The holiday season often brings a surge of positive and negative emotions. For individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder, the heightened expectations, social pressures, and memories associated with the holidays can intensify emotional states. Thus leading to increased stress, depression, anxiety, anger outbursts, and mood swings. It’s crucial to recognize that these emotions affect the individual and ripple effect on those around them.
Managing Holiday Emotional Struggles With BPD: Navigating Fears and Anxiety Amidst the Festivities
Fears may become more pronounced during the holidays. The emphasis on family togetherness can trigger anxiety and emotional distress. Therefore contributing to a heightened sense of vulnerability during the holiday season. Fear of being left out – I won’t be invited or included because of the way they say I behave; fear of being rejected and I will be alone; fear of what they will expect of me and fear of being judged by others.
During the holidays, these fears, along with the pain and sadness of reminders of the past, create more depression. As emotions and thoughts love each other, our BPD brain will think of anything that keeps sadness going, such as the loss of loved ones, the loss of not having the life I want today, the loss of what I have needed from the past, present, and the anticipated loss of the future increases the depression even more.
Past Memories Can Create Anxiety and Fear With BPD
Memories from past holiday experiences and anticipation of this year’s experiences can create anxiety so intense that one feels immobilized and will either avoid going or isolate in the room by themselves when there. The holidays often bring family members together whom you only see once a year. It may be exciting to see the ones you love and enjoy being around and dread the ones you don’t like how they talk or behave. Conversations can be uncomfortable. When that family member whom you don’t like corners you and questions you about your life, your emotional vulnerability kicks in, and you feel judged, harmed, and criticized by them. Leading one to become reactive with anger and doing things that may lead to being the bad guy and ruining the holiday.
The holidays, fears, loss, anxiety, and social interactions can lead to intense emotional pain and hopelessness and increase thoughts of old coping skills that have helped in the short term and create more problems in the long term. Or even thoughts of self-harm or suicide. If you are wanting to self-harm or feeling suicidal, reach out for help, call your therapist, friend, or friends, or call 988. You are not alone. The stressors from the holidays are temporary. And there are ways of getting through them and problem-solving ways of getting your needs met.
How to Get Through the Holidays For Both The Individual With BPD and For Family and Friends
Prioritize self-care during the holidays. Establishing routines, taking breaks, and engaging in pleasurable activities can help manage stress and regulate emotions. Remember, it’s okay to prioritize your well-being. Be flexible with holiday plans. Acknowledge and respect all limits and consider adapting traditions to create a more comfortable and supportive environment. Flexibility allows for a more inclusive and enjoyable holiday experience for everyone.
Stay in the present moment by observing and describing both externally and internally with all your senses. Seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, and smelling. This helps you be in the present rather than worrying about the past or the future. Even if the moment isn’t fantastic, we can generally get through each moment as it is. It is when we bring the past and/or the future with the present moment that it becomes unbearable.
Remember your goal for the day, and do what is effective to reach that goal. Sometimes, we need to let go of what is right or wrong, fair or unfair. If our goal is to enjoy time with some of my family, let some of the little things go and focus on what we want from our loved ones. Mindfulness breathing exercises can help this. Focusing on your breath, inhaling normally and exhaling slowly, blowing all the air out. Notice the pauses in between inhale and exhale, saying the word Wise on your inhale breath and Mind on your exhale breath. All while noticing your breath, ask yourself if this is Wise Mind.
Accurately expressing oneself is essential for relationship care. Understanding our emotions, priorities, and goals is necessary to communicate effectively with our loved ones, family, and friends. Communicating your needs and limitations can foster understanding and validation. Therefore creating a more supportive environment where all feel heard and respected.
Family and Friends Educate Yourself on BPD
Learn more about BPD to better understand the challenges your loved one may face. Understanding the disorder can contribute to a more compassionate and informed approach.
National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEABPD) www.Borderlinepersonalitydisorder.org.
- “Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder” by Shari Y. Manning, PhD
- “High-Conflict Couple: A Dialectical Behavior Therapy Guide to Finding Peace, Intimacy & Validation” by Alan Fruzzetti, PH.D.
Ready to Begin Borderline Personality Disorder Therapy in Las Vegas, NV and Torrance, CA?
This holiday season, prioritize your mental health and well-being by seeking support at DBT Center of the South Bay, tailored to navigate the unique challenges of borderline personality disorder. Discover a safe space where you can explore coping strategies, gain valuable insights, and build resilience through specialized therapy. Take the first step towards a more balanced and empowered holiday experience by reaching out for Borderline Personality Disorder therapy. Follow these three simple steps to get started:
- Reach out to DBT Center by using the contact form.
- Meet with a skilled Borderline Personality Disorder therapist.
- Start coping with your symptoms in healthy ways!
Other Services at DBT Center of South Bay
DBT Center of the South Bay has helped many people find the motivation to live fuller, more connected lives. In addition to providing Borderline Personality Disorder Therapy for those wanting to effectively manage their symptoms, I provide treatment options using DBT Therapy for adults to help with managing anger, social isolation, and loneliness. I also specialize in helping those experiencing suicidal thoughts and self-harm behaviors. My services also include EMDR therapy to help provide quick relief and healing so you can be free to live the life you want to live today. Located in Las Vegas, NV, and Torrance, CA, you can access my services from anywhere in the states of California and Nevada using online therapy.