I have a personality disorder, what do I do?

We always start by being nice to ourselves. Remember that the past is beyond us and the future heavily depends on what we get done today. Being diagnosed with a personality disorder becomes meaningful only if you relate to it at some level. The first step is to explore the diagnosis.

Personality disorder

Open up the diagnosis.

Revisit the diagnosis, talk to your therapist about it. Understand the traits of the disorder you have been diagnosed with, please be very honest about how much you can relate to it. All therapeutic work depends on identifying traits that are mal adaptive and to slowly start chipping away at them. If you don’t agree with your diagnosis, please discuss it till all aspects are clear to you.

Responsibility

Responsibility is an incredibly empowering word, it often gets confused with blame. A personality trait isn’t a judgement, it is a possibility. It is a quirk that you can work on, not for anyone else but only for yourself. You can’t take responsibility for the past, it’s gone, nothing you can do about it today. But you need to take responsibility for today. I would never ask you to take responsibility for your emotions or thoughts, these are often involuntary. Try taking responsibility for “what you do”, because what you do today will translate to your thoughts tomorrow. What you do, defines you!

Let’s say, I am someone who has been diagnosed with an avoidant PD. I know I am insecure, I know I am terrified or criticism and I know I feel terribly uncomfortable under scrutiny. I have a choice here, I can let these traits define me, or I can do something to overcome them. I can’t control my thoughts, I can control my behavior. This is simple to say, but difficult to practice.

Let go ! Learn to forgive

You need to let that hate go! There may be a million reasons why certain things happened to you, some you can control and some you cant. The more negativity we hold on to, the less control we have over our lives. There may be demons from your past, it is isn’t your fault that these exist, but you would be hurting yourself if you haven’t found a way to let these demons go. Grudges will suck out all the energy you have. Prioritize letting go, trust me that’s more than half the work done !

Open up

Be open ! Being open means seeing things both as they really are (as opposed to through the lens of fixed though) and also as how they could be. The world is seen as alive, dynamic and full of opportunity. Being open is exciting and interesting. Be curious, be adaptive, be everything πŸ™‚ .

Take help

While the above steps will help you become aware of problematic personality traits, you probably need to take help from a professional. A professional will be able to gradually provide you with tools and techniques to improve your coping styles. Some medications may also help you deal with associated disorders such as depression and anxiety.

To summarize, get curious, be open, learn to let go,be nice to yourself (and others) and take help.

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