Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
You can do some things for yourself that build on your professional treatment plan. Along with professional treatment, consider following these lifestyle and self-care steps for personality disorders:
- Stick to your treatment plan. Don't skip therapy sessions, even if you don't feel like going.
- Take your medications as directed. Even if you're feeling well, resist any temptation to skip your medications. If you stop, symptoms may come back. You could also experience withdrawal-like symptoms from stopping a medication too suddenly.
- Learn about your condition. Education about your condition can empower you and motivate you to stick to your treatment plan.
- Pay attention to warning signs. Work with your doctor or therapist to learn what might trigger your symptoms. Make a plan so that you know what to do if symptoms return. Contact your doctor or therapist if you notice any changes in symptoms or how you feel. Consider involving family members or friends in watching for warning signs.
- Get active. Physical activity and exercise can help manage many symptoms, such as depression, stress and anxiety. Activity can also counteract the effects of some psychiatric medications that may cause weight gain. Consider walking, jogging, swimming, gardening or taking up another form of physical activity that you enjoy.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol. Alcohol and illegal drugs can worsen personality disorder symptoms or interact with medications.
- Get routine medical care. Don't neglect checkups or skip visits to your family doctor, especially if you aren't feeling well. You may have a new health problem that needs to be addressed, or you may be experiencing side effects of medication.
- Personality disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed May 11, 2010.
- Personality disorders. In: Hales RE, et al., eds. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2008. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed May 11, 2010.
- Lenzenweger MF. Epidemiology of personality disorders. Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 2008;31:395.
- Cohen P. Child development and personality disorder. Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 2008;31:477.
- Devens M. Personality disorders. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice. 2007;34:445.
- Silk KR. Personality disorders. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed May 11, 2010.
- Skodol AE, et al. The future of personality disorders in DSM-V? American Journal of Psychiatry. 2009;166:388.
- Livesly WJ. Research trends and directions in the study of personality disorder. Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 2008;31:545.
- Staying well when you have a mental health condition. Mental Health America. http://www.nmha.org/go/mental-health-month/staying-well-when-you-have-a-mental-illness. Accessed May 11, 2010.
- Shipman K, et al. Mental health treatment of child abuse and neglect: The promise of evidence-based practice. Pediatric Clinics of North America. 2009;56:417.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 12, 2010.