Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental illness characterized by a distorted self-image, impulsiveness, unstable and intense relationships, and extreme emotions. People with BPD find it challenging to regulate their emotions, which can result in self-harm behaviors. An estimated 1.6% of the American population has BPD. Typically, signs of borderline personality disorder have developed by early adulthood, which is when most people experience the worst effects, but the condition may improve over time.
What Are the Symptoms of BPD?
BPD impacts behavior and how one thinks and feels about his or herself and others. People with BPD generally have a fear of abandonment and will go to extreme measures to prevent real or imagined abandonment. This can lead to unstable and intense relationships, idealizing someone one minute and thinking he or she does not care the next. In addition, people with BPD may experience inappropriate, intense anger and mood swings that can last from a few hours to a few days. Feelings of emptiness is another characteristic of BPD. Individuals may lose contact with reality, engage in self-harming behaviors, threaten or attempt to take their own life, and engage in risky behaviors. General uncertainty and indecision can result in frequent changes to jobs, friends, goals, and values.
What Causes Borderline Personality Disorder?
The cause of BPD isn’t fully understood. However, researchers believe a combination of biological and environmental factors, such as childhood trauma, play a role in the development of the condition. Some research indicates certain areas of the brain, including those involved in impulsivity, emotion regulation, and aggression, are different in people with BPD.
How is BPD Diagnosed?
A diagnosis of borderline personality disorder is made based on a comprehensive psychological interview; official diagnosis typically is not made until one reaches adulthood because what looks like signs and symptoms of the condition in children and teenagers may go away once they get older and mature. Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, substance misuse, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, other personality disorders, and eating disorders may co-occur with BPD.
How is BPD Treated?
Talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, is an essential component of borderline personality disorder treatment. Those with BPD may benefit from individual and group therapy sessions at Evölve. The goals of psychotherapy include educating the client about the condition and teaching him or her new skills to help decrease impulsivity, improve relationships, and manage emotions.