Borderline Personality Disorder, also known as BPD, is a mental disorder that affects your ability to control your feelings and emotions about you and those around you. It affects about 14 million Americans. To be clear, this differs from normal fluctuating emotions and diagnosable variations like bipolar disorder.
People diagnosed with BPD experience long-term patterns of extreme and unstable emotions that impair their ability to function in everyday life. You can think of BPD as the extreme of everything – either really good or really bad. Opinions and perceptions about things change very quickly, leading to impulsiveness in relationships and actions.
Here’s what you should know about borderline personality disorder and seek help.
What Causes Borderline Personality Disorder?
Experts don’t fully understand what causes BPD, although current research suggests that genetic, social, and environmental factors contribute. Some research on twins and families has found that personality disorders can be inherited or that family ties can predispose you to BPD.
The next factor is environmental and social influences, especially in childhood. Traumatic life experiences, such as a history of neglect, child abuse, or abandonment, can contribute to the development of BPD. One of the most tangible signs of BPD is a fear of abandonment and a willingness to do whatever is necessary to prevent it. The behaviors committed are extreme, such as B. Self-harm or acts of aggression to physically keep a person there.
Finally, your brain structure can contribute to BPD. Research examining brain images of people with BPD found that the amygdala and hippocampus – brain structures important for emotional regulation and fear response – are smaller than the average brain.
Signs and Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder isn’t just a rollercoaster of emotions. It fundamentally affects how you interpret your feelings about yourself, your behavior, and your relationships with others. While the symptoms of BPD vary from person to person, there are specific behavioral markers that help the doctor diagnose the condition. The Diagnostic and Statistical Guide identifies the symptoms of BPD as:
- team up strong fear of being abandoned from friends and family. For many people with BPD, feelings of being abandoned or ending a relationship are major triggers. They will do their best to avoid abandonment, both real and imaginary.
- critical mood It can range from happiness to fear and irritability. These episodes can last a few hours or a few days.
- a History of unstable personal relationships With friends and family members.
- impulsive and risky behavior Like excessive drinking and eating, leaving a good job, reckless spending and substance abuse.
- Frequently change how you see yourselfDestinations and prices are also subject to change.
- self-harm behavior etc suicidal,
- time of intense anger Or bitterness that can lead to physical fights.
How severe and how often a person may experience these symptoms depends on the person.
Borderline Personality Therapy
The prognosis for borderline personality disorder is great, and even better if you get treatment. It is important to see a licensed psychologist who will conduct a full medical evaluation.
A therapist can help create an effective treatment plan that includes psychotherapy, medication management, or peer counseling. Psychotherapeutic modalities are the primary treatment for BPD, including cognitive behavioral therapy, schema-focused therapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy. These therapy sessions will help you build long-term coping skills that you can use to manage your symptoms and responses to situations.
Medications can also be part of the treatment plan for BPD. Mood stabilizers or antidepressants may be prescribed to relieve the extreme mood swings of BPD, although no pill will cure the symptoms.
Regardless of what your treatment plan is, the goal of BPD treatments is to help you overcome emotional issues and manage the symptoms of the disorder.
Borderline Personality vs. Bipolar Disorder
While borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder may superficially appear to be the same thing because of their shared symptoms, they are two different disorders that cannot be lumped together. BPD is a personality disorder while bipolar disorder is a mood disorder.
BPD is characterized by instability in your feelings and actions, how you view situations, and how others view you. When someone with bipolar disorder isn’t going through a manic or depressive episode, they have a stability that people with BPD don’t have.
In addition, bipolar disorder responds better to medication because it is biological. BPD cannot be treated like bipolar disorder because there are additional psychological factors to consider.
Find help for borderline personality disorder
Living with borderline personality disorder, or being a family member of someone who has it, can be stressful. When you’re in the middle of it, getting help can seem out of reach, especially if you don’t know where to start or how to find a therapist.
If you are looking for a therapist in your area, you can contact your GP who will refer you to a licensed psychologist. As you prepare for your appointment, write down your questions ahead of time and make sure you have a list of your current medications to hand. They want to bring as much information with them as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
It’s also more than okay to bring a spouse, friend, or relative. You should feel able to do whatever you need to do to make sure you are comfortable and in the best position to get help. The prognosis with long-term talk therapy is good, but the willingness to accept your help is greater.
Use the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Behavioral Health or SAMHSA, Treatment Services Locator to find a therapist in your area.
Self-Care Tips for Borderline Personality Disorder
The fact of the matter is that borderline personality disorder is not something you can get rid of. But it doesn’t have to rule your life and wreak havoc on your self-image and relationships. In addition to talk therapy and support from mental health professionals, there are things you can do on a daily basis to support your caregiving.
- Set yourself realistic goals.
- If you have a big task, break it down into smaller, achievable steps.
- Make sure your family and friends know what situations or actions you can trigger. You can do things unintentionally, and setting expectations can help avoid these situations entirely.
- Allow yourself to find things that bring you comfort. This can be a place, people or a specific situation.
- Incorporate exercise into your routine to reduce stress.
Borderline Personality Disorder is a lifelong condition. You should not expect your symptoms to go away or get better overnight. You will see a gradual improvement in your thinking and actions through therapy and self-care.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider if you have any questions about a medical condition or health-related purposes.