Anger control - the basic principle

Underneath every borderline sufferer is one underlying emotion, ANGER. rightfully so, child abuse is a helpless situation from which there is barely any escape.  Once one become aware of their condition the symptoms related to extreme anger usually become much less evident. Behaviors such as self cutting and self harm disappear  with awareness. But Anger and it triggers never really goes away. The reason for this is because with awareness comes the realization of past injustices, and usually it is too late to do anything about, therefore coping is the only way forward.

Anger is a normal emotion for all human beings. And the objective should never be to completely get rid of it, rather to set limits and controls to it. For normal people this is usually an automatic process that do not require a conscious effort. But for the borderline, coping mechanism must be put in place to deal with anger, since when this happens it usually reaches extreme levels.

I have developed 3 steps for anger control :

Step 1 : The establishment of strict routines. Routines are important since they allow us to relocate ourselves in moments of distress.  This can be something as simple as hitting the gym every wednesday, only drinking during the week end, Blogging every sunday, ect.

Step 2  :  Establishing plans to achieve goals. Since impulsivity is one of BPD most dangerous symptom, learning to set a a feuille de route for most of life aspects is of utmost importance, for example in finances, having a clear budget for things you want to purchase will prevent you from embarking in a spending spree every time the intense emotion hits.  The key of course being the daily practice of the planing as to be ready in times of distress.

Step 3 : It will come time where everything you have establish as anger control mechanism fails, (the routines, the planing , ect.) And anger must be faced and dealt with. As a last resource for control over the emotion you can decide and establish things to be angry about, and divert the anger at will rather than trying to cancel it. For example, instead of being angry at that random seller at the mall who riped you off, be angry at your boss for not sending that email you are waiting for in order to complete your project, I know it seems like a scapegoating and a diversion tactic which can sometimes be unfair, but remember that the purpose of the game is to establish control over intense emotions, distributing the load in a way that minimizes it and prevent fixations and other dangerous outcomes.

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