BPD Awareness Month (Impulsive Behaviour)

Todays Topic is ‘Impulsive Behaviour’ Now this is 3rd in my final 3 blogs of the Awareness Month & justly the final 3 topics are in my opinion the Kings of everything relating to Borderline Personality Disorder. This is the 1st of the final 3. This issue affects us in such an harmful way, there is very little positives I personally feel I could add, now with the information ill be giving you, it may say positives from a clinical basis, but from someone who lives this every second of everyday, I find it almost impossible to find any positives from ‘Impulsive Behaviour’. But I will be honest & speak on this, and has I go along I may come across something that is a positive. Here’s some clinical information Part 1.

If you have borderline personality disorder (BPD), you may find yourself struggling to manage impulsive behaviours. From hasty decisions to getting into fights, these actions can harm you and your loved ones. 

Impulsivity can be a very troubling aspect of BPD. They can lead to problems with relationships, physical health, and finances as well as legal issues. Learning more about impulsive behaviour and treatments that target it can help reduce the impact of impulsivity in your life.

What is Impulsivity?

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illnesses, 5th edition, impulsive behaviours are a hallmark of BPD. Impulsivity is a tendency to act without thinking about the consequences of your actions. These actions usually occur in reaction to some event that has caused you to have an emotional response.

For example, imagine you are waiting in line at the bank and someone cuts in front of you. People with a reasoned mindset may roll their eyes, but they realize it is a small problem or inconvenience and it’s not worth it to escalate the situation. However, for those with BPD, their responses can be quite different. Someone with BPD may act aggressively towards the person who cut in line, yelling at him, threatening him or even taking physical action. A person with BPD likely never takes into account potential consequences, such as getting hurt, getting detained by security or even being arrested by police.

Impulsivity is also linked to poor self control and severe urges. This can lead to self harm when coping with an intense emotion or binge eating for comfort. 

It is important to note that occasional impulsive behaviour is not necessarily indicative of a diagnosis of BPD. Everyone acts impulsively from time to time.

Only when this type of behaviour becomes either frequent or serious is it considered dangerous or as a potential symptom of BPD. 

What are Some Examples of Impulsive Behaviours?

Some examples of impulsive behaviours include:

  • Going on spending sprees
  • Driving recklessly
  • Promiscuous sex
  • Binge eating
  • Yelling, shouting, or screaming at others
  • Threatening to harm others
  • Destroying property
  • Shoplifting
  • Getting in physical fights with people

Can Impulsivity Be Treated?

While impulsive behaviours can be serious and pervasive, this symptom can be successfully managed with therapy. Many treatments for BPD have components that target impulsivity. For example, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) focuses on building skills that will help you to reduce your impulsive behaviours. By using healthy coping mechanisms to handle intense emotions, a person with BPD is better equipped to handle different situations. 

Mindfulness, a skill taught in DBT that encourages you to stay in the moment, can help you to stay more aware of your actions so that you can take time to consider consequences.

Practicing this technique can help you to take a moment to reflect on your options, empowering you to make more rational decisions about how to respond to events around you.

Medications may also help with impulsivity but are usually most effective when used in conjunction with psychotherapy with a therapist specializing in BPD.

If you are struggling with impulsivity, learn more about treatments for BPD that may help you get impulsive behaviour under control.

So my perspective on this topic this is rather a difficult thing for most of us to get a handle on because its so intense and it seems to control your mindset entirely, The oh ill buy that now or a browse in a store and something catches your eyes and bang its in your basket and your at the till buying it, few minutes later after leaving the store your thinking why did I buy this? I don’t even WANT IT, that’s the damage that Impulsive Behaviour can do because it can be small things like buying something insignificant to something rather dangerous like Sex with randoms which if your a female that is dangerous anyway but being in a unstable state makes you that more vulnerable to some of the monsters with penises out there, Similar for men too because you could meet a nice girl, who is switched on to how to rob you etc, not rob in the normal sense but in a more sinister way, lead you to a flat for a session of fun to arrive in all kinds of hell.

That may sound like the extremes but Impulsive behaviour is always extreme in the end, in all senses of the word from physical dangers to emotional dangers to money dangers like buying something you can NOT afford, (i.e Credit cards) The Devils Juice. Impulse is a strange thing, that thing that makes you feel like your a dog on a lead and the lead is stuck in a train door, and your trying to run to keep up with it, that’s what it feels like to me anyway, its like a RUSH and your being taken against your will to make dumb and stupid choices, now not to make it sound like we are taking no responsibility because we do, its just the FEELINGS I’m talking about, not the actual real life circumstances.

It does have a good side to it tho, where your mr.boring like myself and then you suddenly do something totally out the norm and you enjoy yourself and are happy for a small time, but anytime of any happiness is to be treasured. So there is good sides to it of course, but regarding BPD its few and far between. The best advice I can give has someone who has his impulse under control, is to just try to take control has best you can, and remember there is life after 00.00 on the clock, just has an example because with impulse its like the clock is 11.00pm there is NO minute after that, you must do whatever it is there and then that second, what are you waiting for. Just has an example, iv used a random time has an example, there’s no meaning behind the times iv used. Here’s some more detailed Clinical Information Part 2.

Defining Features Of Personality Disorders: Impulse Control Problems

People with personality disorders tend to exhibit problems with impulse control. These problems can manifest as either over-controlled or under-controlled impulses. (Under-controlled impulse control is commonly called a “lack of impulse control”.  In the same manner that people with personality disorders may have problems with over- or under-controlled affective (emotional) regulation, they also tend to have problems regulating their impulses. Here, too, we can think of impulse regulation along a continuum ranging from over-control to under-control, with healthy personalities falling somewhere in the middle between these two extreme poles.

Consider the issue of self-control and the need for a healthy balance between overcontrol and under-control.  On the one hand, we need to control our impulses and to consider the consequences of acting upon an impulse.  Having considered the consequences, we then decide how to act accordingly. We determine whether to allow ourselves to indulge the impulse, or whether to inhibit it.   The inhibition of certain impulses enables us to behave in ways that are both responsible and socially acceptable. Therefore, in some circumstances the inhibition of our impulses serves to promote our success in both relationships and in the workplace.  Two areas of particular concern are aggressive and sexual impulses. If we were to act on our every aggressive or sexual impulse, we would easily get ourselves into a great deal of trouble. On the other hand, the over-control of impulses leads to its own set of problems. A certain amount of carefully considered risk-taking is necessary to reap the benefits of creative expression, rewarding relationships, and successful problem-solving. Some amount of risk-taking is part of the excitement, fun, and spontaneity associated with an enjoyable life. With too much impulse control, we end up feeling restricted, bored, and dull; with too little we can get ourselves into a great deal of trouble. Clearly, a balance between these two extreme poles of over- and under-control would represent a healthy personality.

The challenge to strike the right balance of impulse control affects everyone from time-to-time, including people with healthy personalities. We all have had occasions where we behaved irresponsibly, or unwisely chose to act upon an impulse. At other times, we may have been too controlled, failing to take a risk that would have ultimately benefitted us. Once again, flexibility enables healthy personalities to achieve the proper balance of impulse control most of the time. People with personality disorders are distinguished by the rigidity of their pattern of over- or under-control, and the severity and persistence of their impulse control problems. Rigid and persistent over-control of impulse can manifest itself as inhibition, reluctance to do anything that involves any type of uncertainty or risk, reluctance to start new things or try new activities, and over-conscientiousness or scrupulousness. Rigid and persistent under-control can manifest itself as recklessness and a disregard for rights and needs of other people. This pattern can lead to troublesome or dangerous problems such as drug use, dangerous or risky sexual liaisons, over-spending, assault, or self-injury.

Examples of personality disorders with impulse control problems 

Now let’s look at some examples of specific personality disorders to illustrate these problems of over- or under-control of impulses.

On the over-controlled side of the continuum is the Avoidant Personality Disorder. People with this disorder are afraid to try new things for fear of embarrassment, and fear of ridicule. They hold back when they are with other people and can come across as stiff and constricted. They lack spontaneity as every action must be considered for its potential to result in embarrassment or ridicule. Subsequently, people with this disorder end up missing out on some of life’s unplanned but enriching adventures. Similarly, people with Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder also tend to over-control their impulses. Overly worried about rules and regulations, they can be very scrupulous, and tend to be excessively focused on conscientiousness, morals, and ethics. Preoccupied with lists, and a rigid sense of right and wrong, they rivet their attention toward the smallest details and become unable to complete a task; i.e., they become so distracted by so many small details that they can’t see the forest for the trees.

On the other side of the continuum are problems with under-control, or more commonly stated, a lack of impulse control.  This lack of impulse control can manifest itself as failure to plan ahead or to think about the long-term consequences. Lack of impulse control is evidenced by such things as impulsive spending; risky sexual behaviour; combative and assaultive behaviours; substance abuse; recklessness and excessive risk-taking; gambling; and binge eating.  The Antisocial Personality Disorder provides a prime example of these problems with impulse control. Persons with this disorder don’t really plan ahead and this type of reckless disregard can cause them to engage in risky behaviour merely because it feels good in that one moment. They do not consider the consequences of their behaviour, nor its effect on other people or themselves. This is how they end up breaking the law, getting themselves into trouble, and hurting others.

People with Borderline Personality Disorder can have similar problems. As mentioned previously, for someone with Borderline Personality Disorder, the inability to regulate their intense emotions when coupled with poor impulse control can lead to dire consequences. An emotion can become so intense that it becomes very difficult to avoid acting upon the immediate impulse or the urge to do something. Powerful negative emotions such as anger, coupled with a lack of impulse control, will often have disastrous results such as assault or self-injury. Some impulsive behaviours such as alcohol or other drug use, risky sex, and binge eating can also function as coping mechanisms for people with Borderline Personality Disorder. These behaviours may represent ineffective attempts to cope with intense and difficult emotions. These behaviours are dysfunctional because while the behaviour may enable the person feel relieved and better in the moment, it ultimately has harmful long-term consequences.

As we have emphasized throughout, these first three core features of personality disorders 1) problems with disordered thinking, 2) problems with affective regulation (feeling), and 3) problems with impulse control (behaviour) all have a profound and negative impact upon interpersonal relationships. As a result, the fourth core feature of personality disorders, which we are about to discuss, is considered the most significant and defining feature of all personality disorders.

Id like to thank everyone who may of read todays topic Impulsive Behaviour.

 

 

 

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