Whether you have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, Asperger's syndrome, DID, or you are simply struggling to cope with emotional sensitivity, you've come to the right place. Creating a life you love living is simple from home by following our fun 365 Days of DBT Challenge or adding this blog as a part of your daily life.
Welcome to The Happy Borderline. Use our blog post to inspire you each day. Practice the DBT skills and take notes when needed. DBT stands for dialectical behavior therapy and has been the most successful program in aiding patients with emotion dysregulation disorders.
Having EDD or borderline personality disorder is hard, so healing shouldn't be. Use the menu to guide you through each skill. You can go over a new skill daily or take a week to get familiar with it using the search bar.
In an upsetting mood or going through a difficult situation? On the menu bar, you will find all the skills you need, organized with their very own page. Get familiar with them and keep coming back to this site to practice each skill so they become easy to tap into. You can give yourself at least a full month of learning each skill category before moving on to the next or bounce around as you please. Learning to recover on your own should be easy and fun. But you are not alone! Connect with others on their own DBT journey by following our FB group and/or subscribing to our channel. You might also find the community on this website useful.
What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?
If you are here you most likely have already heard about DBT and even know a bit about it. The myth about DBT is that it’s complicated. The reality is that the word “dialectical” just means that there are oppositional forces at play. It basically means that we have opposite sides of the brain delivering thoughts – one side delivers emotional thoughts and the other side sends us reasonable thoughts. The trick is to honor both sides and find balance, (known in DBT as the wise mind) as opposed to feeling conflicted between the two or consistently leaning to the side that comes easier to our habitual way of thinking. Since actual DBT consists of meeting with a therapist and interacting with a live class in person, we will call our blog and 365 days of DBT challenge a DBT simulator.
But we believe through daily practicing and commitment to learning and following through with the lessons and activities provided, that by the end of a year period you will be an emotionally stronger and more confident person. It is good to point out that I am no therapist though. I am just a former psych student and a researcher who is fascinated with brain improvement for myself and others. This blog and the challenge is all apart of lessons I've learned through endless reading, listening to audiobooks, and taking DBT when I was struggling myself.
DBT Treatment Stages
DBT is divided into four stages of treatment. In Stage 1, the client is miserable and their behavior is out of control: they may be trying to end it all, self-harming, using drugs and alcohol, and/or engaging in other types of self-destructive behaviors. When clients first start DBT treatment, they often describe their experience as “being in hell.” The goal of Stage 1 is for the client to move from being out of control to achieving behavioral control.
In Stage 2, they’re living a life of quiet desperation: their behavior is under control but they continue to suffer, often due to past trauma and invalidation. Their world might feel numb and their emotional experience is inhibited. The goal of Stage 2 is to help the client move from a state of quiet desperation to one of full emotional experiencing.
In Stage 3, the challenge is to learn to live: to define life goals, build self-respect, and find peace and happiness. The goal is that the client leads a life of ordinary happiness and unhappiness and not to be, like The Weekend sang, scared to live again.
For some people, a fourth stage is needed: finding a deeper meaning. Founder, Linehan suggests Stage 4 is specifically for clients for whom a life of ordinary happiness and unhappiness fails to meet their fulfillment or a sense of connectedness of a greater whole. In this stage, the goal of treatment is for the client to move from a sense of incompleteness towards a life that involves an ongoing capacity for experiences of joy and freedom.
Each day in the simulator program you are going to be advised to plan your day around a target. Don't be dismayed if you feel like you are going backyards. For many people, one day could be a target 4 day and the next could be a target 1.
Target 1 = Life-threatening behaviors are targeted, including suicide communications, suicidal idealization, and all forms of suicidal and non-suicidal self-injury.
Target 2 = Therapy-interfering behaviors, including any behavior that interferes with the client receiving effective treatment. These behaviors can be canceling appointments, refusing to take medications, substance abuse, refusing to take lessons/being non-collaborative.
Target 3 = Quality of life disturbances/increasing pleasant moments includes any type of behavior that interferes with clients having a reasonable quality of life, such as disorders, relationship problems, and financial or housing crises. It also includes creating a life worth living through pleasurable experiences.
Target 4 = Skills acquisition refers to the need for clients to learn new skillful behaviors to replace ineffective behaviors and help them achieve their goals.
Targets identify what you are going to tackle based on where you are in your emotions/life. Don’t force yourself to focus on work and your big picture goals (target 4) when you are feeling suicidal (target 1). Though we are trying to learn not to live through our emotions, really make sure you treat yourself fairly and plan your day according to the target area you are at so you can build resilience.