Acceptance without judgment helps manage self-injury in borderline personality disorder, says study

Acceptance without judgment helps manage self-injury in borderline personality disorder, says study

Borderline personality disorder (BPD), a mental illness characterized by a pattern of shifting mood swings, self-image and behavior, is also associated with an increased rate of self-harm and suicidal ideations. People struggling with BPD engage in self-injury behaviors to alleviate the intense psychological distress that they feel. However, according to a recent study, published in the journal Behavioral Research and Therapy in March 2018, acceptance without judgment, one of the four key mindfulness components of Dialectical Behavior Therapy group skills training (DBT–ST), led to a reduction in the incidents of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) in such patients.

DBT–ST has been established as an effective tool in assuaging suicidal ideation. This prompted the researchers to study its effectiveness in mitigating NSSI. However, the researchers were unable to establish, without doubt, which vertical of mindfulness–acceptance without judgement, acting with awareness, describing, or observing–was responsible for the change.

Acceptance without judgment might have led to reduced NSSIs

The researchers randomly assigned 84 BPD patients to either a waitlist control group or to 20 weeks of DBT–ST. They then proposed two hypotheses:

  • The prevalence of NSSI will be predicted by only acceptance without judgement.
  • The NSSI reductions via DBT–ST will be impacted by acceptance without judgement.

They discovered that the NSSI baseline frequency did not show any significant relationship with the four components of mindfulness. However, there was a direct and indirect impact on the NSSI by acceptance without judgment compared to the other subscales.

Self-care tips for coping with borderline personality disorder

Nearly 3 percent of the American population struggles with BPD. While the symptoms can be kept in check with professional support, medication and therapy, one can take several self-care steps to reduce their intensity.

  • One can keep a journal and record how one feels in the presence or absence of certain triggers. This might help in staying away from those triggers or in formulating coping mechanisms to deal with them.
  • One must have a routine and he/she must try sticking to it regardless of changes in mood. Following a schedule can help channelize energy and stay focused.
  • One must follow a sleep schedule as disturbed sleeping patterns can disrupt the circadian rhythm, impacting the mood negatively.
  • One should not get stressed out. This can be achieved by learning to say no and taking on fewer commitments.
  • Building a support network can be immensely helpful, especially when one has to deal with a bad day. The network could comprise one’s family, loved ones, friends and even mental health specialists.
  • Spending some time on yoga, meditation and other relaxing activities can also prove beneficial. Taking a balanced diet and adhering to the designated medication and therapy can help one stay on track and not get distracted.

Seeking treatment for borderline personality disorder

Borderline personality disorder can severely impact a person’s relationships, professional output, social equations and the overall quality of life. And when one is prone to self-injury or suicidal ideation, seeking immediate professional help becomes extremely important.

If you or your loved one is suffering from BPD with a tendency to self-harm and is looking to connect with reputed centers providing evidence-based self-injury disorder treatment in California, Sovereign Health can help. Our trained staff can provide all the support needed to facilitate recovery and make your life better. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164 or chat online with one of our experts to know about our state-of-the-art self-injury disorder treatment centers in California and other parts of the U.S.

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