Borderline Personality Disorder
Intense instability feels terrible, but we can help.
What is Borderline Personality Disorder?
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental health disorder characterized by intense, unstable emotions and relationships, insecurity and self-doubt that causes significant problems functioning in everyday life. BPD makes everything about a person feel precarious, including moods, thinking, behavior, relationships, and identity.
People suffering from BPD often experience a self-fulfilling prophecy in which they fear abandonment intensely yet unknowingly behave in ways that push people away from them. They frequently experience strong emotions, feel easily offended, lack self-soothing abilities, and feel driven to impulsive, reckless behavior. On top of these issues, they often struggle with self-awareness and how others perceive them. Combined, these qualities may discourage others from being around them and reinforce their fears of abandonment and being left alone.
Fortunately, treatment can help people with BPD build skills, gain awareness, manage emotions and change problematic behavior.
Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder
Symptoms of BPD may include:
- An intense fear of abandonment, going to extreme measures to avoid real or imagined separation or rejection
- A pattern of unstable and intense relationships, such as idealizing someone one moment and then suddenly feeling intense anger or dislike toward that person, sometimes known as “splitting”
- Rapid changes in self-identity and self-image that include shifting goals and values, and seeing oneself as bad or as if one doesn’t exist at all
- Periods of stress-related paranoia and loss of contact with reality, lasting from a few minutes to a few hours
- Impulsive and dangerous behavior, such as reckless driving, gambling, unsafe sex, binge eating or drug abuse, spending sprees, or sabotaging success by suddenly ending a positive relationship or quitting a good job
- Self-harming behavior or suicidal threats, often in response to fear of separation or rejection
- Intense mood swings lasting from a few hours to a few days
- Persistent feelings of emptiness
- Inappropriate, intense anger or problems controlling anger
- Difficulty trusting other people
What Causes Borderline Personality Disorder?
While the exact causes of BPD are not fully understood, research suggests it results from a combination of factors including:
- Genetics: Studies show that people who have a close family member with BPD may be at a higher risk of developing the disorder.
- Environmental factors: People who experience traumatic life events—such as physical or sexual abuse during childhood or neglect and separation from parents—are at increased risk of developing BPD.
- Brain function: Research indicates that people with BPD can have structural and functional differences in the parts of the brain that control emotions and impulses. These areas may not communicate well with one another.
Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder
Fortunately, BPD is highly treatable. Psychotherapy is the primary method of treatment, although medication and TMS may be used to improve mood issues.
- Individual therapy – Psychotherapy methods, including dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral (CBT) and psychodynamic therapy, may be used to treat BPD and address behavioral skill deficits, trauma history and other issues commonly related to this disorder.
- Medication – Antidepressants and mood stabilizers may reduce mood swings and dysphoria.
- TMS – Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-invasive treatment that uses electromagnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms related to BPD.
Why Seek Help for Borderline Personality Disorder?
Untreated borderline personality disorder damages personal and professional relationships, quality of life, and general well-being. It can lead to other mental health problems and cause people to behave in ways that harm their physical health.
If you or someone you love suffers from borderline personality disorder, call Athena Care today. One of our friendly associates will help you get the help you need. Take this first step toward a more stable and rewarding life.
If you suspect that you or someone you love suffers from borderline personality disorder, contact Athena Care today.
One of our friendly associates will help you get the help you need. Take this first step to feel better and take control.