Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a serious personality disorder characterized by continuous instability of the emotion regulation system, interpersonal relationships, impulse control, and self-image. This long-lasting and severely distressing disorder includes both genetic and environmental factors.
Borderline Personality Disorder effects about 1 to 2% of the world population, or 10% of individuals per country. This disorder has a high mortality rate compared to any other mental health issue because suicidal tendencies or attempts are 50% higher than other individuals. Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder require more extensive treatment and management than those having other psychological disorders.
Borderline Personality Disorder Causes:
The major cause of Borderline Personality Disorder is not known. There is research that suggests it is a mixture of genetics and environmental factors.
Risk factors for Borderline Personality Disorder:
- Brain structure: There is research that suggests there are differences in the structure and function of brain, especially in the area that controls impulses and regulation of emotions. Nonetheless, it is still not certain if these differences in the brain are the result of having Borderline Personality Disorder, or if they are the cause of the disorder.
- Family history: Having a parent or sibling with Borderline Personality Disorder may increase the risk of developing the disorder.
- Negative past experiences: Many people who are diagnosed with the disorder have a history of child abuse, negligence, trauma, or were separated from their parents at an early age. On the other hand, it is not a necessary criterion because not all people with the disorder have experienced trauma, and conversely, many people who had such experiences do not develop the disorder.
Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms:
There are 4 major Borderline Personality Disorder symptoms and signs:
- Emotional instability is commonly known as affective dysregulation
- Troubled patterns of perception or thinking, also known as cognitive distortions
- Impulsive behavior
- Strong but unstable relationships with others
Individuals with Borderline disorder might go through a range of intense and negative emotions, such as:
- feelings of emptiness which are long-lasting
Complications of Borderline Personality Disorder:
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Difficulties with relationships
- Eating disorders (i.e. anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa etc.)
- Legal or financial issues
- Problems at school and work
- Self harming attitudes/behaviors
- Social isolation
- Tense family relationships
- Suicidal tendency
Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnosis:
- Unsuitable intense rage or difficulty controlling aggression (e.g., frequent angry outbursts, physical fights, etc.
- Long-lasting feelings of emptiness
- Emotional instability (e.g. irritability, anger, or anxiety lasting for a few hours and seldom for more than a few days.
- Persistent stress-linked severe dissociative symptoms
- Identity disruption persistent with an unstable sense of self
- Recurrent suicidal tendencies and self-harming attitude/behaviors
- Desperate efforts to escape real or imaginary neglect from others.
- Unstable but strong social relationships characterized by extremes between fantasy, idealization, and devaluation of others.
Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment:
Research shows that the most effective therapeutic treatment modality to help manage Borderline Personality Disorder symptoms is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). This Borderline Personality Disorder treatment includes individual, group, and family sessions. The problem is that many insurance companies do not cover this type of therapy because the individual is going to treatment several times a week.
Another form of treatment is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment goals work on the individual gaining an understanding about past and present issues regarding their relationships with family members or others, and treating the impulsive negative behavioral patterns.
Borderline Personality Disorder Medications:
- Anti-depressants do help with depressive symptoms
- Selective Serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRI) to create the sense of relaxation
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors for anxiety and depression
- Tricyclics for management of shifts in moods
Other Borderline Personality Disorder Treatments:
Hospitalization might be required if suicide attempts or self-harming behaviors are present.