Splitting and Borderline Personality Disorder Everything is black or white in this protection mechanism.
What Is Splitting?
Splitting is considered a defence mechanism by which people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) can view people, events, or even themselves in all-or-nothing terms. Splitting allows individuals to quickly abandon things they’ve labelled as “bad” and embrace what they deem “excellent,” even if they’re dangerous.
Effects of Splitting
Splitting can cause problems in relationships and lead to self-destructive and extreme actions. A person who splits will usually frame individuals or events in absolute terms, with no room for discussion in the middle.
The following are some examples of splitting behaviour:
• Individuals might be “evil” and “crooked” or “angels” and “perfect.”
• Science, history, or current events are “total truths” or “complete lies.”
• Things either “always” or “never” happen.
• A person will feel “cheated,” “ruined,” or “screwed” when things go wrong.
Splitting is even more perplexing because the belief might be rock-solid at times or fluctuate from one moment to the next. People who break up are frequently perceived as too theatrical or overblown, mainly when declaring that things have “totally come apart” or “fully turned around.” Those around them may become exhausted as a result of their actions.
Splitting may appear to be a rather typical occurrence, one that we can easily relate to a variety of people we know, including ourselves. Splitting, on the other hand, is a constant and warped behaviour that is often accompanied by additional symptoms, such as:
• Putting on a show (acting without consideration to consequences)
• Ignorance (consciously ignoring a fact or reality)
• Emotional hypochondriasis is a type of hypochondriasis that occurs when a person (trying to get others to understand how severe your emotional pain is)
• All-powerful (the belief that you possess superiority in intelligence or power)
• Aggression that is passive (an indirect expression of hostility)
• Prediction (assigning an undesirable emotion to someone else)
• Identification that is projected (denying your feelings, projecting them onto someone else, and then behaving toward that person in a way that forces them to respond to you with the feelings you projected onto them)
Diagnosis and Management
Understanding the diagnosis and treatment of borderline personality disorder will help you comprehend behaviours like splitting.
A competent mental health specialist is the only one who can diagnose BPD. The doctor would need to confirm five of the nine symptoms listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to make the diagnosis, which include:2
• A distorted self-perception that influences your emotions, values, moods, and relationships
• Anger problems, such as violent outbursts followed by a sense of tremendous guilt and sorrow
• Attempts to escape abandonment or thoughts of abandonment that is intense
• Prolonged bouts of extreme depression, anxiety, or irritation
• Feeling empty or bored all the time
• Impulsive conduct, such as substance abuse or careless driving
• Relationships that are tumultuous and tumultuous.
Suicidal thinks and self-harming behaviors.
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Caring and Management
There is no simple solution for dealing with a loved one who suffers from BPD, especially when severe symptoms. The nature of your relationship and the impact your loved one’s symptoms have on your family will determine how you cope.
There are, nevertheless, some guiding concepts that may be useful, such as:
3 • Develop empathy. Begin by remembering that splitting is a symptom of the disease. While some of your loved one’s activities may appear to be calculated and manipulative, your loved one is not acting in this way to get satisfaction. These are just protective strategies that they employ when they are feeling helpless.
• Encourage and support your loved one’s treatment. Treatment, which may include medication and talk therapy, most likely dialectical behaviour therapy, can help your loved one live a better life (DBT). Please encourage them to begin or continue treatment and learn as much as possible about their situation. Participate in counselling with your loved one if necessary.
• Keep lines of communication open. When you discuss a scenario as it occurs, you may isolate that event rather than heaping one situation on top of another. Failure to communicate adds to your loved one’s fear of rejection.
• Remind your loved ones that you are thinking about them. People who suffer from BPD are frequently afraid of being rejected or abandoned. Knowing that someone cares can help to lessen the behaviour of splitting.
• Define your limits. It’s one thing to deal with BPD issues; it’s another to become a victim of abuse. Set boundaries with a loved one who suffers from BPD. If you ever cross that boundary, explain why you’re backing away as objectively as possible. Instead of questioning the connection, setting limits helps to sustain it.
• Look after yourself. Finding your therapist to assist you in balancing your needs with those of your loved one could be part of this.
• Make an effort to control your reaction. Keep in mind that if your loved one has BPD, you are in a better position to regulate your fury. Using profanity or displaying aggression can only exacerbate the problem.
You may need to take more harsh measures at times. If the relationship is causing harm to your family, your job, or your feeling of well-being, you may have to accept the fact that it cannot continue.
While this is a complicated option for everyone concerned, it is also the healthiest in some circumstances. This decision should be made with the assistance of a skilled mental health practitioner if necessary.