What is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental health condition affecting close to 1.6 percent of Americans over the age of 18, according to the medical journal Biological Psychiatry. Those suffering from this disorder may experience a wide range of negative mental occurrences, leading to emotional instability and difficulty coping with these manifestations. However, should you find yourself diagnosed with this ailment, various forms of treatment are available.
What Causes Borderline Personality Disorder?
Causes for Borderline Personality Disorder range from biological origins to your upbringing and living conditions. Genetically, you may be more susceptible to this condition based on either a hereditary predisposition or because of a mutation in the gene that appropriates how your brain handles the chemical Serotonin. Additionally, variance in brain composition and unusual or abundance activity in the cerebral sectors related to emotional control have been linked to this disorder.
As for the environmental aspect, difficult or adverse upbringings, as well as instances of severe emotional trauma, are triggers associated with this illness. If you have ever experienced the loss of a close loved one, sexual or physical abuse, or other distressing events during your formative years, you may be at risk. Generally, some combination of both genetic and environmental causes are deemed to be the deciding factor in contracting this disorder.
Symptoms of BPD
If you believe you are suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, many symptoms may provide a clear indication. Mood swings, inability to control impulses, paranoia or unexplained fear, anxiety, and depression are all common symptoms of deteriorating mental health. Also, more severe and concerning symptoms include violent outbursts directed towards those around you, suicidal thoughts, reckless behavior, and self-inflicted harm.
Other signs or symptoms may include:
- Fear of abandonment – a person may by quick to initiating intimate relationships or abruptly cut off communication in anticipation.
- Intense or unstable relationships – a person may swing from extreme closeness to extreme dislike of loved ones, family and friends.
- Distorted self-image – a person may have an inflated sense of self.
- Impulsive behaviors – a person may engage in spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, or binge eating.
- Self-harming behavior – a person may engage in cutting, suicidal behaviors or threats
- Mood swings – a person may experience intense and highly changeable moods that last from a few hours to a few days
- Sadness – a person may feel have chronic feelings of emptiness
- Anger – a person may experience intense anger or have problems controlling anger, even when anger isn’t appropriate.
- Trust Issues – a person may experiece irrational fear in regards to other people’s intentions
- Dissociation – a person may feel cut off from oneself, like seeing themself from outside their body.
Not everyone with borderline personality disorder experiences every symptom. Some individuals experience only a few symptoms, while others have many. (NIMH: Borderline Personality Disorder)
Seeking Help for Borderline Personality Disorder
If you believe you may be suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, help is available from many sources. Finding a professional to provide an official diagnosis is the first step towards a return to normalcy. Once a condition is established, a treatment program will be tailored to your individual needs. Traditionally therapeutic treatments, such as Psychotherapy, are the preferred choice over other alternatives. Psychotherapy sessions focus on creating and supporting positive solutions to rectify mental distress. Under certain circumstances, medications may be prescribed to help curtail drastic changes in your mood or emotions. If you or someone you know is suffering from symptoms of BPD it is important to seek help as soon as possible. Search TherapyTribe for a therapist that specializes in Borderline Personality Disorder.