Borderline personality disorder is a serious mental illness that brings about disruptions in mood, self-image and behaviour. People who experience it have trouble regulating their emotions, they feel things intensely and it is harder for them to come back to a stable place. Some people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are high functioning, but for many others. It can be hard to function in their daily life. They might struggle with painful thoughts and beliefs about themselves and other people. This can cause distress in their work life, family life and social life. Some people with Borderline Personality Disorder harm themselves also.
For most people with Borderline Personality Disorder, symptoms begin during their teenage years or as a young adult, then improving during adult life. It includes a pattern of unstable intense relationships, distorted self-image, extreme emotions and impulsiveness.
Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder affects how you feel about yourself, how you behave. Signs and symptoms may include:
- An intense fear of abandonment, even going to extreme measures to avoid real and imagined separation or rejections.
- Ongoing feelings of emptiness.
- A pattern of unstable intense relationship, such as idealizing someone one moment and then suddenly believing the person doesn’t care enough or is cruel.
- Inappropriate or extreme emotional reactions.
- Highly impulsive behaviour
- Feeling of isolation, boredom and emptiness.
- Strong feeling of anxiety, worry and depression.
- Impulsive, risky, self-destructive and dangerous behaviour including reckless driving, drug or alcohol abuse and having unsafe sex.
- Distorted and unstable self-image, which affects moods, values, goals, opinions and relationships.
- Self-harming behaviour including suicidal threats or attempts.
Causes of Borderline Personality Disorder
As with other mental health disorder, the causes of borderline personality disorder aren’t fully understood. In addition to environmental factors such as history of child abuse or neglect etc.
Some studies of twins and families suggest that personality disorder may be inherited links. Borderline Personality Disorder is about five times more common among people who have a first degree relative with the disorder.
People who experience traumatic life events such as physical or sexual abuse during childhood or neglect and separation from parents are at risks of developing Borderline Personality Disorder.
The emotional regulation system may be different in people with Borderline Personality Disorder, specifically the portion of the brain that control emotions and decisions making judgment may not communicate optionally with one another.
How to Deal with Borderline Personality Disorder?
Borderline Personality Disorder is mainly treated using psychotherapy, but medications may be added. Treatment can help you learn skills to manage and cope with your condition with the treatment you can feel better about yourself and live a more stable, rewarding life.
Long term outpatient psychotherapy or “talk therapy” is an important part of any treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder. Researchers have shown that several types of psychotherapy are effective in reducing the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder include:
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
This was the first form of psychotherapy found to be effective for people with borderline personality disorder. Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) is a form of cognitive behavioural therapy which focuses on how thoughts and beliefs can lead to action and behaviour. In this therapy, people learn how to manage conflicts learn skills to help them cope with strong emotions.
Schema Focused Therapy
It is also a form of cognitive behaviour therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Schema focused therapy operates with the thought that unmeant needs from childhood can lead to unhealthy ways of thinking about the world. This therapy focuses on confronting these maladaptive beliefs and behaviours and instead focuses on healthy ways of thinking and coping.
This therapy focuses on helping the client to recognize mental state her own thoughts and feelings of others, she communicates with. Through recognition, she is then able to see how these thoughts contribute to her behaviour or with others.
Transference Focused Psychotherapy
This therapy uses the concept of transference, emotions from one person to another which is a key concept in psychodynamic therapies. It helps a person to respond more effectively in their other relationships.
Art or creative therapies may be offered individually or with a group as part of a treatment programme for people. The aim of this therapy to help people who are finding it hard to express their thoughts and feelings verbally. The therapy focuses on creating something as a way of expressing your emotions.
Medications do reduce certain symptoms of this disorder. It may be particularly effective for Bipolar Personality Disorder when it is used in conjunction with psychotherapy. Most commonly prescribed medications for Bipolar Personality Disorder includes:
- Mood Stabilizers
Learning to manage your emotions, thoughts and behaviours take time. Most people improve considerably, but you may struggle with some symptoms of borderline personality disorder. But treatment can improve your ability to function and help you feel better about yourself.