What is Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD?
Borderline Personality Disorder is a disease associated with the brain. Also referred to a BPD, this is responsible for fluctuations in a person's emotional makeup. This has been attributed to mood swings as well as changes to a person's behavior and a change in the way they respond to people around them.
Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD is observed during the onset of adulthood or in the adolescence stage. The symptoms of BPD are People unable to channel their feelings and thoughts into constructive behavior. They are unable to have stable relationships in their lifetime. They are seen as impulsive and reckless individuals.
However, many individuals have responded well to treatment. Researchers have observed a marked change when it comes to therapy aimed at such individuals. The results of such sessions have shown that BPD sufferers have seen a drop in their symptoms. This has led to an improvement in quality of life.
Causes of Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD
- There is strong evidence that BPD is connected with biological factors. Detailed brain scans of such individuals have shown abnormal functionality and structure when it comes to the brain. The scans have revealed higher than normal activity in areas that monitor expressions, emotions, and feelings.
- Doctors believe that childhood activities may be responsible in the development of the disorder. Events connected with physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotions are seen as the prime factors. Children who suffer from neglect, bullying, and loss are also prime candidates for the same. A combination of such activities along with alterations connected with genes and biological factors may trigger BPD.
- Borderline personality disorder often occurs with other illnesses. This can make it hard to diagnose, especially if symptoms of other illnesses overlap with the BPD symptoms. This makes diagnosis and detection of the same harder. This is true when the illness triggers symptoms that mask BPD during testing.
- Eating disorders, Drug abuse, depression, high levels of anxiety are the major triggers of the same in women. Drug abuse and personality disorder that makes them antisocial are the major triggers in men.
Types of Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD
As per Psychologist Theodore Millon, there are 4 sub-versions of Borderline Personality Disorder.
At number one are people who are easily discouraged. They will exhibit symptoms that make them depressed, dependent or avoid other people completely. At number two, are people who are highly impulsive. This is categorized by people seeking approval from others as well as becoming extremely antisocial.
At number three, are people who are petulant. They exhibit symptoms associated with passive aggressive tendencies. At number four, are people classified as self-destructive. This includes individuals who are depressed or self-destructive in their behavioral patterns.
However, it is important to note, that a person suffering from BPD can have multiple sub-types or none at all.
Risk Factors for Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD
This disorder is observed during the onset of adulthood. The individual is very unstable and cannot react in a normal way with others. This is related to how the person views himself or herself. It also depends on the impact of their interactions with society. The same can be seen in a number of different environments. There will be wild fluctuations in the feelings and emotions of individuals who suffer from BPD.
As per the latest survey, 1.6% of adults in the US suffer from the same on an annual basis. This is the data extracted from people who participated on a nationwide survey conducted on the topic of mental health and disorders.
Signs and Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD
BPD is often associated with impulsive and erratic behavior. Most patients will also suffer from a number of different symptoms. They will attempt to avoid a feeling of being abandoned. This may be imaginary or real depending on the situation. They will swing between worshipping or humiliating people whom they have close relationships with. They will exhibit serious identity crisis, which leads them to have an unstable image of themselves.
They will be impulsive in areas like eating, drug abuse, sex, and financial matters. They may indulge in self-mutilation, as well as thoughts about suicide and threatening gestures. Patients suffering from disorder are emotionally unstable, irritable and have high levels of anxiety disorder. They exhibit symptoms connected to feeling empty and emotionally void, anger management issues including physical violence and high levels of paranoia connected to stress.
Relationships in Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD
BPD patients have major trust issues. This can be observed with frequent displays of tantrums and irritable behavior. These tantrums are occupied by anger. People suffering from the same display an addiction to their partners. As a result, they start building intense relationships in a short span of time. However, they are unable to accept flaws and changes in the course of the relationship.
A study found that BPD patients are not able to follow established norms when it comes to trust and co-operation. They make no attempts to repair their relationship thus reducing the levels of co-operation from their partner. This is because they are unable to tackle their own emotional levels. In women, this translates into erratic behavior when it comes to sex and relationships that are not stable. Sex is used to fill the constant sense of emptiness. It is also used to dissipate energy caused due to abandonment issues and anxiety.
Mood Swings in Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD
A normal individual experiences a number of mood shifts. However, BPD patients swing from one extreme to another. The frequency of the swings is also very short as compared to a normal individual. However, an examination of the triggers can help distinguish BPD patients from others. Triggers related to feeling abandoned or rejected will cause extreme mood swings in a BPD patient.
Tests to Diagnose Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD
There is no conclusive test to identify Borderline Personality Disorder. Doctors and health professionals enquire about medical histories, mental illness history, and symptoms. The answers gained from such line of questioning helps determine the course of treatment. Some mental illnesses have symptoms related to this disorder. Patients may mention being depressed and ignore other symptoms thus making it hard to diagnose.
Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD
Sessions with a person providing counseling for mental health issues is the first line of therapy. These sessions are conducted once or twice in a week. However, it is important that the patient is open and trusts the counselor/therapist.
There Are Several Treatments That Are Most Often Used To Manage BPD:
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD
This makes the person focus on his or her current emotions. It provides ways and means to exercise control these emotions. It reduces feelings connected with self-destruction, allows patients to reduce their distress levels and manage all their relationships. It also allows them to accept change in behavioral patterns. The therapy was designed keeping in mind people suffering from BPD.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD
CBT helps BPD patients change their actions and beliefs. It helps remove negative feelings connected with the disorder. This also provides clarity to people when they deal with tough situations and complex relationships. The treatment has been effective when it comes to reducing symptoms related to anxiety and self-mutilation.
Medications for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD
Medications do not help remove symptoms connected to BPD. Instead, they are used to focus on general symptoms like anxiety, impulsive behavior, and depression. Patients are prescribed a number of different drugs for BPD. However, evidence supporting their effectiveness is very sparse. Instead, BPD patients are asked to check with the therapist on the impact of such medication as well as the side effects. Omega-3 Fatty Acids or fish oils have been shown to reduce symptoms in some mental health patients. However, there is no clear evidence on how effective they are in BPD cases.