Coping and supportBy Mayo Clinic staff
Coping with a personality disorder can be challenging. Having a personality disorder makes it hard to engage in the behavior and activities that may help you feel better. Talk to your doctor or therapist about improving your coping skills, and consider these tips:
- Simplify your life. Cut back on obligations when possible, and set reasonable schedules for goals.
- Write in a journal to express pain, anger, fear or other emotions.
- Read reputable self-help books and consider talking about them to your doctor or therapist.
- Don't become isolated. Try to participate in normal activities and get together with family or friends regularly.
- Take care of yourself by eating a healthy diet and getting sufficient sleep.
- Join a support group for people with your type of personality disorder so that you can connect to others facing similar challenges.
- Stay focused on your goals. Recovery from a personality disorder is an ongoing process. Stay motivated by keeping your recovery goals in mind. Remind yourself that you're responsible for managing your illness and working toward your goals.
- Learn relaxation and stress management. Try such stress-reduction techniques as meditation, yoga or tai chi.
- Structure your time. Plan your day and activities. Try to stay organized. You may find it helpful to make a list of daily tasks.
- Time your big decisions. Don't make important decisions when you're in the depths of a personality disorder, since you may not be thinking clearly.
If you have a loved one with a personality disorder, work with his or her mental health provider to find out how you can most effectively offer support and encouragement.
You may also benefit from talking with a mental health provider about the distress you almost certainly experience from being close to a person with a personality disorder. Mental illness can significantly disrupt the lives of both the affected person and those who care about him or her, and it's normal — and healthy — to need help coping. A mental health provider also can help you develop boundaries and self-care strategies so that you're able to enjoy and succeed in your own life without guilt.
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