One of the crucial things to remember about living with mental illness is this: the more you know yourself the better chance you have of having a happy successful life. When you receive a diagnosis, remember that this is a diagnostic tool to help you heal. Once you know what you have, you can start to work with it. For example, when you learn you have Borderline Personality Disorder, you can start reading about your illness and start to find ways to manage your sometimes overwhelming emotions, which could cause you intense anxiety in the beginning. Through working with a therapist, you can gain insight into what your triggers are and how to best manage them. In order to be able to manage your illness, you have to be willing to look inward and be honest about what you see and what you’re noticing emotionally.
In order to gain insight into your feelings and who you are, you’ll have to be brave enough to face your feelings head on. It’s not easy to take a genuine look at what is going on with you. If you’ve been through significant trauma, you might want to avoid revisiting these experiences. It’s natural to intentionally want to avoid painful memories. However, if you do that, it will prevent you from growing emotionally and gaining the much-needed insight into yourself. You’re preventing yourself from growing and potentially healing parts of you. Having a mental illness or not, it’s important to face your past experiences, learn from them, and let go of them in order to move forward. However, if you’re not willing to be introspective and actually look at your problems, you will not gain the same level of insight as someone who is willing to do that work. And it’s work to look within yourself and learn about yourself. When you have a lack of insight into your condition, it will be difficult for you to manage your feelings and maintain long-lasting relationships. In order to have empathy for another person, you need to be able to understand your own emotions, life experiences, triggers and flaws.
People who have a lack of insight tend to get into more conflicts in their relationships because they’re unable to see the other person’s perspective. If you don’t know yourself, you may not understand what you did to upset or anger your loved one. The good news is, lack of insight isn’t a permanent condition. You can choose to work on your emotional awareness in therapy and on your own. The more you make the effort to learn self-awareness the better you’ll feel. It can be intimidating to explore deep dark parts of yourself that you’ve chosen to avoid. However, if you are brave, take the leap and explore your emotions with a mental health professional, you have a better chance of gaining the insight you currently lack.
So, what about you? Do you have insight into your emotions or do you think there’s a lack of insight?