Personality Disorders Part 6

Coping and support

Having a personality disorder typically makes it hard to engage in behavior and activities that may help you feel better. Ask your doctor or therapist how to improve your coping skills and get the support you need.

If your loved one has a personality disorder

If you have a loved one with a personality disorder, work with their mental health professional to find out how you can most effectively offer support and encouragement.

You may also benefit from talking with a mental health professional about any distress you experience. A mental health professional can also help you develop boundaries and self-care strategies so that you’re able to enjoy and succeed in your own life.

Preparing for your appointment

Since personality disorders often require specialized care, your primary care physician may refer you to a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, for evaluation and treatment. Taking a family member or friend along can help you remember something that you missed or forgot.

What you can do

Prepare for your appointment by making a list of:

  • Your symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to the reason for the appointment
  • Key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes
  • All medications, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbal preparations or other supplements that you’re taking, and the doses
  • Questions to ask your doctor. Basic questions to ask your doctor include:
    • What type of personality disorder might I have?
    • How do you treat my type of personality disorder?
    • Will talk therapy help?
    • Are there medications that might help?
    • How long will I need to take medication?
    • What are the major side effects of the medication you’re recommending?
    • How long will treatment take?
    • What can I do to help myself?
    • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can have?
    • What websites do you recommend visiting?

What to Expect From Your Doctor

During your appointment, your doctor or mental health professional will ask you a number of questions about your mood, thoughts, behavior and urges. These may include questions like:

  • What symptoms have you noticed or have others said they notice in you?
  • When did you or they first notice symptoms?
  • How is your daily life affected by your symptoms?
  • What other treatment, if any, have you had?
  • What have you tried on your own to feel better or control your symptoms?
  • What things make you feel worse?
  • Have your family members or friends commented on your mood or behavior?
  • Have any relatives had a mental illness?
  • What do you hope to gain from treatment?
  • What medications, vitamins, herbs or supplements do you take?

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