Borderline Personality Disorder
All about borderline personality disorder
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a personality disorder characterised by extremes. Those with BPD often feel like they are going to be abandoned and will frequently express strong and overwhelming emotions that they have difficulty controlling. For example, if you have BPD, you may have intense feelings of anxiety, depression or anger which are triggered by relatively small life difficulties. You may also experience intense feelings of loneliness, emptiness and isolation. Extreme behaviour is also common, such as self-mutilation or repeated suicide attempts. BPD is a common personality disorder, and women are three time more likely to develop BPD than men.
Signs of borderline personality disorder
Extreme behaviour is the key feature of BPS; extreme moods and impulsive behaviour.
Constant feelings of abandonment and frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
Unstable relationships with frequent rapid fluctuations between idealising and disliking someone
Poor self-image and drastic changes as to how you feel about yourself or what you want to do
Impulsive behaviour that is self-damaging such as overspending or impulsive sexual behaviour
Extreme highs and lows in mood including depression, anxiety and anger
Always feeling empty, lonely and isolated
Uncompromising and inflexible about the ways things are done
Living with someone with borderline personality disorder
Living with someone with BPD can also be challenging and you may end up feeling upset, depressed or anxious from the turmoil caused by BPD. At times it can seem like the person with BPD is ‘making you crazy’ or you may be experiencing verbal or emotional abuse.
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety or are experiencing abuse, it is important that you also seek professional help and support.
Causes of borderline personality disorder
Genetics and the environment both play a role in the development of BPD. One study found that the instability and impulsivity are due to decreased activity in certain brain chemicals which are inherited. Family risk factors have also been identified such as family history of substance abuse, personality disorder, impulsivity or mood disorder. The trauma of child abuse or neglect has also been identified as a risk factor.
You may find it useful to read the stories of other people who have had borderline personality disorder and what they did to cope with it.
Recovery from borderline personality disorder
BPD often begins in adolescence or early adulthood and continues in adulthood. Interestingly, some of the borderline behaviours tend to subdued during middle age and those with BPD are likely to function better by the time they are 35 or 40.
Recovery from BPD is possible and 50% of people with BPD fully recover from the disorder and gain good social functioning. However, recovery can be very challenging for many people with BPD. One of the greatest risks in those with BPD is suicide; approximately 10% will kill themselves.
For sufferers, BPD can create enormous suffering as you try to manage the continuous state of emotional chaos and extreme swings in emotions. Recovery can be a long and challenging process. Medications are often used to treat specific symptoms, such as mood fluctuations, anxiety or impulsive behaviour. Therapy is also used and one of the most successful therapies with BPD is dialectical behaviour therapy. This therapy focuses on teaching you how to take better control of your life, emotions and yourself through understanding yourself better, regulating your emotions and thinking differently. The most effective treatments generally involve a combination of therapy, medications and support.
It’s good to know that recovery from borderline personality disorder is possible. Did you realise research has shown that the relationship between you and your counsellor is one of the most important elements for a successful outcome? How do you know if the counsellor you find will be the best fit for you?
Select Counsellors provides a unique client counsellor matching service to ensure you see the right counsellor for you, first time. We have a pool of highly trained Sydney based counsellors, psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists and will match you with the right therapist based on important information collected in a personalised assessment about you and your needs. To book an assessment click here or call on 1300 123 680 to speak in person with a Select Counsellor.
Click on the links below to find out more information on personality disorders:
The Helpful Guide