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Am I Hopeless?

Asked by on with 1 answer:

I’ve been living with BPD my whole life, but only in the last year have I been actively searching for help. I’ve done some research about recovery from BPD, and it seems the recovery rate is abysmally low. (2-5%) I find myself being jealous, emotional, and untrusting almost constantly. My mind is a warzone, and I hate myself. I’ve ruined so many relationships…even my marriage. I attempted suicide about a year ago. I feel like people who love me really don’t. So, is that it? Should I just accept I’ll never, ever be a good person? That I’ll always be alone because I’m sick?

Am I Hopeless?

Answered by on -

A.

You are not hopeless—not at all. While I can understand why you would feel this way there are several things in your favor that are evident in your email. First, you are an amazingly resilient person for your perseverance and courage in dealing with BPD your whole life. Secondly, you are asking for help and making an effort to learn more about your condition and the best way to cope. You are noticing the destructive patterns, which means that there is a very healthy part of you that is capable of noticing the self-defeating behavior. We ultimately want this part of you to grow. In the middle of all this, you were able to get and stay married even though you have difficulty accepting love. You are someone who knows how to survive; now it is time to learn how to thrive.

Particularly for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), I would recommend Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) This is specifically targeted to help you manage your thinking and uses a well-researched and effective form of therapy that someone with your strength of character and readiness is likely to profit from

This is a broad-range treatment that focuses on mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and emotional regulation. As you will notice, these are the four areas that you have discussed in your email. Do not worry about the numbers — find what will work for you and be one of the people who learns to regulate themselves and gets more out of life. DBT typically has weekly sessions in both individual and group therapy. For the issues you’ve identified, I would check out the find help tab at the top of the page for therapists or facilities in your area that practice this approach.

Finally, I’d like to come back to your strengths, which I’ve mentioned in the beginning. Your character strengths are the way you move forward with hope and energy directed at a change in your life. I would take the character strength survey and follow the suggestions about bringing them more into your life. As you transition, you’ll want to reduce the behaviors that have been problematic while increasing the ones that have been helpful. Learning your character strengths is the best way to balance this process going forward.

Each of us has a handful of signature strengths that, when we use them, typically lead to greater well-being. By engaging in DBT and learning about your character strengths you’ll be moving toward a life that will allow you to feel better about yourself, which will allow you to feel more connected with others.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Am I Hopeless?

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Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2020). Am I Hopeless?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/01/29/am-i-hopeless/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 28 Jan 2020 (Originally: 29 Jan 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 28 Jan 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.