Without a proper diagnosis, it is very difficult to determine if someone has a personality disorder or not. It is all the more crucial to not paint a different personality into one having a disorder. A person who loves to spend time alone instead of socializing doesn’t necessarily have a personality disorder. Only such a person who displays signs of inconsistent, erratic behavior without adequate reason and is also not aware of the problematic nature of his behavior can be said to have a personality disorder. That too needs proper diagnosis for confirmation.
Once the problem is established, the next step is treatment. Which should be sought without delay. The most common yet effective methods are medication and psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy is the process of treating mental health issues by talking with a mental health professional. The talk may be individual or in a group which may include friends and family. The type of psychotherapy best suited for you is determined by the professional. This therapy is a complete package that provides necessary social skills training along with guidance on other matters. The patient can learn about his condition and talk about anything he experiences like moods, thoughts, and emotions. Therapy is the first line of defense usually the most effective. So, to get the most out of it, follow the following steps.
- Choose a therapist whom you are comfortable with. If you have a no-trust relationship with your therapist, the chances of the process working out are slim.
- Therapy should work on mutual understanding and decision-making. Unilateral decisions from either side won’t do you any good. In case of a rocky relationship with your therapist, try finding a new one.
- To make therapy effective, you must follow the plan to the word. Routine check-ins are most important.
- It is not enough to just show up. You need to participate. Bring it all out and say it.
- Therapy is much more than the hour-long sit-in session. Make sure to keep the work going even outside therapeutic sessions.
Various medications are found to be very helpful in treating personality disorders. If not rooting out the problem entirely, the medication is a great help in curbing the negative effects to a significant degree. Some of them are listed below, have different functions, useful for different disorders.
- Mood Stabilizers to control mood swings.
- Anti-Anxiety drugs to help in case of anxiety, and agitation.
- Anti-Depressants to alleviate your depressed mood, hopelessness, and the like.
- Anti-Psychotic to deal with psychosis and anger issues.
- Anti-Convulsant to treat seizures if any.
It is to be noted that not one medication or mix is effective for all disorders. Borderline personality disorder treatment applies anticonvulsants with antipsychotics which may not be an effective way for other disorder treatments.
Getting professional help for personality disorder treatment is best to be coupled with self-care and effective changes in the lifestyle. The results of this dualistic approach are found to be extraordinary.
- Know that you have to take care of yourself. Stick to your treatment plan and never skip therapy. Attend all sessions and keep your motivation high.
- Share your thoughts, and feelings with the therapist. Don’t try to hide anything from him. If you don’t help yourself, no one will.
- Be patient. Personality disorders are a long-term game and so is their treatment. Your loss of interest can undermine the whole progress.
- Continuously evaluate yourself or ask those around you for their honest opinion. In case you don’t feel any better even after several sessions, report it to your therapist or seek a new effective one.
- Eat healthily and take care of general health. A healthy physical body has a beneficial effect on mental health. Obesity is often linked to such disorders so exercise regularly.
- Personality disorders are often associated with sleep disturbances. It becomes worse in borderline disorder. Try to adopt healthy sleeping habits and talk to your therapist about it. Avoid over-reliance on sleeping drugs.
- You must avoid conflict in your life. Be it with your partner or anyone else. Resolve any if you have. Their presence can be a great source of abnormality in your mental state.
- Avoid getting yourself into stressful positions. Whether it is work-related stress or any other.
- Unhealthy interactions like passive-aggressive behavior must be avoided at all costs.
- Some people find health issues as a serious impediment to their mental wellbeing. It is always better to come to terms with them as soon as possible. With a sound mind, you will be better able to handle your physical issues like cancer, diabetes et cetera.
- If you witnessed any sort of physical or sexual abuse, seek help at the earliest to refrain from damaging your personality forever.
By taking these precautions, you can minimize the risk of personality disorders or curb the influence of already present problems.