Borderline Personality Disorder

Clinic Locations in Boise & Meridian

Personality disorders are mental health disorders that cause difficulty functioning in everyday life. They can affect the way a person thinks and their behavior. Borderline Personality Disorder is one of the ten types of personality disorders.

Borderline Personality Disorder

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

BPD is a disorder that affects how a person thinks and feels about themselves. It also affects their relationships with others and their behavior. It involves distorted self-image, impulsive behavior, and emotional instability. There is also a pattern of unstable relationships. It tends to develop around adolescence through early adulthood. Though it may seem worse in the beginning, the symptoms may ease with maturity.

Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of BPD include:

  • Frantic attempts to avoid real or imaginary abandonment.
  • Patterns of unstable relationships. This involves alternating between idealizing and devaluing the other person.
  • Unstable self-image or self-identity.
  • Impulsive acts in at least two areas of life that are self-damaging (overspending, unsafe sex, drug abuse, etc.).
  • History of suicidal or self-harm behaviors.
  • Frequent mood swings can last from a few hours to a few days.
  • Long-term, severe feelings of emptiness.
  • Difficulty controlling anger; may display frequently and escalate into physical fights.
  • Periods of stress-related paranoia or severe dissociation.

Borderline Personality Disorder Causes and Risk Factors

Borderline Personality Disorder Causes and Risk Factors

The causes of BPD aren't fully understood. There are, however, some possible factors.

  • Environmental-Being raised in an unstable environment with child abuse or neglect.
  • Genetics-BPD may have a genetic component.
  • Brain Abnormalities-There may be abnormalities in the brain involved with regulating emotions, aggression, and impulsivity. One example is abnormalities in serotonin production.
Borderline Personality Disorder Causes and Risk Factors

Some factors may increase the risk of developing BPD. Some possible factors include:

  • Having a relative with BPD.
  • Feeling emotionally unstable or vulnerable as a child.
  • People in the household being impulsive during childhood.
  • Experiencing child abuse.

Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnosis (Tests)

Borderline Personality Disorder

The process of being diagnosed may entail:

  • A detailed interview with a doctor or mental health provider.
  • Psychological evaluation, which may include questionnaires.
  • Medical history and exams.
  • Discussion of signs and symptoms.

In most cases, only adults are diagnosed, not children or teens. What appears as symptoms of BPD may go away with maturity.

Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment

Treatment for BPD involves learning skills to manage and cope with the condition. Treatment may include psychotherapy, medication, hospitalization, or a combination.

Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy or counseling, is the main treatment option provided by professionals such as psychiatrists. There are a few different types of counseling:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Schema-Focused Therapy

Medication is added to counseling in some cases. While there are no medications approved specifically for BPD, certain kinds can help relieve symptoms of co-occurring problems. Some types of medications often used are:

  • Antidepressants
  • Antianxiety
  • Antipsychotics
  • Mood Stabilizers

Being hospitalized is an option when more intense treatment is needed. Being hospitalized can keep you safe when you're displaying extreme symptoms. These can be symptoms such as suicidal thoughts or behavior, harming yourself or others.

It's important to remember that, though recovery takes time, it can improve your ability to function. The best chance for success is working with a professional with experience treating BPD.

Borderline Personality Disorder Prognosis / Outlook

Borderline Personality Disorder Prognosis / Outlook

The prognosis for BPD varies. You may face lifelong challenges with symptoms, such as struggling with self-harm or suicidal thoughts. It's important to follow your prescribed treatment plan. It can reduce the severity of your symptoms.

How to Get Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder

At MidValley Healthcare, we specialize in behavioral health. Our team of experienced, compassionate healthcare providers provides specialized treatment that includes counseling, medication management, and more. If you'd like to make an appointment, please contact us.