fall into bed exhausted after spending the day doing physical labor on the farm or at the factory.
People generally need about eight hours of sleep per night. The real gauge as to whether you’re getting enough sleep is how you feel during the daytime, not the exact number of hours you get. In any case, anxiety frequently disrupts sleep, and a lack of sleep can increase your anxiety. The following list describes the most common sleep disturbances.