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Decoding Borderline Personality Disorder

A depressed teenage girl is inflicting pain to herself, using blade to cut her veins / Photo by 123rf.com

 

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental illness explained by The Mighty as having fears of being abandoned, mood swings, engaging in self-harm, being inclined to commit suicide, and anxiety. It is also described by Verywellmind.com as having unstable moods, emotions, relationships, and behavior. This may manifest in early childhood or in adolescence and if it is unaddressed,  will cause the patient to have more severe symptoms.

Studies reveal that 80% of those who have Borderline Personality Disorder exhibit suicidal behaviors. Approximately four to nine percent have the tendency to die by suicide, Psycom says.

 

 

Causes

As with other similar psychological disorders, there is no known definite cause of having BPD.

However, Verywellmind.com notes that there are three factors that may cause a person to have this condition:

1. Negative experiences or Environmental, Social, and Psychological Factors

There are researches that present that those who have BPD have undergone abuse, trauma or neglect as a child or may have parted from their caregivers at an early age.

2. Brain Structure

A study conducted showed that people with BPD have different brain structures and functions. The parts of the brain which are most affected are those that manage the emotions and impulses.

3. Family History

Being related to anyone who has BPD may heighten the risk of person acquiring it.

 

 

Symptoms

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder may be unsure of their perception about themselves and their role in the world.

In effect, they may suddenly change their interests or values.

Individuals who suffer from this condition have the inclination to see things in extremes, never in the middle.

For instance, they may view things as all good or all bad. Their view of others may also shift quickly. They may perceive a person to be a friend today and the following day they may see them as an enemy.

 

More symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder are:

1. Attempts to avoid real or imagined abandonment

An individual may start forming intimate relationships, only to suddenly stop all forms of communication with that person because they fear that they will leave them someday.

 

2. Having a pattern of unstable relationships with loved ones such family, romantic partners, and friends

Their feelings for their loved ones may switch between extreme affinity and closeness to extreme aversion and anger

 

3. Having a twisted and unstable self-image

They have an unclear concept of their self-identity and what their function is in society.

 

4. Self-harming behavior

They resort to cutting themselves to cope with the pain of suffering from this condition.

 

A female tummy full of scars due to self-harming / Photo by 123rf.com

 

5. Repeatedly threatening to or having thoughts of committing suicide

Due to them misunderstanding others and being misunderstood, they may desire to take their own lives.

 

6. Extreme switching of moods

They can be happy one moment but intensely sad in the next few seconds.

 

7. Constantly feeling empty

Having BPD may make a person feel like they do not have a purpose in life and they have no reason to exist.

 

8. Engaging in impulsive and dangerous behaviors

Examples of these include having sudden spending sprees, binge eating, and drug abuse.

 

9. Having intense anger issues and being unable to manage them

Instantly changing from a positive emotion to anger can be hard for them to deal with.
 

10. Having difficulty trusting others

They feel they cannot trust others because they fear that they do not have good intentions.
 

11. Feelings of disassociation

They may feel like they are separated from themselves and have feelings of unreality. This may also include the sensations of having out-of-body experiences.

 

Treatment

For the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder, there are two types psychotherapy they may undergo and some available medication that can help them manage their moods.

Therapy

It is advised that individuals who have BPD consult a therapist and undergo psychotherapy.

As part of psychotherapy, they may go through:

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

When they participate in this kind of therapy, the therapist assist them in distinguishing and changing central beliefs that cause them to have incorrect perceptions of themselves and others.

It can help lessen the mood and anxiety symptoms as well as suicidal and self-harming behaviors.  

2. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

This type of therapy involves helping BPD patients manage their intense emotions, lessen actions that can destroy or harm them, and help them improve their relationships.

 

A young lady attending therapy session for her disorder / Photo by 123rf.com

 

Medication

Since there are no distinct benefits of prescribed medication, people suffering from BPD are usually not advised to have medication. A psychiatrist may suggest taking medication that will help deal with depression, mood swings and other underlying mental disorders.

Family members and other people associated with the person suffering from BPD are advised to lend their emotional support, be aware and learn as much they can about their condition and refer them to a therapist. They may also take part in having a family therapy.

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