Borderline Personality Disorder

Out of all the mental illnesses, personality disorders are the least talked about. Most people think of those who suffer from a personality disorder as crazy or dangerous. Let’s shed some light on one personality disorder in particular: BPD or Borderline Personality Disorder is a personality disorder marked by unstable and insconsistent moods, behavior, and functioning. This often results in unstable relationships, impulsivity, anger, depression and anxiety. It is often confused with bipolar disorder and thus mistreated.

BPD is a personality disorder where you feel as though you lack control, creating frustration. It is though to be triggered by a traumatic event in early childhood, though there is no direct correlation. Researchers believe that those with BPD, due to a possible traumatic event, experience diferent structural changes in the part of the brain that controls emotions and impulses. However, it should be noted that this shows up in people who do not have BDP, which makes BPD even more mysterious and unknown.

Borderline Personality can be hard to detect as it so often overlaps with other mental illnesses. One might talk about depression, but not talk about or be aware of their other symptoms. This results in one being wrongfully diagnosed with depression or bipolar disorder and not BPD. The list of symptoms of BPD includes: frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment; a pattern of intense and unstable relationships with family, friends and loved ones, often swinging from extreme closeness and love or idealization, to extreme dislike or anger or devaluation;

Those suffering from BPD may also experience a distorted and unstable self-image or sense of self; impulsiveness and often dangeous behaviors such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving and binge eating; reoccuring suicidal beheaviors or threats or self harming behavior; intense and highly changeable moods; chronic feelings of emptiness; innappropriate and intense anger or problems controlling anger; stress-related paranoid thoughts; severe dissociative symptoms such as feeling cut off from oneself, observing themselves from outside the body or losing touch with reality.

As Borderline Personality Disorder is suspected to have it’s origins during the period of childhood attachment and bonding, interpersonal relationships are quite difficult. DBT or Dialetical Behavior Therapy can offer skills to not only cope, but sucessfully live with BPD. This type of therapy has been used to help not only personality disorders, but other mental illnesses as well. It focuses on changing patterns of thinking and behavior. It also has stronger emphasis taming emotional reactivity in relation to others than say, Cognitve Behavioral Therapy or CBT.  DBT also includes group therapy in addition to individual sessions to help practice new interpersonal relational styles. Borderline Personality Disorder is not much spoken about but it’s important to remember that those with BPD are still people and deserve to be heard and loved.