How to Overcome Chronic Feelings of Emptiness from BPD

Untitled-design---2024-04-06T132316.531

Introduction


Chronic feelings of emptiness can be a profound and perplexing part of living with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), presenting unique challenges that go beyond common experiences of depression or loneliness.

This emptiness often manifests as a pervasive sense of dissatisfaction or a void that seems impossible to fill, regardless of one's achievements or social connections.

Unlike depression, which typically affects mood in a more general sense, or loneliness, which is usually alleviated by companionship, the emptiness experienced in BPD can persist even in life's happiest moments or in a room full of friends.

This article offers insights into therapeutic approaches and personal strategies that aim to fill this void, enhancing the ability of individuals with BPD to lead more balanced and satisfying lives.

Through targeted treatment and self-care practices, overcoming this daunting aspect of BPD becomes a tangible goal. 


Bipolar Disorder Therapists in Colorado

Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Sherry Rice, LPCC, ADDC

Sherry Rice, LPCC, ADDC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Andreea Felea, LPC

Andreea Felea, LPC

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Mallory Heise, LPC, LAC

Mallory Heise, LPC, LAC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Cassondra Chagnon, LPCC

Cassondra Chagnon, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518
Jackie Erwin, LPC

Jackie Erwin, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Emily Murphy, LPC

Emily Murphy, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Amber Chambless, LPC

Amber Chambless, LPC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Mackenzie Batson, LPCC

Mackenzie Batson, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Joseph Anders, LPCC

Joseph Anders, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518

Get Matched to the Right Provider

Complete this questionnaire to discover service providers that match your requirements! No need to provide contact information.


Get Matched

Recognizing and Accepting Your Feelings


Acknowledging your feelings without passing judgment is a fundamental aspect of managing emotions, especially for individuals dealing with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and chronic feelings of emptiness.

This process involves permitting yourself to feel whatever emotions arise, understanding that they are valid and do not define your worth or reality.

Techniques for Identifying Specific Emotions and Triggers

  • Maintain a Daily Journal - Writing about your day-to-day experiences can help you track your emotional patterns and identify what triggers certain feelings. Over time, this record becomes a valuable tool in understanding the nuances of your emotional landscape.

  • Mindfulness Meditation - Practicing mindfulness allows you to observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without immediate reaction or judgment.

  • Body Scan Exercise - Sometimes, emotions manifest physically before we're consciously aware of them. A body scan exercise, where you mentally scan your body for areas of tension or discomfort, can reveal hidden emotions and help link physical sensations to emotional states.

  • Name Your Emotion - Simply naming what you're feeling can be surprisingly powerful. It gives a sense of control and makes the emotion more manageable. Use broad categories at first (e.g., happy, sad, angry) and then try to be more specific (e.g., content, melancholy, frustrated).

  • Reflect on Past Experiences - Looking back on past events and how they made you feel can provide insights into current emotions and triggers. This reflection can help in recognizing patterns and preparing for future emotional responses.


Developing Coping Mechanisms


Adopting healthy coping strategies instead of falling into maladaptive behaviors is key to managing emotions.

Healthy coping mechanisms help in processing emotions constructively, while maladaptive behaviors can exacerbate emotional pain and hinder personal growth.

Healthy Coping Strategies vs. Maladaptive Behaviors

Healthy Coping Strategies involve actions and thought processes that effectively address the root of emotional distress, promote emotional healing and support personal development. These strategies respect both mental and physical health.

Maladaptive Behaviors, on the other hand, offer temporary relief or escape from discomfort but ultimately lead to more significant issues. These behaviors often harm mental, emotional, and sometimes physical health, creating a cycle of dependency and avoidance.


Examples of Immediate Coping Strategies

  • Deep Breathing Exercises: When overwhelmed, taking slow, deep breaths can calm the nervous system and provide a moment of clarity.

  • Physical Activity: Engaging in short bursts of exercise, like a quick walk or stretching, can release built-up tension and improve mood.

  • Mindful Observation: Focusing on the details of your immediate environment can distract from distressing emotions and bring you back to the present moment.

Examples of Long-Term Coping Strategies

  • Therapy: Regular sessions with a therapist can provide tools for emotional regulation and help unravel the roots of maladaptive behaviors.

  • Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Consistently choosing a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and regular exercise supports overall mental health and resilience.

  • Hobby Development: Investing time in hobbies or interests provides an outlet for creative expression and reduces feelings of emptiness by building a sense of accomplishment and purpose.


Forming and Maintaining Relationships


Actively building and nurturing relationships is essential in combating persistent feelings of emptiness.

This process begins with small, manageable steps such as reaching out to acquaintances for casual meetups or engaging in community activities that align with personal interests.

Over time, these interactions can blossom into deeper connections.

Embracing vulnerability by sharing personal thoughts and feelings can significantly strengthen these bonds, creating a sense of closeness and mutual trust.

Concurrently, it's important to establish and communicate healthy boundaries within these relationships.

Friends and family often serve as the first line of emotional support, offering understanding and encouragement.

However, for those grappling with persistent feelings of emptiness, professional help can be invaluable.

Support groups, whether in-person or online, offer a sense of community and shared experience that can break the cycle of isolation.

Furthermore, therapy with a qualified professional can offer personalized strategies for managing emotions and improving relational skills. 


Finding Purpose and Passion

Finding purpose is about discovering what brings you joy, satisfaction, and a profound sense of achievement.

This exploration can involve trying new hobbies, revisiting old interests that fell by the wayside, or dedicating more time to activities that make you lose track of time because you're thoroughly engrossed in them.

These pursuits are unique to each individual, reflecting personal values, interests, and talents.

Setting realistic goals around these discovered passions is the next vital step.

These goals serve as tangible milestones on the path to integrating your passions into your daily life.

Celebrating small successes along the way is equally important; it reinforces positive emotions and motivates you to continue pursuing what makes you feel fulfilled. 


Professional Treatment Options


Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) - DBT is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy specifically designed for individuals with BPD. 

It emphasizes the development of skills in four critical areas: mindfulness, the ability to tolerate distress, regulation of emotions, and effectiveness in interpersonal relationships. 

DBT helps individuals understand and accept their feelings of emptiness while learning strategies to cope with them in a healthier way.


Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) - CBT helps individuals identify and challenge negative thought patterns and behaviors. Through CBT, patients can learn to understand the root causes of their feelings of emptiness and develop healthier ways of thinking and behaving.


Schema Therapy - Schema Therapy combines elements of CBT, attachment theory, and gestalt therapy. It is designed to identify and change deeply held patterns or schemas that contribute to chronic feelings of emptiness and other BPD symptoms.


Mentalization-Based Treatment (MBT) - MBT focuses on improving an individual's ability to mentalize, which involves understanding the mental states that underlie one's own and others' behaviors.


Psychodynamic Psychotherapy - This form of therapy explores unconscious processes and how past experiences influence current behaviors and emotions.

It can help individuals understand the root causes of their feelings of emptiness and work through unresolved issues.


Group Therapy - Participating in group therapy can provide a sense of belonging and support from others who understand what it's like to live with BPD. It can also offer opportunities to practice interpersonal skills in a safe environment.



Get Matched to the Right Provider

Complete this questionnaire to discover service providers that match your requirements! No need to provide contact information.


Get Matched

Conclusion


Addressing chronic feelings of emptiness associated with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) involves a comprehensive approach that combines professional therapy, personal coping strategies, and the support of loved ones.

Cultivating hobbies, engaging in physical activity, and maintaining social connections can serve as valuable supplements to formal treatment, helping to fill the void that individuals with BPD often experience.

While the journey may present challenges, consistent effort and a supportive environment can lead to significant improvements in managing these feelings, paving the way for a more balanced and fulfilling life. 


Resources 

×
Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

Related Posts

 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
May 24th, 2024

overcomers counseling logo

Explore local counseling and psychiatry services to find the tailored support you require. Embark on a journey towards resilience and become an Overcomer with the right professional assistance by your side!

Contact Us

5585 Erindale Dr. Ste 204
Colorado Springs, CO 80918 mailing
(719) 345-2424 office
(719) 888-5022 text
(855) 719-2549 fax

Business Hours (Provider's hours may vary)

 Sunday   Closed
 Monday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Tuesday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Wednesday    8:00am - 5:00pm
 Thursday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Friday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Saturday  Closed