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  • Writer's pictureSonia Neale

Borderline Personality Disorder Rage States -v- Ice Water Remedy

People with BPD can have unbearable rage states where “keeping still and reflecting in mindfulness” is not an option. Criticism, activation of abandonment or rejection issues, can cause powerful neurotransmitter and hormonal responses, where it feels as though someone has thrown acid in your face and your face is burning off. It feels as though your body, mind and brain are on fire and this is where bad decisions are made, relationships are sabotaged and self-hatred, self-harm and suicide ideation occur. It’s as though your blood circulation has become a corrosive, toxic whirlpool and that someone else has taken control of your body. This is way above the average non-BPD response to the same incident. You now need to be able to douse those body feelings immediately because this state feels unbearable, uncontainable and it is life-threatening for the person experiencing it.

This is where ice water remedies can dissipate that poisonous energy in about 15 seconds. Dunk your head in a bowl of ice-cold water, have a very cold shower, slap a packet of frozen peas or a flexible cold pack against your burning face to take out the intense heat and energy, so that what you are left with is the cognitive memory of the event, rather than the excruciating emotional response. This helps ground you into your body with cold clarity and awareness. Cold water remedy increases feel-good endorphins.

You are still left with the event, problem, criticism or abandonment issues, but your headspace is now much, MUCH safer. It’s halted you from self-sabotage, self-harm or a suicide attempt. Keep doing this until your rage has lessened or stopped. When this happens, a cup of tea (I’m British – but insert your favourite beverage here), and a short sleep can help solidify the effects of the cold-water remedy. This has worked for me in the past to varying degrees of resolution.

The feelings of being insulted are still there, although your body temperature is lower with less harmful chemicals in circulation. Cold water remedy is not going to solve your problems or reverse the situation. it just lends itself to a powerful state of presence of mind, and helps you focus so you have far more options and choices of response and resolution at your fingertips.

Cold shower image by Fifaliana Joy from Pixabay


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