DSM5 – Pathological personality traits in negative affectivity – Emotional liability – Emotions that are easily aroused, intense, and/or out of proportion to events and circumstances.
The Silver Lining
From our last blog we have seen that there is nothing wrong with the structure of our brains. The problem is with how our brain functions. Those of us with BPD have dysfunctions in self-regulating and self-soothing, with irregularities in the prefrontal cortex and the limbic/amygdala systems. These are all learned behaviors. We also noted that the brain has enormous powers of plasticity and is very good at creating new neural circuits and the white brain matter that goes with it. So a trait does not have to develop into pathological thought and behavioral patterns. We can control it. The key then is to focus our powers of belief to take steps to create these new neural circuitries.
In Search of a Better Me
I am searching with little haste,
No concern, no dopamine charge, no rush,
Just a gentle nudge to know more,
To be more,
To see more,
Not for the sake of knowledge,
Not a voyeur seeking excitement of the senses,
Not even a curious bystander seeking wisdom,
Just a gentle nudge to experience,
To connect with something
Beyond the circuits of my mind,
That all is well in my world,
And that I am part of something bigger than me,
But with the understanding
That the ME is bigger than the something,
Because it is more than the part of a whole,
I am the whole in itself.
I seek to be lost in the immense expanse of forever,
So that I can be a better me,
Here, and now.,
So that I can experience the miracle of life,
The miracle of me.
My Five Suggestions for Borderliners
- We make a commitment to be in control of ourselves based on the understanding that we are in complete control of our emotions.
- We acknowledge that when we lose our temper, it is a choice, a choice that we do not have to make. We can chose, regardless of the situation, to control our emotions or walk away.
- When confronted with a situation that causes our body to react with a build-up of pressure and the activation of our sympathetic system, we make a deliberate effort to control the mechanisms in our body. We focus all our attention in bringing those anxiety levels back down again. We can do this by employing the magic square:
We visualize a square.
Four continuous deep breaths in until our lungs are filled to capacity.
Hold for four second.
Four continuous deep exhales until our lungs are empty.
Hold for four second.
4. Once in control of our emotions, we do a reality check. We take a second look to see if this is a fight, flight, or freeze moment, or just an overreaction to a nonthreatening situation.
5. We resolve the issue consciously and with empathy for our self and for the person with whom we have the disagreement.