Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a psychological disorder that, through its intense emotional disturbance, mood swings, and instability, can be very disrupting to the lives of those affected by it.
For the roughly 2 percent of the population experiencing the symptoms of BPD, it can feel like there is no hope. But, with the right treatment, you can learn to manage your symptoms so they no longer disrupt your life.
Symptoms of BPD
The symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder are varied and complex, but the common thread is that everyday life feels impossible to deal with. For people with BPD, it can be difficult to sustain relationships, maintain a healthy self-image, and manage anger. People with BPD are known to engage in self-harm and other damaging behaviors, such as substance abuse or suicidal behaviors.
Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder include the following:
- Rapid changes in mood
- Intense unstable interpersonal relationships
- Unstable self image
- Issues with abandonment, whether actual or perceived
- Engaging in impulsive behaviors, such as binge eating, substance abuse, or compulsive spending
- Feelings of emptiness
- Difficulty controlling anger
- Dissociative or paranoid symptoms
People with BPD also often experience anxiety and depression, feelings of being misunderstood, fear of loneliness, and suicidal thoughts.
Causes of BPD
The cause of Borderline Personality Disorder is not fully understood by researchers and medical professionals. Rather than one specific cause, there are a variety of layered factors that play into the development of this disorder.
According to the Biosocial Theory of BPD, both environment and genetics play a part in its development. Environmental factors, such as a childhood fraught with insecurity and abuse or emotional trauma, can trigger symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder. Additionally, genetic factors such as brain chemistry and the ability of the brain to regulate emotions has been marked as a cause for development of BPD.
Studies vary in their findings, but most mental health professionals agree that Borderline Personality Disorder develops when both environmental and genetic causes are present.
Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment
Borderline Personality Disorder is treatable. In fact, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) was created specifically to treat BPD. Through DBT skills groups and individual therapy sessions, you gain a better awareness of yourself and the skills needed to better manage your symptoms. Studies have shown that DBT has the highest success rate in recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder of any other psychotherapy.
Other therapies can be useful in treating BPD. These include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and mindfulness-based practices. For women struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) along with BPD, Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET) has been found highly effective.
Many people who have Borderline Personality Disorder also have co-occurring disorders such as depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, or substance abuse. To successfully treat BPD, it’s imperative to treat any co-existing disorders as well.
Often those who are later diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder display symptoms at a young age, showing signs during their teenage years that may be mistaken for ‘”typical teenage behavior.” However, once into adulthood, the symptoms can be so severe that everyday life becomes a challenge. Still, it’s never too late to seek treatment.
With a proper diagnosis and individualized, dedicated treatment, BPD is a treatable disorder. Studies have found the rate of symptom remission to be very high for those following their treatment plans.
Why Choose Clearview Women’s Center?
Clearview Women’s Center was specifically created to treat women struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder and BPD traits. Our expertise allows us to provide you the BPD treatment we know will help you to develop a life worth living.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy is the foundation of our BPD treatment program because we know it successfully treats BPD. Our expertly trained DBT therapists provide individualized and specialized treatment in a calming, safe setting, giving you a secure place to begin, and complete, your recovery.
Our BPD women’s treatment center in West Los Angeles has highly skilled staff who have extensive training in the most effective therapies for BPD. You can be confident that Clearview Women’s Center is one of the nation’s leading treatment clinics for BPD.
Q: I’ve been dealing with these symptoms since I was a teenager. Won’t they just go away on their own?
A: While some BPD symptoms may lessen with age, they will never completely dissipate on their own. To truly be able to manage and recover from your BPD symptoms, you will need to develop new skills. These skills can be learned and practiced at a BPD treatment center.
Q: Am I going to pass my Borderline Personality Disorder onto my children?
A: Studies show that BPD tends to run in families. However, it is still not fully understood as to how much of that is genetics and how much of that is environment. The best thing you can do is to get the help you need to better manage your BPD symptoms and stay alert to the signs and symptoms of BPD in your child.
Q: Will I ever be able to feel normal if I have BPD?
A: Yes! Proper treatment and dedication to getting well will give you the direction you need to start you on your journey to a more fulfilling life. There is hope out there.
Q: Should I consider the residential treatment, day treatment, or outpatient treatment program?
A: The answer to this question often comes down to your availability, finances, and level of treatment desired. No matter what level of care you enter, our BPD treatment program is highly effective because we specialize in BPD treatment.
Our BPD residential treatment center is the most intensive and potentially effective program for many of our clients. Our BPD residential treatment program requires a commitment to living in our women’s residential treatment center. You will be living and breathing an intensive healing experience. We work to make your experience as comfortable and therapeutic as possible during your stay. The residential treatment program is ideal for those who weren’t able to improve in less intensive outpatient and day treatment programs. People who have been unresponsive to psychiatric medications often enter the residential program.
Our Borderline Personality Disorder day treatment program provides the same intensity of treatment as our women’s residential treatment center, but you are not required to live in one of our houses. In our BPD day treatment program, you will get the level of support and structure you need Monday through Friday while living at home or in another supportive living environment. Even though you will not be in a residential program, you will have access to coaching by one of our DBT therapists after hours and on weekends.
Outpatient Borderline Personality Disorder treatment offers many of the same benefits as more intensive residential treatment courses do. You will be provided therapy by therapists who are experts in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and other BPD treatments. Vocational training may be provided, if needed, and couples or family counseling can be arranged as well. However, in outpatient BPD treatment, the schedule is more flexible and less time is committed weekly to treatment, allowing you to fit your BPD recovery into your life without disrupting your normal routine. For many people, outpatient treatment is the best way to integrate their BPD recovery into their busy lives.
Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month: Facts about BPD
May was designated Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Awareness Month in 2009 as a way to raise awareness about the disorder, help fight the stigma that surrounds the disorder, and hopefully increase education and research on BPD treatments.
While a lot of progress has been made in the years since its designation, including better treatments and heightened awareness, there is still much to be done to bring the level of recognition of BPD to that of other disorders.
According to a presentation at May’s Yale NEA-BPD Conference on Assessing and Treating Suicidality, funding for BPD research and treatments is negligible as compared to other mental health disorders. This is despite the fact that Borderline Personality Disorder impacts about 14 million Americans at some time in their lives, according to the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA-BPD).
Though BPD affects nearly as many people as schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder combined, it receives only a small fraction of the funding allocated to those two disorders. According to the Yale NEA-BPD presentation, BPD receives less funding than most every other major disorder, including depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, suicidality, and eating disorders.
This is surprising given the following facts about BPD, provided by the NEA-BPD:
- The suicide rate of people with Borderline Personality Disorder is 400 times that of the general population
- BPD affects 20 percent of patients admitted to psychiatric hospitals
- BPD affects 10 percent of people in outpatient mental health treatment
- 33 percent of youth who die by suicide have features of BPD
- BPD is the third leading killer of women between the ages of 15 and 24
- About 85 percent of people with BPD also meet the diagnostic criteria of another mental disorder, such as Bipolar Disorder, depression, anxiety, or an eating disorder
- Nearly 40 percent of people with Borderline Personality Disorder have substance abuse/dependence disorders
While research and funding for all mental health disorders is important, BPD Awareness Month was created to shine the spotlight on Borderline Personality Disorder so that people who need treatment and support can get just that.
If you are interested in signing a petition to the NIMH asking for more funding for Borderline Personality Disorder, click here.
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