Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a type of personality disorder characterized by difficulty processing or managing one’s emotions. It frequently involves self-image issues, mood swings, and behavioral changes. Furthermore, it can create a sense of insecurity and instability.
These symptoms can lead to impulsive behavior and strained relationships with family members, significant others, friends, and strangers.
BPD affects approximately 1.4 percent of the population in the United States. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, women account for approximately 75% of diagnosed cases (NAMI). However, some experts believe that BPD is just as common in men. It’s frequently mistaken for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression.
Symptoms of BPD
Everyone’s experience of living with BPD is unique. However, there are certain signs and symptoms that can indicate the presence of borderline personality disorder.
Some common signs and symptoms are as follows:
- Cutting pattern of intense and unstable relationships with family, friends, significant others, and other loved ones
- Efforts to avoid abandonment, which can include leaving someone first or rushing into emotional or physical relationships with others
- Unstable and distorted self-image impulsive behaviors, such as spending sprees, unsafe sexual intercourse, binge eating or drinking, reckless driving, or others
- Anger issues, including irrational, intense anger or issues with controlling anger
- Feeling dissociated from your body
- Intense and rapidly changing moods
- Suicidal ideas or threats
If you have BPD, you may experience all, some, or only a few of the signs and symptoms. Some of the symptoms may be triggered by specific events or people.
Many BPD symptoms overlap with those of other mental health conditions, such as PTSD or depression. If you or someone you care about appears to be dealing with new or worsening mental health issues, it is critical to consult with an Online Counsellor.
Causes of BPD
Several factors may influence the development of BPD, but the exact causes are unknown. Some believe that a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental factors may be at work.
According to research, genetics, such as having a close family relative with BPD, may increase your risk of developing the condition. However, scientists have not discovered a specific gene or profile linked to the development of BPD.
- Environmental Factors
Your surroundings may increase your chances of developing BPD. The effects of traumatic childhood experiences are exacerbated when “the dysfunctional familial environment that produces traumas interacts with the child’s innate temperamental traits or specific genetic polymorphisms,”
In other words, trauma from abuse, sexual assault, bullying, or other stressors in your childhood may cause the development of BPD when combined with a prolonged stressful environment and other genetic risk factors.
- Changes in brain function structure
Some research suggests that changes in the structure and function of your brain may increase your risk of developing BPD. The changes may influence impulsive behavior and make emotion regulation difficult. However, it is unclear whether the changes occur as a potential cause or risk factor, or as a result of living with BPD.
How is BPD diagnosed?
People suffering from BPD may not always receive an accurate diagnosis. For example, there is a significant disparity between the number of women and men living with BPD. An estimated 75% of diagnosed cases are female, leading some to believe that doctors may misdiagnose BPD in men.
A primary care physician is unlikely to be able to diagnose BPD, but they may be able to refer you or a loved one to a licensed mental health professional. The following professionals can diagnose the condition:
- Psychologist (offline counselor, Online Counsellor)
- Clinical social worker
A mental health professional will typically require in order to diagnose BPD dependable sources for:
Online Counsellor interviews you about your symptoms as well as other issues concerning your mental and emotional health, and inquire about your family’s medical history and mental health history.
BPD can be difficult to diagnose because it frequently coexists with other mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression. That is, you may be experiencing depression symptoms that mask or overshadow BPD symptoms, leading to a BPD misdiagnosis.
Psychotherapy, medication, or hospitalization may be recommended in Online Counselling as one or more treatments for BPD.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Schema focused therapy
Medication does not cure BPD, but it can help to alleviate symptoms. To help with mood swings or depression, your doctor may prescribe medication in addition to psychotherapy. They may, for example, prescribe:
- Antidepressants for the treatment of depression
- Antipsychotic medications are used to treat aggressive symptoms.
- Anxiety is treated with antianxiety medications.
If you are experiencing side effects from your medication, consult your doctor. They may be able to suggest alternative medications or treatment options.
Living with BPD does not preclude you from leading a full and happy life surrounded by loved ones. In fact, many treatments are available to assist you and your family in successfully managing the condition. Your symptoms may also become less severe if you receive proper treatment. This does not mean you will never have symptoms again, but treatment can help you become more prepared to deal with them. Seeking and adhering to treatment is one of the most important steps you can take. If you find that one type of treatment isn’t working for you, talk to your doctor about other options.