Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a disorder that affects how you think and feel about yourself and others. People with BPD often fear abandonment, but their frequent mood swings and impulsivity can make it difficult to have stable relationships.
These intense emotions can be scary to other people, but they are also scary to the individual. This is why it’s important for friends and family to support their loved one.
Below are five important things that people with BPD want others to know about the condition. “Awareness” goes a long way in creating a more supportive and positive environment for people with BPD.
1. Borderline personality disorder is actually very common.
You might assume that BPD isn’t all that common, but this isn’t the case. It’s estimated that around 1.4 percent (or 5 million) of adults in the U.S. struggle with BPD. Most of these adults are women. However, this is probably a low estimate, as researchers believe men are often misdiagnosed as having PTSD or depression.
2. People with BPD tend to be on edge.
Living with BPD is not easy. People often feel extreme distress and high levels of anger, so they tend to be sensitive and easily offended. Their mood swings and impulsiveness make them difficult to be around, but they also have an intense fear of being alone. And because people with BPD struggle with negative thoughts and beliefs, they have a hard time seeing things rationally.
3. BPD often co-occurs with other mental health conditions.
Many people diagnosed with BPD experience other mental health problems, such as:
- Anxiety disorders
- Eating disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Substance use disorder
It’s more difficult to treat two conditions, but dual diagnosis treatment is effective. It involves treating multiple conditions simultaneously, whether it’s BPD and depression, or BPD and substance use. This leads to improved outcomes and a lowered risk for relapse.
4. A fear of abandonment is a key symptom of BPD.
One of the key symptoms of BPD is fear of abandonment. Even when a relationship is going well, it’s difficult for a person with BPD to feel secure. They tend to become incredibly needy or clingy, which can be difficult for others to tolerate. Unfortunately, fear – fear drives this behavior that the person isn’t good enough to be in the relationship.
5. People with BPD have intense emotions.
BPD involves intense emotions that can last several days, but they can also change quickly. For example, you may notice that your loved one can go from happy to angry in a matter of moments. This can look like extreme moodiness, but for people with BPD, everything is felt more intensely. They believe their emotions match what they’re feeling on the inside.
Do You Know Someone with BPD? Personality Disorders ARE Treatable.
People with BPD are not unloveable. It’s actually quite the opposite. People with this disorder need love and patience. They struggle with their self-image and self-worth, as well as how they are viewed in relationships.
Of course, love does not take the place of professional intervention. BPD is treated with therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). While there are no medications that treat BPD specifically, drugs may be prescribed to treat symptoms from co-occurring illnesses like depression or anxiety.
Awakenings Treatment Center is a dual diagnosis treatment center in Agoura Hills, CA. We have extensive experience treating personality disorders like BPD, as well as co-occurring conditions like substance use and eating disorders. Contact our admissions department to learn more about our approach to treating dual diagnosis.