What is Splitting in BPD
#Splitting is defined as the action of dividing or being divided into parts.
People with BPD often times see themselves, others, beliefs, situations, and even objects as very black and white. Usually, very suddenly, they will start seeing whatever it is as either "all good" or "all bad" with no gray area.
Typically triggered by a situation that a person with BPD takes an extreme emotional response to. The situation can seem rather ordinary, like an argument, or maybe having to take a business trip.
People with #BPD often experience emotional instability and fear of abandonment. Splitting is a defense, developed subconsciously, as an attempt to cope with these feelings and fears. This is commonly developed in people who have experienced abuse, abandonment, or trauma early in life.
As a defense, they can quickly cut off communication with someone they think may abandon them. They experience rapidly changing feelings about the person. Going from intense love and closeness to intense anger and dislike. They switch from idealization to devaluation.
Often the #trigger involves separation, even minor, from someone they feel close to, sparking fear of abandonment.
People with BPD oftentimes have a history of intense and unstable relationships. They can perceive someone as a friend one day and an enemy the next.
They have difficulty trusting others and have irrational fears about their intentions. Always thinking everyone is out to get them one way or another.
Splitting makes it easier to manage the emotions they are feeling, though it can seem contradictory on the surface.
Identifying a Splitting Episode
The easiest way to identify #Splitting is through language. The person with BPD will start using extreme words to describe themselves, others, or things surrounding the situation.
Examples of extreme words can be: "Always" or "Never"
"All" or "Nothing"
"Perfect" or "Terrible"
If what they start saying goes to one extreme or the other, with no middle ground, you're likely dealing with a #SplittingEpisode.
#Splitting is a subconscious attempt to prevent anxiety and safeguard the ego.
What To Do During An Episode
It may be difficult, but try to remember that #splitting is a symptom of #BPD. Try not to take what they say or do personally. Remember that they aren't intentionally trying to hurt you; splitting is done unknowingly.
Be conscious of how you respond to them. Try to stay calm. If you're struggling, take a moment to calm down before you finish the conversation. Try to see things from their perspective. Though it may not be rational, they still have, very real, emotions to contend with. Validation of these emotions can go a long way in helping to calm down a person with #BPD. Let them know you understand why they could feel this way, and reassure them that it's not actually as severe as it seems right now. Let them know they are heard and you care.
Not all people with #BPD will express themselves in destructive, or violent ways. However, some do. So, it's a good idea to set healthy boundaries, ahead of time. Let them know the kinds of behaviors that you won't tolerate, and stick to them. Things like throwing stuff and violence can't be tolerated. If it gets to this point, walk away from the situation until it can be finished in a calm manner.
The best thing to do is to seek long-term treatment. It can be highly beneficial for not only the person with #BPD but for those close to them as well. A professional can help develop coping mechanisms to calm down their intense emotions and help those around keep theirs in check so they aren't unnecessarily or unknowingly adding to the intensity of the situation. It can also help improve their perspective on events in their life that led to the development of the disorder itself. It's all thought patterns that have formed over time, and thoughts can be retrained.
If you aren't ready for professional assistance, it's still highly beneficial to learn as much as you can about #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder. The more you can understand about why you or your loved one is acting the way they are, the easier it will be to handle the rough stuff when it inevitably arises.
Another thing you can do is get to know what you or your loved one's triggers are. If you know what's causing it, it's a lot easier to not only avoid the triggers, but it's a starting point for the person with #BPD to work through the pent-up emotions they have surrounding them.
It can be difficult, but coping with #Splitting is possible.
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