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Anyone struggle controlling their temper?

(9 Posts)
ScaryBOOAlot Mon 08-Oct-12 18:57:29

I have Borderline Personality Disorder, also known as Emotional Intensity Disorder. EID sums it up, really; I feel all emotions very intensely, at the drop of a hat.

I work very very hard to control my emotional extremes so that they don't effect DS. This is damn hard work. Currently I am really battling with my temper. DS (nearly 3) decided he wasn't eating his dinner tonight, and was quite difficult about it. I was holding the spoon as was trying to persuade him to eat some of it. He shouted NO at me, and I then threw the spoon across the room, swore and walked out of the room.

A few minutes later I had calmed down, so went to apologise to him - he gave me a hug and said sorry for shouting. I thanked him for apologising and explained that when he doesn't eat his dinner it makes me frustrated, and when he shouts at me it makes me angry. But that I was wrong to have thrown the spoon and have shouted at him, that I was sorry, and that I love him very much.

Currently in a very intensive therapy programme, hoping to learn to put "normal" extents on at least some of my emotional reactions.

I should say that around DS, I manage to appear calm and happy around 90% of the time. I very rarely shout at him, but do cry or walk out of a room probably once every few days. I've been raising my voice more often than I would like in recent weeks.

Any suggestions of how to control temper, or how to deal with it afterwards would be appreciated.

Please don't have a go at me for how I reacted tonight, because I know its not ideal, and want to work on improving it. Criticism right now will just drive me really low, and I actually managed to get up and dressed today.

LesleyPumpshaft Mon 08-Oct-12 19:06:22

You've been diagnosed with a mental health condition, but not every emotional outburst is because of mental illness iyswim.

I have a bipolar diagnosis and I went through a stage of thinking that if I felt down for a couple of days I might be entering a period of depression etc.

It's normal to get frustrated children on occasion. I remember my mum shouting at me and my brother, she hasn't got a MH problem.

However, only you really know if you're able to manage your condition. If you can't you need to see you GP or mental health professional. I don't know anything about BPD, but I have to manage a MH issue and it's easy to jump to the conclusion that everything is MH related, when in fact it isn't. Hope that makes sense. smile brew

prettywhiteguitar Mon 08-Oct-12 19:27:55

I struggle to control my temper when we go through long periods of bad behaviour with ds, I read quite a lot on the Internet about anger management. Some of those things were really useful like recognising your triggers, mine are certain tasks like getting dressed and morning and learning how to calm down. I read quite a lot about how shouting really desensitises a child when you do it a lot. That seemed to flick a switch in me, maybe I realised the fruitless of it !

I don't have mh probs but my mum did and I think the shouting comes from how I was brought up. It's hard for everyone to grit their teeth when your little darlings are actually being little ***'s !

ScaryBOOAlot Mon 08-Oct-12 19:32:52

That's exactly why it bothers me so much - there was a lot of shouting in my house as a child, and I was so determined that there would not be in this house. I want to break it - I don't want DS to recognise shouting as normal, and do it himself when he's older.

LesleyPumpshaft Mon 08-Oct-12 19:33:51

Are there any local groups that can give offer you support? It might be worth asking a therapist. Also, have you got friends or family you can talk to about things. That really helps.

Can BDP be managed with medication, therapy and self care then?

ScaryBOOAlot Mon 08-Oct-12 19:40:00

Meds not generally helpful because of how quickly the moods switch. I can go from being on top of the world to suicidal in thirty seconds, from any reason ranging from those that are logical, to hearing a sad song.

Hoping this therapy course will allow me to manage it more efficiently. Working on recognising filters and distancing currently.

LesleyPumpshaft Mon 08-Oct-12 19:58:19

I see. I learnt a good technique in CBT. I have had problems with anger during mixed episodes. The 7 -11 breathing technique is a good way to bring down levels of adrenaline and emotional arousal. It involves breathing in for the count of 7 and breathing out for the count of 11. It really does calm you down, you have to remember to do it though which is sometimes easier said than done.

Learning about mindfulness was also generally helpful. Obviously I have a different diagnosis to you, and for the most part I find that stress and lack of sleep exacerbates things. I just go to my GP for some sleeping tablets and it nips things in the bud. I have also had to fit my life around dealing with my MH. It has to be a priority, otherwise everything else falls apart. I think you can manage things, but it's an ongoing process, a big part of it is coming to terms with the fact that it's a permanent state of affairs.

ickywickyyicky Mon 08-Oct-12 20:01:52

Try a book - "when your kids push your buttons" - helps you detach from the situation, and work out what triggers you. Detaching and thinking - well if he doesn't eat his dinner is it really the end of the world - and so letting it go, stops it being a battle of wills, and you losing your temper. Give him simple consequence - doesn't eat it - no snacks later - his choice. You aren't a bad parent if he doesn't eat his dinner, kids aren't perfect, and you won't be the first or last parent to blow your top over dinner.

Also being silly, when you want to go grrrrrr - ie silly grrrrrrr - can be a good bridging strategy.

BinksToEnlightenment Mon 08-Oct-12 20:02:59

I have an awful temper. I'm generally very calm, but when I switch, I turn into a completely different person. I can't remember what it is like to feel like me, and right now I can't imagine what it's like to feel that angry.

I've done some truly horrible things in anger.

The only way I control it is to talk to myself about it. In my head, I mean. There's no use doing it when I'm actually mad because I have no power of logic or reasoning in that state. But when I'm calm, I think over it and what I did wrong and I promise myself I will try harder to snap myself out of it.

It's slow progress. But in ten years I've gone from flipping out a few times a week for hours, to losing my temper a few times a year. There's no quick solution, but you can work to change your behaviour by being aware of it and trying to reason with yourself before you get too angry to think.

And yes, children are a terrible trigger sad

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