Understanding the Role of Self-Awareness in Borderline Personality Disorder
Have you been told by mental health professionals that you have a lot of self-awareness? Unfortunately, having too much self-awareness can actually make things worse if you have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Although it is usually seen as a positive thing, having an excessive amount of it can exacerbate the symptoms of BPD.
This article will discuss the neuroscience behind self-awareness and how having too much of it can affect someone with BPD.
All throughout my life, every mental health professional I've talked to has been like ''You have a lot of self-awareness'' and I'm like: ''Yes, I actually think that is part of my problem.'' I usually respond with a mix of gratitude and frustration since I feel like it's been a double-edged sword. It's both a gift and a burden. While self-awareness has undoubtedly helped me improve in many ways, it has also made me aware of some problems that I may not have otherwise noticed. Being so self-aware definitely made me who I am today, which I should be proud of, but also makes the journey more painful and difficult.
What Does it Mean to Be Self-Aware?
When you are highly self-aware, you may find yourself being overly self-conscious in social situations. Instead of paying attention to other people, your mind is constantly preoccupied with thoughts about yourself, such as "Do I look stupid?" or "Do I sound stupid?" You thoroughly think about everything you say and do. As a result, you become the primary focus of your attention, and your mind is fixated on evaluating yourself rather than enjoying the moment.
Self-awareness is the ability to reflect and examine one's thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It involves being able to recognize one's strengths and weaknesses, which is crucial for personal growth. This ability is rooted in the default mode network (DMN). The DMN is a set of brain regions that become active when we are not focused on the outside world, such as during daydreaming or self-reflection. This network allows us to engage in self-referential processing, which is the ability to think about ourselves and our experiences in relation to others.
The biggest difference between most animals and humans is the DMN. Humans have a more developed DMN than other animals, which allows us to engage in more complex self-referential processing. Animals go about their day without thinking about themselves doing it. They just do it. Humans, on the other hand, have the ability to reflect on themselves. It allows us to reflect on our actions and our sense of self. For example, if a deer can't find food in ten places, it doesn't feel bad about itself. But if a human asks ten people out and they all say no, the human may start to feel bad about themselves because of the rejection.
The Relationship Between Self-Awareness and BPD