Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a form of mental illness characterized by intense episodes of rage, depression or anxiety as well as unstable relationships and distorted self-image. When you have BPD, you experience intense emotions and difficulty functioning in your day-to-day life, particularly when it comes to relating to others.
Patterns of impulsive actions and black-and-white thinking may lead you to feel uncertain about your sense of identity and how you fit into the world around you. You may harm yourself or have suicidal tendencies or thoughts. When emotional intensity is disrupting your life, you may feel that there must be some form of medication that can help your condition, but treating BPD can’t be done just by taking a pill or pills.
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The main focus of treatment for BPD is usually psychotherapy. While BPD was once considered an untreatable condition, different forms of talk therapy have been found to be effective in the treatment of this condition. Counseling can be done in a one-on-one setting or in a group setting or both.
The goal of treatment is to help you learn the skills to make living with BPD more manageable. You will work on learning to recognize and manage your emotions. Bringing symptoms of BPD under control requires commitment to psychotherapy and following the treatment plan as laid out by your doctor, which may include treatment of co-occurring conditions.
Co-Occurring Mental Health Conditions
Mental illness isn’t always clear to diagnose or treat. Diagnosis can’t be done by simple scans or blood tests, and doctors have to rely on the information provided to them by patients, which isn’t always honest or complete.
The fact that mental health conditions are often accompanied by other conditions or forms of mental illness can make it even trickier to diagnose and treat a mental health condition such as BPD. Examples of conditions that may co-occur along with BPD include:
- Substance misuse
- Eating disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Treating Symptoms of BPD and Other Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders
While there are no forms of medication that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of borderline personality disorder, medication may be used as a secondary form of treatment for symptoms or conditions that accompany BPD, such as anxiety or depression.
Types of medication that may help to improve the symptoms of BPD include:
- Antidepressants – Symptoms of depression often accompany BPD, and antidepressants can help to reduce the frequency and intensity of depressive moods
- Anti-anxiety medication – This type of medication may help to reduce anxiety, particularly for people who have co-occurring anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder or panic disorder.
- Mood stabilizers – Mood stabilizers may help to treat impulsivity and rapid changes in emotion.
- Antipsychotic medication – This type of medication may be used if you experience intense periods of distorted thinking, and may help to reduce impulsivity and paranoid thinking.
Keeping Symptoms of BPD Under Control
It takes time and effort to learn new ways of thinking and reacting, but it can be done. It’s important to stick to whatever treatment plan your doctor has created. If your doctor has prescribed medication to treat the symptoms of BPD or co-occurring conditions, take this medication exactly as prescribed and let your doctor know if you have concerns about the medication’s effectiveness or side effects.
Treatment may not cause the symptoms of BPD to completely disappear, but they can improve greatly. By attending psychotherapy sessions and taking medications as prescribed, your ability to function will improve and you’ll be able to manage your emotions and behavior more effectively.
If you or a loved one are struggling with a borderline personality disorder or another mental illness, please contact us at (855) 409-0204 or submit the form below and a treatment specialist will contact you.