It’s a challenge to live with a
Giving support to a person with a personality disorder can be life-saving. However, it requires commitment and sacrifice. Caring for personality disorder patient can be stressful. At times, the caregivers have to deal with patients who are abusive to them.
Caregivers need to have relevant knowledge to offer effective support. Therefore, a caregiver should equip themselves with relevant knowledge to help their patients.
Signs that someone you love is struggling with personality disorder
A personality disorder is a mental health condition that causes people to have feelings and thoughts that are negative. It can be an observable behaviour.
- extreme mood changes
- fear of abandonment
- unstable relationships
- intense emotions
- anger and
- symptoms that makes normal life challenging
Take care of yourself first
Personal care is the most important thing when caring for someone else. You cannot give effective support to anyone when you are not emotionally and physically fit.
Get your support. Have family and friends who can support you in your life. You need to develop stress management techniques. It’s not easy dealing with people suffering from personality disorder.
Your physical health is also important. Do exercise regularly, eat good nutrition,sleep adequately, and everything else that will keep you in shape.
Most importantly, remember it’s not your fault. Don’t fall into a trap of guilt, blame, and responsibility that is not yours to bear. All you can do is give love and support.
Handling people with personality disorder
As a caregiver, your responsibility will be majorly talking to your patient. Therefore, it’s important to know the right time to start a conversation. When your loved one is making physical threats or verbally abusive, that’s not the right time. Engage them in a conversation when both of you are calm. When everyone is
1. Be sympathetic and listen actively
Take away all distractions. Avoid using your cell phone or computer when speaking to them.
Sometimes the conversations could turn out to be uncomfortable. Avoid the temptations of interruptions. Don’t redirect the conversation to your concerns. Set aside your criticism, judgment, and blame. Show sincere interest on what your friend is saying.
You don’t need to agree with what the person is saying. All you need to do is to be sympathetic and listen.
2. Connect With Their Emotions
The feelings communicate more than the words. People with personality disorder need acknowledgement and validation of their pain. They are willing to speak to people who can easily connect to their struggles. Focus on the emotions without attempting to reconcile the words.
Your patient is likely to use annoying words when they are angry. If you focus onthe words, you might get upset. That won’t be good for both of you.
3. Make them feel heard
It doesn’t matter whether the person is wrong or right. Avoid giving an opinion on anything they say. There is no need to invalidate their feelings or win an argument. Have the patience to listen even when they are irrational.
4. Always stay calm
So many times, you will have reasons to act out. Expect to criticism and accusations of bringing all the pain to their life. Sometimes the person you are taking care of might be verbally abusive.
Don’t defend yourself. It’s not easy to be calm in such situations. However, defending yourself will provoke your patient to anger. When things are
5. Don’t always talk about the disorder
You must have some common interests. Your lives are not entirely defined by the disorder. Have time to explore other areas of interest. Do activities that are likely to diffuse the emotional intensity in your patient.
Try listening and dancing to your favorite music. Go for walks and try exercising together. Find a hobby that you can do together. Engage yourself in creative activities such as gardening, painting, or completing household chores.
Living with a personality disorder is not only difficult for the patients but also the loved ones. Therefore, sustainable treatment should be a priority to people with the disorder. Most importantly, if you are caring for a patient, give support tirelessly. Your loved one will get better.
Treatment takes time and efforts to work.