DBT - holding myself accountable and all that.
Updated: May 2
DBT work, some obligatory moaning and woe is me stuff, some gratitude things, a bit of setting some intentions and lots of other DBT and self help material. Holding myself accountable for my behaviour(s).
Another rambling blog entry about how not normal I am with the usual bad grammar, spelling and formatting. I've never claimed to be any good at this. Apologies in advance.
Yet I am compelled by the unwritten laws of the DBT EUPD community to "journal" yet more "insights" (and buzz words) from my DBT EUPD and depression "recovery journey" blog in the hope that it helps and encourages others on their own journey towards "a life worth living".
Keeping this weird blog of mine certainly helps me.
I won't (probably will) bang on too much about what I am focusing on too personally in DBT at the moment or at least about my private personal homework mission in this blog post or at least bang on about the more gloomy private things (I so will end up banging on about some of it though) because it's non of your fucking business (it is a bit if I go there, I guess 🤔) but I will share some of my current every day head fucks that are challenging my backwards brain and some of the slides, reading materials, links and other gumpf we used during our "end of the week" online session, discussions and exercise practices and some research of my own.
(Edit: I do bang on a bit about my own shit to much. Always do. It really is rambling bollocks. Rabbit rabbit rabbit. Feel free to skip it. The real stuff is half way down the post somewhere.)
It was a full on DBT sesh.
And we know how to sesh.
(I don't however "sesh" 🚭 I seem to be the only non toker. They know how to virtually sesh post class.)
Also, on my tumblr blog that you can find through the tumblr button at the top of the blog menu, I have shared some short clips from the session by Dr Linehan. By now though, they'll be buried deep in the feed under dank memes, Spotify links and emo shit posts. I wouldn't even bother looking if I were you, actually.
Fuck, how did my life come to this? I mean I'm 40 AHEM! something years old and I'm talking about dank memes on tumblr like a teenage girl. Damn. At my age I should be blogging about decorating, baking, politics and mortgages no? Like my "peers".
Fuck my life.
Tumblr. Because I'm dank.
This past 6 months have been proving rather hard work with lots of stressful exams, written assignments and text book tasks to complete relating to other stuff, construction stuff. Lots of numbers floating around, technical stuff. I'm re-skilling for what it's worth. It's been a hard slog. That's been challenging me. The distraction from my own mal adaptive ruminations has been welcome though. Distractions are good.
I've been addressing my concerns and moments of unwelcome heavy as fuck soul consuming anxiety with cope ahead skills and distress tolerance practices and getting my DBT FACTS skills in order to counteract the potential catastrophising ruminating dark holes I can and do fall into if careful. I don't want to go down those dark rabbit holes anymore. I really don't. It helped ruin my previous life.
Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.
Also I have a sports injury that has truly ruined my running goals for the time being. Plantar facilitis. It's very painful and only time and self care can heal it. That's another whole blog whinge entry of its own for another day though. It does hurt, mind you, a great deal. The biggest challenge isn't the physical pain though, it's the not being able to take part in the intense sports and exercise that is so crucial in managing my mental/emotional well being, not to mention my weight. Meds take their toll. And cake does too. I like cake.
The really stupid irritating thing is that this injury was caused by over doing it and I only accidentally and unintentionally over did it because I was giving it 100% effort in order to improve my mental well being and mood (and waste line) and negate any bad depressive episodes, you know, to keep the black dog out of the house, out of my head.
And now I'm injured badly and in pain and hobbling about like an old man, I'm now unable to partake in my carefully designed exercise regime and as a very real consequence that black dog has managed to get back into my head space and it got me. Cornered me.
The greedy black dog consumes me whole some days and nights and spits me back out and then it lingers, waiting for its next go at me. The intense sport was and is a major black dog deterrent. You can see my conundrum.
Unintentional self harm. Bugger.
It really got me this one, didn't see it coming.
I've had to wrap my head around and accept this and change up my routine. I'm still struggling with this changing my routine thing. I am formulating a plan to adapt and diversify my exercise into other non foot impact sport like swimming and more cycling and maybe some upper body weight lifting stuff although weight lifting is just so boring, so so dull. I don't give a shit about "muscles". Probably very evidently 🤷♂️.
Reminder to self:
First world problems though, it's just an injury. It will heal in good time.
I have food, water, shelter and love in my life and I am grateful.
Drama drama drama.... I don't love it.
And all that drama on top of trying to keep mindful, positive and practice DBT skills, trying to remain motivated and determined and do all the right DBT things that really make you dig deep and remain accountable ...*deep sigh*... has been and is, a real fuckin chore right now, but I know I must press on and challenge myself and continue to re-enforce the skill sets that I lack in and struggle with.
Hence my rambling blog entry that I agree to publish in order to "hold myself accountable". I keep reminding myself about this. I could quite easily just fuck it all off and not bother sometimes. I must ignore that niggling bastard little voice in the back of my head and keep going, keep at it. High vibrations, not low vibrations.
For the sake of transparency and doing this thing properly, I'm not being totally entirely honest actually. Not really. I keep this blog for the sake of honesty so I may as well be honest despite the embarrassment and skin crawling cringe factor of over sharing and knowing that people I know are stalking this. Creepy fuckers.
This past four months have been quite horrific at times mentally. Black. Like walking through thick mental treacle. Brain fog that's just mentally draining and frustrating.
I have been or at least I have felt isolated and lonely at times. Properly alone.
But that's symptom of my illness and my new life stuff. I am mindful of this. And I am grateful to the people that make effort and come see me and want me to go see them. Beautiful humans.
All the depression and noisy head things have been holding me back from my full potential as it has always done but the big up hill battle to stop going down hill any further is being fought. It's always being fought. Spiritual warfare.
That's the truth. But I'm used to this, these phases. Blips. Extended heavy ass blips. The fake smile and fake happy go lucky mask has been in use, apart from the times I am actually happy and smiley, that happens too. The masking things is not a good thing but a necessary thing. Don't wanna bring everyone else down right? I'm not going to repeat that abusive mistake.
I keep going. That's what I do now. Keep going. I've been building emotional resilience.
I have employed lots of DBT skills and I have been mindful. I really have. I've not acted out (bar one moment of red mist) or melted down or annoyed anyone (I hope). I have not been great with commitments though. I have reduced my load to get back on track and I have practiced mindful commitment exercises.
I have been observing my thoughts. I've been "mindful". That said, observing my thoughts takes practice, you have to work at it. It's not easy and why should it be? We're not meant to live in the moment all the time, despite what the faddish modern day gurus force feed us on Facebook and TV. I don't feel guilty for not being in the moment and observing my thoughts all the time. Fuck that, it would be exhausting. And what about those in-between moments of the present, reflecting on memory and regrets and joy etc or looking ahead with hope or apprehension? We need that shit too right?
I digress ......
Mindfulness practice however hasn't kept the black dog at bay. It's been violently snapping at my heels, snarling at me, calling me some horrible low down muttly things, intruding into my thoughts and emotions and all of my personal and professional paces. I love dogs, but not that one. It has got a few good bites in since September. Bastard thing needs locking away in a cage.
In truth, in a nut shell, there have been days I have been mentally paralysed in bed not working, thoroughly disabled, not achieving, not moving forwards, not earning, curtains drawn shut, light blocked out, phone off, isolated and alone. Not even able to clean my teeth. Lots and lots of days like this since September. Too many.
The dog found its way back in to my head space. And the fkin thing is still sat in my hall way, just sat there, growling at me every time I walk around. At least it's not by the side of my bed now or sat on my chest, angrily looking down at me, pinning me to my bed, getting inside my every waking thought. I hate that dog. Cunt
I am nowhere near as functional as I make out to be.
It's the empty days in bed and noisy nights awake that that kill me. Wasted time, opportunity, life. It kills me. Angers me. It fucking ANGERS me.
I love living. I don't want time off isolated periods of self hatred. or I don't want any of this.
I want to live.
I'm determined to oust that invisible black dog of the dark side again out of my head and pick up where I was in September. I was doing so welI. I was fucking on it. Exercise, diet, DBT, doing new shit in new places, work was fun to be at, bla bla bla. I'll get it back. I will. Watch me.
I can. I will. I will it.
This week, today, right now as I type, I've been busy making all the right efforts again. I'm giving it my best shot.
Oh boy, woe is me blogging. It is embarrassing. Makes me cringe sharing this stuff, but there you go, needs must. The really personal stuff remains private. Trauma driven things. The ingrained schema stuff. I share that shit amongst the chosen few else where. That battle rages on. Always will but in incrementally lesser extents, in theory. Not just in theory actually, it's working. The practice is paying off.
It's all connected.
I acknowledge and work hard on my toxic traits and other challenging traits through DBT and mindfulness. It works. Hence this blog thing. I want to encourage other BPD folk to pick up the DBT batten and run (walk) with it too. Especially younger people, to commit to the shadow work sooner rather than later.
I'm rambling again. Am I making any sense at all? I dunno.
Eyes back on the prize then, refocus, do the work, quieten the noise in my mind, find the peace.
Rambling personal bollocks above you can skip if you are sensible
More factual mental health and DBT stuff down there.
DBT and Related Materials
Slides and notes etc:
Distress tolerance skills refer to a type of intervention in Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) where clients learn to manage distress in a healthy way. These skills are helpful for situations where a client might not be able to control a situation, but they need to manage their own response.
Sleeping has been an issue.
Mental health crisis in my life always impacts on my circadian rhythm.
Sleep problems are very common among psychiatric patients. Borderline personality disorder, as a common and severe mental disorder, is associated with different types of sleep disturbances, such as disturbances of sleep continuity, altered REM sleep regulation and nightmares. These disturbances are the result of interaction of our messed up personality traits, concomitant and comorbid diseases such as severe clinical depression, APTSD, bi-polar etc and environmental factors. It's a real cluster fuck.
Sleep disruption is the fucking bane of my life coupled with my bizarre mental health conditions. I'm getting either far too little sleep or far too much sleep. Getting the happy medium is a tricky one for me personally and my messed up little brain. For most people, the normal “neurotypical" people, getting that balanced healthy sleep is perfectly "normal" and doesn't even warrant any second thought. Lucky people. I'm pleased for them though. No one WANTS sleep disturbances.
I have been focussing on this this issue closely again. I was doing so well for a long while but it's all out of sync again. Gone wonky. Therefore there are practices I need and have been putting into place and following with discipline once again.
Obvious shit really, a lot of it, but it's surprising how easy it is to get wrong.
My little but essential personal sleep reminders list goes like this:
Keep going throughout the day, work hard, make myself naturally tired out physically.
Take meds at a conducive regular time.
No caffeine after 18:00pm. Get on the herbal tea.
Be mindful of diet and my IBS condition (linked to BPD).
Self care; go to bed feeling clean and hygienic and into a clean fresh bed.
Half hour maximum of screen time in bed, enough time for a good wank .... READ! I mean read, sorry.
Failing that, after the allotted half hour, read a book or put on soothing back ground sounds.
Aim for an early night as in 21:00 - 22:00 pm hit the sack time.
Try my best to be turning my brain off for about 23;00 - 23:30 ish.
If my thoughts are still jumping around like a demented monkey, like they invariably are, don't pick the mobile back up. Its a trap. Pick a real book back up, one made of paper. Or perhaps, if I am very anxious about something, do a quick and appropriate DBT check in, such as check the FACTS.
Set the alarm for a sensible time according to work etc but try to make it as regular and routine centred as possible.
Get up early.
Don't hit the snooze button.
Look after myself. Self care. Be disciplined. Be gentle.
Material about Sleep Hygiene (with links):
After a busy week of exhaustion and overextension, many adults look forward to regaining lost hours of sleep over the weekend. However, sleeping the day away won’t make up for more than an hour or so of lost sleep—and, it will probably make it harder to resume a normal schedule again on Monday morning.
In fact, it takes four nights to make up for one hour of lost sleep, according to a 2016 study on optimizing sleep.External link:open_in_new
Understanding sleep hygiene is a crucial part of maintaining physical health, immunity, and mental health, but making changes for a better sleep routine requires willful effort and conscious attention to one’s own needs.
It takes 4 nights to make up for 1 hour of lost sleep.“Our society is so based in technology right now that we often ignore cues [our] bodies give us to start to wind down,” said Dr. Michele Kerulis, associate professor at Counseling@Northwestern, the Online Master of Arts in Counseling Program from The Family Institute at Northwestern University. “Most people need to develop a sleep time routine to help them engage and listen to their body a little bit more.”
What Is Sleep Hygiene?
Experts at the National Sleep Foundation say that sleep hygiene encompasses “a variety of different practices and habitsExternal link:open_in_new that are necessary to have good nighttime sleep quality and full daytime alertness.”
Sleep hygiene builds on the understanding of several clinical terms related to sleep and biological health.
Terms to Know About Sleep Hygiene: Sleep deprivation (PDF, 42KB):External link:open_in_new consistent or complete lack of sleep that leads to excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, lack of coordination, and attention deficits.
Circadian rhythm:External link:open_in_new internal biological clock that regulates sleep cycles, productivity, and other activities for humans, animals, and other living beings.
Sleep debt: External link:open_in_newdeficit built up when an individual consistently loses sleep over several days.
Sleep disorder:External link:open_in_new clinical diagnosis of a condition that results in sleep disturbances.
The recommended amount of uninterrupted sleep for adults is between seven and nine hours per night, but an individual’s best practices are based on much more than just the amount of time they spend resting. “Understanding how to set up your environment is conducive to good sleep,” Dr. Kerulis said. That environment includes several factors that affect the quality and duration of one’s sleep, she explained.
Factors Affecting Quality Sleep
Specific types of food can affect a person’s circadian rhythm, according to a 2016 report on the effects of diet on sleep quality.External link:open_in_new
Inflammation: Foods that contain dairy, added sugar, and gluten can be disruptive to the digestive system and cause a person to wake up repeatedly at night.
Stimulants: Stimulating food and beverages like caffeine and added sugar consumed late in the day or right before bedtime can confuse the body’s digestive system and make it difficult to fall asleep.
In a 2012 report about sleep environments,External link:open_in_new researchers found multiple external factors that can change a person’s sleep cycle.
Temperature and humidity: Extreme temperatures or humidity can disrupt a person’s internal regulation of body temperature and create problems falling or staying asleep.
Sleeping arrangements: Sleeping in a shared or loud space can cause repeated disruptions, especially if others in the space are on different sleep schedules.
Light: The human body’s circadian rhythm is centered around the 24-hour cycle of the day. It can be thrown off if a person isn’t exposed to any natural light or is exposed to too much artificial or fluorescent light, such as from electronics.
A person’s behavioral habits can be regulated to positively affect their sleep cycle, according to a 2017 report about sleep, exercise and other behaviors.External link:open_in_new
Exercise: Regular movement allows the body to use energy absorbed from food and can help make a person feel tired.
Napping: Excessive or sporadic sleeping throughout the day can confuse a person’s circadian rhythm and make it difficult to fall asleep at a regular bedtime.
Bedtimes: Having a routine bedtime can help a person identify and listen to bodily cues of feeling tired and better regulate the amount of sleep they get each night.
Stress: When the brain is constantly activated by stressful circumstances or thoughts, the result can be difficulty falling asleep or an increase in anxious dreams.Adults may struggle to identify signs of poor sleep hygiene because many symptoms like irritability and trouble concentrating aren’t obvious or easy to tie to one’s sleep habits.
“There are no blood tests that can tell that you’re sleep deprived, but blood tests can give clues to other problems that might be impacting sleep,” Dr. Kerulis said.
Signs of bad sleep hygiene include ignoring cues that your body is ready to wind down, including yawning, trouble with concentration, and irritability.
Additionally, getting too much sleep can yield the same results as sleep deprivation, including feeling fatigued, having difficulty concentrating, and an exacerbation of mental health issues.
How Does Sleep Affect Mental Health?
The effects of poor sleep extend beyond tiredness and poor performance. Sleep disruptions have been found to alter brain chemistry, External link:open_in_newwhich can lead to the development of mental health disorders.
The relationship between sleep and mental health disorders is complex. Poor sleep hygiene can exacerbate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other diagnoses, as well as the other way around.
For people experiencing depression, overlapping symptoms between depression, insomnia, hypersomnia, and sleep apneaExternal link:open_in_new can make having multiple disorders difficult to diagnose. Depression and insomnia may also co-occur.External link:open_in_new
Dr. Kerulis said the manifestation of social isolation in people with clinical depression can also further inhibit a person’s ability to identify their own poor sleep habits and ask for help with establishing new ones.
“Having someone you trust to help you get out of bed is crucial,” she said. “There are biological aspects of depression that can make someone unable to move on with their day without help.”
Symptoms of anxiety may also be exacerbated by poor sleep hygiene.External link:open_in_new A racing mind poses a challenge for falling and staying asleep and can manifest through inconsistent sleep patterns, frequent nightmares, and excessive sleepiness during the day.
Anyone experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition should seek support from a licensed mental health counselor. How Counselors Can Support Sleep Hygiene
Initiate motivational interviewing about current habits and environments.
Work with a psychiatrist to discuss medication for specific diagnoses or needs.
Identify specific symptoms and sources of sleep deprivation.
Implement cognitive behavioural therapy approaches to address stress and tension.
Talk through dreams and nightmares about underlying stress and concerns.
Provide education about healthy habits for sleep hygiene.
Offer support with working toward goals.
“Our bodies are so unique, even though we operate on the same systems,” Dr. Kerulis said. “It’s not only understanding the science of sleep, but also understanding the individual factors that have to do with genetics, lifestyle, and personal experiences.”
A counsellor can help clients connect those factors to better understand a path forward, she said.
Building Better Sleep Habits for Mental Health
Working with a counsellor to identify opportunities for better sleep hygiene can help individuals move toward new habits with accountability, consistency, and safety.
“Anyone can practice good sleep hygiene,” Dr. Kerulis said. “But the approach is going to be different for someone who works a night shift than someone who works from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.”
The best practices for each individual will vary, but Dr. Kerulis said several general strategies are likely to be helpful for people looking to improve their sleep routines.
“Think of your bedtime as a pre-performance routine just like in exercise,” she recommended. “It’s like a warm-up for sleeping.”
The National Institutes of Health provides specific strategies for people to get enough sleepExternal link:open_in_new by building healthy habits:
10 Strategies for Getting Better Sleep
1 Maintain a regular bedtime each night to reinforce circadian rhythms.
2 Avoid eating inflammatory foods that are high in added sugar or gluten right before bed.
3 Exercise earlier in the day to avoid elevated heart rate before bedtime.
4 Refrain from using digital screens one to two hours before bedtime.
5 Use do-not-disturb settings to limit tech disruptions during sleep hours.
6 Implement screen time limits on digital devices to reduce use throughout the day.
7 Seek out natural sunlight during the day—try sitting near a window or walking outside.
8 Consider reducing caffeine intake to one 8- to 12-ounce serving per day.
9 Refrain from consuming caffeinated beverages in the evening or at bedtime.
10 Document sleep routines, disruptions, and nightmares to share with a counselor.
Making individual changes to lifestyle, environmental, and physical health habits should always include consultation with a licensed mental health counselor and primary care provider.
“It is really about knowing your own body and seeing what works for you. And, of course, having your physician’s permission for exercise, nutrition and other health-related changes,” Dr. Kerulis said. Resources About Sleep Hygiene:
sleep disorders, including publications for patients and professionals.
Citation for this content: Counseling@Northwestern, the Online Master of Arts in Counseling Program from The Family Institute at Northwestern University. REQUEST INFO
Northwestern University 633 Clark St. Evanston, IL 60208 northwestern.educallPhone Number: 1-844-684-6221emailEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org External link:open_in_new
© 2022 The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityNorthwestern University 633 Clark St. Evanston, IL 60208 northwestern.edu
What You Should Know About the Relationship Between Oversleeping and Depression
The scene may be a familiar one: a friend, family member or even you, sleeping until well after the sun comes up, smacking the snooze button over and over until you’ve snored half the day away.
Sure, sometimes we all need extra rest to recuperate, but chronic oversleeping can be a sign of something more serious than just catching up after a late night, including links to depression.
Sleep psychologist Michelle Drerup, PsyD, DBSM, says that while insomnia is more likely to be associated with depression than oversleeping, it’s still possible that sleeping too much is a sign that something is amiss.
Sign of atypical depression
Dr. Drerup says that oversleeping is a symptom in 15% of people with depression and she notes that it tends to more often be related to atypical depression. Atypical depression is a specific type of depression in which the person’s mood can improve in response to a positive event. But even though their mood may brighten, it’s only temporary and the root depression remains.
“Often, they don’t realize they’re depressed,” Dr. Drerup adds. Besides oversleeping, other symptoms are increased appetite and interpersonal sensitivity, like the feeling of being rejected. And that depression feeds into other reasons sleep can be so greatly affected.
What causes oversleeping?
While oversleeping can be a symptom of atypical depression, there are different factors that also contribute to it. “When someone is depressed, it can be because they sleep as a form of escape,” says Dr. Drerup. “They may be thinking, ‘I don’t have anything to look forward to so why do I even start the day?’’
It’s also possible that if you or someone else is oversleeping, there’s an underlying sleep disorder. “Sleep apnea is commonly comorbid with depression,” she adds. “In that case, a person is often experiencing non-restorative sleep at night so they’re not rested even after eight hours. So then they oversleep in trying to catch up.”
During sleep apnea, a person will stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night. Because of what Dr. Drerup calls “fragmented and disrupted sleep,” they often don’t get into the deeper stages of sleep or get as much REM sleep as they need. As a result, they’ll feel exhausted even if they have slept an adequate number of hours.
Another factor that could cause oversleeping in a depressed individual is an interruption to a person’s circadian rhythm, a disruption to their body’s internal clock. In fact, according to Dr. Drerup, sometimes it’s not so much someone is oversleeping so much as they’re simply sleeping on a delayed sleep phase.
“They can’t wake up in the morning or they’re sleeping way past their alarm because their circadian rhythm is delayed,” she says. “They aren’t able to fall asleep early so they sleep into the morning and sometimes early afternoon hours.”
A vicious cycle
It’s important to remember that oversleeping is a possible symptom of depression and that oversleeping doesn’t cause depression. But it can exacerbate and worsen depression symptoms, Dr. Drerup explains. “If someone’s oversleeping, they may wake up and feel like they’ve missed out on the day,” she says. “They feel like they’re behind and they don’t have the ability to get done the things they wanted.”
Those with sleep apnea might fall into this cycle, too. “They may have depression but they’ve never really been evaluated for any sleep disorders,” Dr. Drerup notes. That’s why she recommends making sure your sleep needs are being met if you’re dealing with depression. “If they have insomnia or undiagnosed sleep apnea or another disorder, treating the depression and improving symptoms is a lot more difficult if those issues aren’t addressed.”
Oversleeping, much like getting too little sleep, can have other major negative impacts on your health, too. “These can include increased risk for diabetes as well as increased rates of heart disease and stroke,” Dr. Drerup says. “It’s also been associated with fertility issues, cognitive decline and even obesity.”
Getting back on track
If oversleeping is a symptom of depression, it’s most important to see a healthcare provider for treatment of that depression. And even if someone is being treated for depression, the sleep difficulties can be residual. “Sleep can remain a struggle because it’s developed a life of its own and become very habitual,” she says.
Dr. Drerup does have a few suggestions on how you can avoid falling into bad sleep habits that could exacerbate the sleep situation. “These techniques can make a huge difference for people when they implement behavioural changes like this because the mood symptoms aren’t impairing them.”
If people can get out of bed and get a more consistent start to their day, it can make their day better, Dr. Drerup says. “They feel like they can be more productive and get more accomplished. And it can help improve their mood and allow them to make other changes over time that helps increase more pleasurable activities and engaging with people instead of the oversleeping and avoidance of interactions.”
Hands off the snooze button
This may not be a popular idea given how much it’s a ritual for so many of us. But Dr. Drerup points out that repeatedly hitting the snooze button doesn’t really help you. “When you hit the snooze button and you doze for those short seven or eight minute increments, you’re getting brief, fragmented sleep periods. You may think you’re gradually becoming more alert but really you’re developing sleep inertia and your body wants to stay asleep.”
Wake up on the weekends
Another tip is not sleeping in on the weekends. “Nobody wants to hear it,” she says, “but it’s about staying consistent. If you sleep from midnight until 9 a.m., try to stay consistent with that whether it’s a weekend or a weekday.”
Balance the light
Making sure you get plenty of light in the morning and avoid it before bedtime can help you keep a consistent sleep pattern. “Light helps turn off your melatonin production,” Dr. Drerup says, “ so that’s why it’s good to get out and take the dog for a walk during the day or get outside for activity.”
But at night, she says, you should avoid light, especially blue light from phone and electronic device screens since that’s known to suppress melatonin. She also notes that teens may be more vulnerable to this issue because of their tendency of increased screen time so making sure they put the phones away at a certain time can help them, too. https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/health.clevelandclinic.org/what-you-should-know-about-the-relationship-between-oversleeping-and-depression/amp/
Evidence People with BPD and severe depression such as myself, have to live and manage these sleep disturbance issues. Many people out there don't understand this because they don't have to live it and they cast aspersions and judgements, assuming we are lazy or insane, depending on what sleep disturbance they are observing. These are usually the same people that stigmatize BPD and/or mental health illness in general. Uneducated ignorant people and/or cunts. They exist.
There is an entire ocean of scientific led evidence as well as personal accounts on the web, digitized and waiting to be read if only those stimatising doubters took the time to educate themselves and think about it for a moment. The proof of the correlation between BPD, depression and all the other mental health diagnosis criteria and sleep disturbances (a whole other diagnosis criteria in themselves) are freely available. The evidence exists!
Stigma shouldn't really be a thing in this day and age. I've been on the receiving end of it. It isn't nice, to put it very politely. I hope the cunt that really put the knife in to me, one day realizes just how difficult the battle out of mental health and sleep disturbance was and is and that its not made up! Its not to garner attention!
Rant over. I went into one there and typed it out loud didn't I? Oh well.
Evidence of the links between BPD and sleep disturbances (there's a millions more examples of proof out there on google, for any doubters):
Etc etc .....
Or just read this:
The Neurobiology of Borderline Personality Disorder
There is more to BPD than meets the eye. A complex interaction exists between environmental, anatomical, functional, genetic, and epigenetic factors.
Follow this link, although it's an indepth mind boggling scientific article:
A young fellow BPD warrior on her road to recovery and relative peace recently reflected:
The stigma is real and BPD is THE least clinically understood and THE most socially missunderstood.
It's a hard slog.
Warning: some more woe is me rambling ahead:
Isolation and loneliness
(It's been a thing)
I get lonely.
It's worth explaining (and I've been asked too)
I'm not ashamed or embarrassed or guilty or squeamish to admit and discuss the fact that I get lonely, sometimes. i touched on it already in this entry. Its human. There are hundreds of millions of people feeling lonely right now to varying degrees all around the world.
But, for us BPD lot, the experience of loneliness, isolation and alienation is complex, psychologically, neurologically, physiologically and sociologically. All the logicalies. It's a real symptom of BPD, largely due to past childhood abuses and neglect and indeed, abandonment.
There is science behind it, its not pretend or plucked out of the air. Its not bullshit. When we express ourselves about this horrid symptom its not to garner attention or to use it as emotional leverage or for manipulation. At least not intentionally. My ex liked to level that card at me amongst other digs about my mental health and that shit kills you. She had a point though. Of course she did. I was a fucking abusive loon.
Retrospect eh? Damn. Anyway ....
I do get lonely like most people will every now and then or at least once or twice in their lives the very least. Thing is, I do rather a lot and I don't have to be alone to feel the empty loneliness inside. That's the rub. I can be with a whole bunch of friends, family or acquaintances and still feel that aching void inside. The feeling of belonging is a seldom felt experience. I get fucking lonely and when I do, I am desolate, barren. I feel quite literally like dying if I spiral down into a bad one. And that can get ugly. I can lay waste to my own being and those around me. It's all hand in hand with depression, anxiety and all the comorbid things, PTSD etc. It all becomes a catch 22 scenario.
I feel everything far more acutely, far more intensely, than the average neurotypical. How I was neurotypical. My emotions and thoughts are magnified X100. This does not bode well when experiencing a negative emotion like loneliness and emptiness etc. Its an absolute soul killer, a heart breaker and a head fuck all at once. One big shit sandwich. It is for anyone regardless of course, I know, I'm nothing special but I have to be very mindful of my badly wired male adaptive brain, my fucked up shrunken amygdala, the trauma informed schematics of my thinking and my potentially exaggerated, inappropriate and unproportionate responses to such horrible emotions, thoughts and triggers and try to avoid the dark rabbit holes I can potentially be led (lead myself) down. The BPD in other words.
I have to be mindful not to repeat previous behaviours.
It's caused me a lot of pain and by extension I have caused some people a lot of pain as a consequence. Sadly, frustratingly, I did not have the know how, skills, tools and support to negate those regrettable periods of my life. I lost a lot. I lost. I'm not too proud to admit that.
I didn't love myself and I didn't know how to love others.
I've not been normal.
I'm a loner.
(and that's okay, it's not all bad, no way.....)
I am a loner in this life as I have discussed in more detail in another blog entry else where in the blog. I'm an introvert and that's okay. I am coming to peace with being a "loner". It's a loaded word but the connotations are not all negative. There are some brilliant positives to being and embracing introversion.
I have learned a lot, certainly since walking away from alcohol, pubs, the drug snorting wankers that were trying to tempt me down their insipid rabbit hole and all the fake friends. Shallow, superficial and riddled with drama. I walked away from an entire culture and social network including some really great, lovely people too. I had too. It became toxic, for me. This has left a huge hole in my life that I am now trying to to refill but with healthier things and people. Non drinking and being wanker stuff. It takes time, it takes work and effort and it has taken a toll on my heart and mind. It's been a lonely task. The pay off is and will be worth it though, assuming I get to live long enough to enjoy the fruits of my labour! Fingers crossed eh!
And that's without addressing the fact that I have moved into an entirely new life in a new town, alone. To start over and get my shit locked down and get it right.
I am a lone wolf.
A lot of the time, I am alone but not lonely.
It's not all bad......
I don't feel fucked up and "disordered" all the time though. It comes and goes as far as the emptiness inside goes and the depression. It's not a linear disorder (hence its association and confusion with Bi-polar). It is chaotic and complex but there are beautiful reprieves and times of stability and happiness and joy. Those chinks of light when they come to the rescue, drive out the darkness and the calm ensues, happiness sets in and the will to live is reinforced, which helps. lol.
In fact, there are times when the dark is driven away, that the relief and joy in feeling lighter is nothing short of nirvana. It's bliss. These periods literally keep me alive. For me, they produce moments of profound thinking and reflection and the windows of opportunity to adjust my present and future outlook. I'm able to reconnect with those beautiful souls that are kind and brave enough to stick with me. The reprieves from the grinding, noisy darkness also enable my creative moments to flourish before the next onslaught of bedlam and spiritual paralysis.
Slowly but surely through DBT practices, mindfulness, forgiveness, growing up, maturing and addressing all the wonky bits in life, the chinks of light get brighter, bigger and bigger and hang around longer and longer, keeping all those unwelcome dark clouds away.
I should stick to the black dog analogy really for the sake of continuity. I told you I'm no writer!
And so what I am trying to explain badly is that there is a flipside to the lonely depressing growling dark doom metal broken record shit and that flip side is the positive up beat hopeful pop rock record with happy life affirming lyrics and plenty of cow bell! You know, the other side of it all - of me, and the silver lining to each dark cloud. I'm working on making that the A side, the positive side, the most played side.
Oh shit, another analogy. That was really bad lol. Cringe. I am cringe. I sound like David Brent.
Material will make more sense than me ......
A look at loneliness and BPD:
A close examination of dysphoria, anger and aloneness (three main characteristics of the borderline syndrome) provides a theoretical model of reference for the therapist.
Dysphoria results from the cyclical emotional oscillation between hope for stability and disappointment in its inattainability; a dependent-anaclitic depression arises from the mixture of anger, aloneness and inner emptiness which is so characteristic of the borderline syndrome. The tendency to be immersed in the here-and-now, an intra-festum mentality, exacerbates the sense of isolation, causing more irritation, mute frustration and, consequently, anger.
The effects and ramifications of anger, and the resultant precarious cohesion of the self, are explored in the borderline syndrome; they are especially illuminated by the application of Kernberg's pain-anger-hate-vengefulness cycle concept.
Meanings of solitude, in its forms of aloneness and loneliness, are explored in their pertinence. Aloneness - the constant needy search for, but condemnation to never finding, objects to fill an inner sense of emptiness - is especially germane. Suggestions for assisting subjects with borderline personality disorder to overcome aloneness and the lack of historical progression are made.
More here. Heavy reading but makes absolutely sense:
Very pertinent reading material and links:
Ah, look at all the lonely people. There’s more of us than ever before despite so many convenient ways to connect, including texting, Facebook and other social media sites. “Loneliness is an epidemic,” says psychologist Amy Sullivan, PsyD. “We’re the most socially connected society, yet so many people experience extreme loneliness.”
The problem of loneliness has a surprising impact; it can drill into both mental and physical health, she says.
How does loneliness hurt?
Feeling lonely is an unpleasant experience that can also have long-term health consequences.
“We know clearly that sitting, smoking and obesity are linked to chronic disease,” Dr. Sullivan says. “But I think of loneliness as another risk factor for chronic health conditions.” Dr. Sullivan points out that loneliness isn’t the same thing as social isolation. It’s more about how you perceive your level of connectedness to others.
“Someone who’s socially isolated and doesn’t have a lot of social contacts may not feel lonely at all, but someone else may feel lonely even when they’re surrounded by lots of people,” she says.
What happens to your body when you’re lonely?
“When you’re experiencing loneliness, your levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, go up,” she says. “Cortisol can impair cognitive performance, compromise the immune system, and increase your risk for vascular problems, inflammation and heart disease.” Loneliness is also a risk factor for more serious mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. Dr. Sullivan suggests the following to turn loneliness around:
Become more aware of your feelings. It’s normal to feel lonely occasionally, but if you’re noticing that you feel lonely more often than not, it’s time to take action.
Understand the health impacts. Many people who take care of their health by eating well and exercising ignore this important aspect of wellness. But social connection is just as important as following a healthy diet and getting enough sleep.
Work for greater social connection. Some examples? Plan to spend time with a friend instead of catching up via text. Even opting for a phone conversation over an email can help you feel more connected. Small daily decisions can also help. Make a point of walking down the hall to speak to a coworker instead of sending an instant message or email.
Do small favors for people or random acts of kindness. “Those kinds of things are really powerful and help to improve your connection,” says Dr. Sullivan. Also, as you give to others, it also takes your mind off yourself.
Take a social media break. “What we find is that when people pull back from social media, they become much more intentional in seeking out real relationships,” she says.
Focus on quality, not quantity. A coffee date with a friend with whom you have an authentic connection will do more to quell your loneliness than having thousands of Facebook friends or Instagram followers.
Seek out a professional counselor if you need one. Feeling lonely is sometimes a symptom of depression. A therapist can help you work through this and develop strategies for reconnecting with others.
Sometimes loneliness becomes a difficult rut to get out of. It may mean pushing yourself out of your comfort zone a bit.
“I think it can be scary for people to reach out,” says Dr. Sullivan. “If you put yourself out there then there’s a risk of rejection. But in the end, the payoff is much greater than the risk.”
Loneliness is a real symptom and it is science.
Again, for those that cast aspersions and perpetuate stigma, just give your head a wobble and read a bit.
Understanding chronic feelings of emptiness in borderline personality disorder: a qualitative study
Chronic feelings of emptiness are significant in the lives of people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Feelings of emptiness have been linked to impulsivity, self-harm, suicidal behaviour and impaired psychosocial function. This study aimed to understand the experience of chronic emptiness, the cognitions, emotions and behaviours linked to emptiness, and clarify the differences between chronic emptiness and hopelessness, loneliness and depression.
Read all about it here:
It's not pretend
It's not pretend or made up or for "attention".
Dr Daniel Fox explains:
My DBT sesh notes and things:
This bit is a work in progress and live and will be added to and expanded over the next week as I work through certain things.
What is distress tolerance in DBT?
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) distress tolerance skills address the tendency of some individuals to experience negative emotions as overwhelming and unbearable. People with a low tolerance for distress can become overwhelmed at relatively mild levels of stress, and may react with negative behaviours. It involves being able to make it through an emotional incident without making it worse.
Set my DBT intentions:
I need to list my priorities.
I do need to practice being ONE MINDED and work on one thing at a time to keep focussed. I have to many plates spinning at once. My head is noisy. I get overwhelmed and end up procrastinating and getting fuck all done which in turn makes me feel like a sack of shit and the cycle is set round n round.
Do some more paper based SURF THE URGE sheets.
What is one-mindfully in DBT?
One-Mindfully – the act of focusing on one thing at a time. This is the opposite of multitasking; a common habit associated with our modern, overstimulated environment. By engaging in tasks with one-mindfulness, we strengthen our ability to engage in one practice at a time.
Mindfulness work sheets to print and use to keep track of progress:
Direct PDF file link:
Work issues; face the fear. I am capable and competent.
STOP HIDING AND FACE THE FEAR!
My horrible temper and red mist. Work on the "neighbour" issue a a prime example. Violence is bad Mark! Do the work, do the sheets, blog about it later, hold yourself to account.