How Can I Stand Up for My Boundaries When Healing From a Psychological Disorder?

When you are faced with a psychological disorder, it can feel as if you lack self-control in all areas of your life. To gain a sense of grounding as you heal, you must learn to establish personal boundaries – especially in your relationships. Establishing boundaries not fosters a sense of self-control but also allows you to honor your own needs with grace.

At Alter Behavioral Health, we provide care for a plethora of mental health disorders and associated symptoms. We are passionate about facilitating psychological guidance and support no matter where you are on your healing journey. Learning how to set boundaries is just one of the many skills we can help you build as you work to recover from a psychological disorder.

Understanding the Vulnerabilities of a Psychological Disorder

The concept of vulnerability is daunting for many. However, to effectively heal from a psychological disorder, you must learn to accept your own vulnerability.

When you consider vulnerability, do you think of weakness or strength? The truth is that vulnerability is a worthy combination of the two. According to Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine, “Vulnerability thus refers to a state of physical and emotional well-being that is in danger of being disturbed and destroyed due to being susceptible to harmful influences.”

In daily life, when we become exposed to environmental stressors like trauma and stress, we become vulnerable to developing mental health disorders. Additionally, we also become more vulnerable to using alcohol and other drugs to self-medicate such distress. In this case, it is important to recognize our vulnerabilities and seek support to prevent the development of worsening health problems.

In a similar way, when we are diagnosed with a psychological disorder, we must also recognize our increasing vulnerability to experiencing worsening mental health symptoms, especially if our disorder goes untreated. When we learn to accept feelings of anxiety, fear, and apprehension that are commonly associated with vulnerability, we can also accept our need for professional help. In this way, vulnerability serves as a motivator for us to seek out healthier ways to regulate our emotions and behaviors that may result from our disorder.

Vulnerability and Setting Boundaries

When we understand that we are especially vulnerable with a mental health disorder, it helps us to recognize our need for personal boundaries. According to a publication by the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs:

A boundary is a border or limit which we set in order to protect ourselves. Personal boundaries may be physical or emotional and provide an important tool in protecting and caring for ourselves.

Unfortunately, boundaries can get a bad rep, as loved ones that experience the halt of a boundary can fail to understand its importance. However, as you learn to implement personal boundaries into your life, your loved ones will become more familiar with them over time. Thus, with time, boundaries will no longer feel like a form of separation for a loved one but rather a means of respecting your space, time, energy, and overall well-being.

How to Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries is a process that takes time. This process requires you to identify your needs, values, and limits, both pertaining to your psychological disorder and your general well-being in daily life.

Identify Personal Needs and Values

An article by The Canadian Veterinary Journal highlights eight mutually interdependent dimensions of wellness. These include:

  1. Physical
  2. Intellectual
  3. Emotional
  4. Social
  5. Spiritual
  6. Vocational
  7. Financial
  8. Environmental

To begin identifying your personal needs, you can consider addressing your needs in each dimension of wellness. You will find that some of your needs are more objective, such as ensuring that you engage in physical exercise throughout the week or consume a healthy diet. On the other hand, you will also discover needs unique to you and your psychological disorder. For example, considering your environmental status, perhaps you have a need to live in a substance-free environment to heal well from your psychological disorder.

Meanwhile, identifying personal values requires you to think of what matters most to you in your life. Values are necessary as they guide our behavior and actions, often in a positive way. Some examples of values include:

  • Honesty
  • Respect
  • Family
  • Openness
  • Love
  • Kindness

Establish Your Limits

As your needs and values become more clear, you can feel more confident in your ability to set boundaries. Boundaries require you to be straightforward with your limits and to state your needs directly. Moreover, you can create boundaries for just yourself as well as boundaries for your loved ones.

An example of a personal boundary is saying no to an offer that makes you uncomfortable, especially as you participate in treatment for your psychological disorder. Another example is inhibiting yourself from dating until you feel confident in your self-esteem. An example of a boundary set for your relationships is not allowing a loved one to speak down to you. To ensure that your boundaries are respected by others, you may need to create additional limitations and consequences, such as limiting contact for a certain amount of time.

Healing From a Psychological Disorder

At Alter Behavioral Health, we know how challenging it can be to create and establish personal boundaries. Further, we understand that boundary setting can seem even more overwhelming with the presence of a psychological disorder. Fortunately, we are here to guide and support you as you work to adopt therapeutic techniques for lasting symptom management, including learning how to set boundaries.

As you work to heal from your psychological disorder, you must establish and prioritize boundaries to ensure lasting healing. Setting boundaries not only helps to strengthen your interpersonal relationships but it also strengthens the respect you have for yourself. Alter Behavioral Health can help you identify and establish boundaries as you participate in a professional treatment program for wellness. We offer a wide range of therapeutic approaches and modalities to ensure that our client care is individualized and holistic. We can craft you a unique treatment plan that fits your needs and recovery goals. To learn more about our facility or treatment programs, give us a call today at (866) 691-4386.