Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) refers to personality dysfunction characterized by a disturbance in a person’s sense of themselves. This disorder typically involves unusual levels of instability in mood, “black and white” thinking, chaotic and unstable personal relationships, problems with self-esteem and self-respect, identity, and behavior.

In extreme cases, this disturbance in an individual’s sense of self can lead to periods of dissociation. These disturbances can have a pervasive negative impact on many or all aspects of a person’s life. This includes difficulties maintaining relationships in work, home and social areas. Attempted suicide and completed suicide are possible outcomes, without proper care and effective therapy. Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder are at very high risk of developing other mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Other symptoms, such as dissociation, are typically linked to severely traumatic childhood experiences.

A person with Borderline Personality Disorder usually has wide-ranging problems with social relationships and severe mood dysregulation. People suffering from borderline personality disorder (and their families) often feel their hardships are made worse by a lack of clear diagnoses, effective treatment, and/or accurate information. Personality disorders are very difficult to correctly diagnose, and are often misdiagnosed because they are not sharply defined and lack a clear set of diagnostic criteria.

The complexity of personality disorders makes it difficult to firmly establish a genetic predisposition. There are qualities of Borderline Personality Disorder such as hypersensitivity to environmental stimuli or impulsive aggression which may be related to temperament and thus hereditary factors. Recent research indicates there may be disruption in the functioning of the brain’s limbic system, which regulates emotion. Commonly accepted environmental causes of BPD are psychological trauma including physical or sexual abuse, an unstable family life as a child, or severe loss (such as death of parents or siblings). Marsha Linehan, the developer of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), believes that BPD is caused by an interplay between biological factors and an “emotionally invalidating” childhood environment. Exposure to high levels of stress, substance abuse, self-medication, medical problems, and difficulties with family or other interpersonal relationships can all contribute to decreased functioning in someone with BPD or onset of a crisis period.

What is the Prognosis for Borderline Personality Disorder?

Research demonstrates that with effective psychotherapy, sleep and stress management and psycho-education symptoms can significantly improve the quality of life of someone with Borderline Personality Disorder. A newer treatment modality, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), has produced excellent results in helping persons with BPD. DBT teaches the client how to learn to take control of their life, their emotions, and themselves through self-knowledge, emotion regulation, and restricting thought patterns. In partnership with psychotherapy, and medication when necessary, persons with Borderline Personality Disorder can show a significant and sustainable improvement in their overall happiness and quality of life.

Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder may lack insight or blame others for their problems, making them resistant or fearful to seek treatment. Creating the appropriate neuroscientific treatment plan is critical for future success for clients with these symptoms, fears and emotional challenges.

Rates of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and chemical dependency are extremely high with individuals with BPD. Therefore it is even more important to utilize a complete neuroscientific treatment plan that will support the regulation of emotions, enhance increasing subtlety in nuanced thinking (versus “black and white” thinking) and begin to tolerate the normal emotional ups and downs of personal relationships with friends, family and other loved ones.

If you or a loved one is suffering with Borderline Personality Disorder or traits/symptoms of BPD, you may have already attended multiple treatment centers and seen dozens of therapists. Please rest assured that at Awakenings effective, sustainable help and resolution from the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder are available.

At Awakenings you can heal from the debilitating emotional, physical and spiritual pain as well as the patterns you may find repeating in your relationships and all aspects of your life. Call Awakenings today and begin your healing with us. 805-574-0936.