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Bor­der­line Per­son­al­ity Dis­or­der ex­ists on the pe­riph­ery of many other ill­nesses, and about 90 per­cent of pa­tients with BPD also share at least one other ma­jor psy­chi­atric di­ag­no­sis — es­pe­cially an anx­i­ety dis­or­der. Here are some strate­gies for cop­ing with anx­i­ety-in­duc­ing sce­nar­ios, whether you suf­fer from a dis­or­der or not. START­ING A NEW JOB: You might ex­pe­ri­ence an on­slaught of stress­ful thoughts, such as “What if I can’t find park­ing?” or “What if I make a mis­take?” that re­sult in feel­ings of anx­i­ety, says Ed­mon­ton psy­chol­o­gist Dr. Joti Brar-Josan. WHAT TO DO: As anx­i­ety mounts be­fore your first day, write down your thoughts and chal­lenge them. For ex­am­ple, if you worry that you’re the wrong per­son for the job, how did you make it through an ex­ten­sive in­ter­view process? AT­TEND­ING A PARTY: So­cial gath­er­ings can be awk­ward and you may fear that you’ll say some­thing stupid or that no one will want to talk to you. WHAT TO DO: Try ex­po­sure ther­apy. At the Cen­tre for Cog­ni­tive Be­hav­ioral Ther­apy where Dr. BrarJosan works, psy­chol­o­gists cre­ate “a per­son­al­ized ex­po­sure plan where the client is grad­u­ally ex­posed to anx­i­ety-pro­vok­ing stim­u­lus.” De­pend­ing on the client’s fears, the psy­chol­o­gist may sim­u­late con­ver­sa­tions or sce­nar­ios dur­ing ther­apy be­fore as­sign­ing real-life “ex­po­sure tasks.” To pre­pare for a party, the psy­chi­a­trist may have you say hello to a stranger or ac­quain­tance, at­tend a group dinner with a small num­ber of peo­ple or go out with­out a phone so you can’t use it to avoid con­ver­sa­tion. ASK­ING FOR A FAVOUR: Ask­ing for help can cause anx­i­ety be­cause you worry that you’ll be turned down or that some­one will think that you’re un­wor­thy of as­sis­tance. WHAT TO DO: Bite the bul­let. The longer you wait to ask, the longer your an­tic­i­pa­tory anx­i­ety will last and the worse it will get.

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