Self Improvement

What is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?

Mental illness awareness has been high in 2017 as people open up about their personal battles. There’s been so much progress, but we still have a far way to go. There’s still a stigma surrounding different types of illnesses and a long way to go in understanding them. Out of all the mental illnesses, personality disorders are the least talked about. Most people think of those who suffer from a personality disorder as crazy or dangerous. Today, we’ll be shedding light on one personality disorder in particular:

BPD, or Borderline Personality Disorder

BPD, or Borderline Personality Disorder is a personality disorder marked by unstable and inconsistent moods, behavior, and functioning. This often results in unstable relationships, impulsivity, anger, depression and anxiety. BPD is a personality disorder where you feel as though you lack control, creating frustration. It is tough to be triggered by a traumatic event in early childhood, though there is no direct correlation.  Researchers believe that those with BPD, due to a possible traumatic event, experience different structural changes in the part of the brain that controls emotions and impulses. However, it should be noted that this shows up in people who do not have BDP, which makes BPD even more mysterious and unknown.

BPD can be hard to detect as it so often overlaps with other mental illnesses. One might talk about depression, but not talk about or be aware of their other symptoms. This results in one being wrongfully diagnosed with depression and not BPD.

The list of symptoms of BPD includes:

  1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
  2. A pattern of intense and unstable relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, often swinging from extreme closeness and love or idealization to extreme dislike or anger, or devaluation.
  3. Distorted and unstable self-image or sense of self.
  4. Impulse and often dangerous behaviors such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, and binge eating.
  5. Reoccurring suicidal behaviors’ or threats or self-harming behavior.
  6. Intense and highly changeable moods.
  7. Chronic feelings of emptiness.
  8. Inappropriate and intense anger or problems controlling anger.
  9. Stress-related paranoid thoughts.
  10. Severe dissociative symptoms such as feeling cut off from oneself, observing oneself from outside the body, or losing touch with reality.

Interpersonal relationships are quite difficult, but DBT or Dialectical Behavior Therapy can offer skills to not only cope with but successfully live with BPD. Since its creation, DBT has been used to help not only BPD but other mental illnesses as well.  Borderline Personality Disorder is a personality disorder not much spoken about, as many are afraid of it, but it’s important to remember that those with BPD are still people, and deserve to be heard and loved.

Preview photo credit Psych2Go

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Psych2Go is innovative for spreading discussion of mental health and psychology topics that are complex, however, they are presented in an accessible, light, and fun way by using friendly animated characters.
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