Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder
What is borderline personality disorder?
Borderline personality disorder is a mental health condition that causes people to suffer from extreme mood swings, causing them to have great difficulty in controlling their emotions. This can lead to self-destructive behaviours, impulse control and difficulty maintaining relationships. People who suffer from this disorder have a fear of abandonment, struggle with anger and self-image issues and are very sensitive.
Borderline personality disorder is a class or category B disorder, which is defined as an erratic or dramatic disorder, people with this disorder often don’t realise they have it, even though it is a long-term condition. It affects how they think about themselves and other people. Whilst it is similar to bipolar disorder which also involves mood fluctuations it differs in that bipolar is less reactive and moods are more sustained and unlike bipolar, borderline personality disorder does not change activity and energy levels. Generally the condition starts in the early teens but is not diagnosed until the age of 18 or over.
Left untreated it can lead to an increased likelihood of developing depression, self-harming, suicide or addictions to drugs or alcohol.
Whilst there is no known cause for the development of borderline personality disorder, it is believed that a combination of factors rather than a single reason are the cause, this can include:
· Traumatic experiences in childhood which can involve neglect and sexual or physical abuse
· Genetics including differences in brain function and activity as well as serotonin production
· A history of family members who have suffered with bipolar
· A history of drug or alcohol abuse in family members
People with this disorder will suffer from a range of negative and often intense emotions such as:
· Panic or fear
· Loneliness or emptiness
· Feelings of hatred or love
Their fear of abandonment and inability to deal with their emotions can cause them to:
· Act impulsively which can include self-harming or attempting suicide
· Engaging in reckless or dangerous behaviour like gambling, drug misuse, excessive drinking, binge eating, having unsafe sex
· Leaving jobs or ending relationships without thinking it through as a reaction to trying to deal with their emotional state
· Difficulties maintaining relationships either from constantly texting or calling them, being clingy or doubting their feelings and fearing they will leave or pushing them away as they fear rejection
· Being angry and aggressive or excessively sarcastic and bitter, then feeling guilty or ashamed afterwards
· Having mood swings that can last for hours changing rapidly and frequently as they experience changes in how they think about themselves and others
If you are self-harming, feeling suicidal or suffering from feelings of paranoia you should see your doctor immediately, they will be able to prescribe you medication to help with this and any anxiety or depression you may have. They should then refer you to see either a psychiatrist or psychologist to help diagnose and treat your disorder. Therapies such as psychotherapy, CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), DBT (dialectical behaviour therapy) and MBT (mentalised-based therapy) have all proved beneficial. Written by Jan, Jeana and Wendy at Barnsley Hypnosis and Counselling (UK). For more free information click above link.