DSM-5 lists ten specific personality disorders: paranoid, schizoid, schizotypal, antisocial, borderline, histrionic, narcissistic, avoidant, dependent and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. The phrase ‘personality disorder’ implies something wrong with the person, not a medical condition, yet this is not the case.
This new series of blog posts are aimed at tackling presumptions made by people against those who face a personality disorder. Written by C.J. Appleby, owner of Appleby Ink and co-founder of Lighter-Minds UK who was diagnosed with BPD in 2019 and has suffered from symptom since childhood.
You can do it ALONE with the power of DETERMINATION
I advocate highly for a vast range of mental health specialist therapies, but sometimes (through no fault of the NHS) this therapy is not available free to UK citizens. This can be due to demand, supply of therapists, long wait lists or a magnitude of other reasons. This is no reason to give up. Since my official diagnosis with Borderline Personality Disorder, it has been impossible to access any support or treatment. I have still progressed. How?
1. Self Help & Therapy Books
2. Support Networks
Titles such as Mastering Adulthood and The Happiness Trap come to mind. You can find a collection of therapist recommended self-help mental health books here.
Reading is a great way to slow down, relax and learn something at the same time. A lot of bookworms will squirm at this, but you can even take a pen, pencil, highlighter or sticky notes to the book for all those hard hitting parts.
This could be work colleagues, your employer, family or friends. It is not limited to the NHS. There’s also stacks of mental health charities, services and support groups. You can find a list of services here. Lighter-Minds UK also offer support groups, alongside other organisations such as MIND, RETHINK and more.
It can be hard to reach out for help, but it doesn’t make us weak, it only builds our strength.
2. Online Therapy Videos
Platforms like YouTube make it possible for people to skill-share. There are plenty of therapists and patients who record their techniques to share with the world. Try looking up specialist therapy videos if you’re struggling to access help elsewhere. Often people challenged by mental health speak out to help others.
The beauty of modern life means many good things DO come free. Spotify has adverts, but what doesn’t now-a-days? Whichever podcast provider you choose, there’s heaps of mental health material out there. Discussions by celebrities, suggestions from therapists, or just little boosts of positivity.
Building a regular meditation practice is a way to channel emotions and learning to sit with the ones that make us the most uncomfortable. Meditation is not merely breathing but becoming aware in the present moment. This stops any thoughts of future worries or past regrets and sadness away. Our thoughts run away sometimes taking us places we have no need being; wrapped up in hypothetical moments.
Meditation is a part of becoming mindful. There’s a heck of a lot more to it than that.
Try organising your home, to-do list or routine schedule. Another option is to turn off electronic devices to shut your brain down and unwind. Relaxation techniques such as tensing and loosing muscles or deep breathing works too. Try doing one thing at a time instead of multitasking. A regular gratitude practice is worth investing in.
7. Sleep routine
8. Diet & Exercise
It’s not just how much sleep you get, but the quality and consistency of that sleep. Check your sleep hygiene: are there bright lights in the bedroom, do you use technology before bed, how much caffeine do you consume?
Scientific research has proved how vital a role diet and exercise play in managing our mental health. Better eating habits helps store more energy, reduce mood swings and improve concentration. Exercise has similar benefits for upping energy levels, assisting in sleep routines and boosting mood.
10. Creative Outlet
Recording your emotions is a good way to track your mood. It helps to identify triggers in life, record gratitude, vent frustrations and brainstorm resolutions to problems.
Whatever floats the boat. From musical instruments to arts and crafts. A dabble in pottery, diva in dance or a green thumb gardener; use that inspiration to create grow and share.