Borderline Personality Disorder is a serious mental health issue that affects a large amount of people. At 5.9%, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) affects 14 million Americans at some time in their life (Borderline Personality Disorder). Like most personality disorders, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) can make everyday life difficult. Psych Central states that a main characteristic of BPD is “a pervasive pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image and emotions.” Most people who have BPD suffer from difficulty regulating emotions and thoughts, impulsive/reckless behavior, an unstable relationships.
While BPD affects so many people, researchers have still not narrowed down a specific cause. Despite this, researchers believe that there can be two main causes. The first is trauma. Where trauma more commonly causes PTSD it can also affect personality of a person. The second is genetic. In recent studies it has can be seen that a person can inherit personality traits as well as BPD from their parents.
While understanding the causes of BPD is important it is also important to identify it in friends, family, and potentially yourself. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in order for a person to be diagnosed with BPD they must show an enduring pattern of behavior that includes at least five of the following:
Extreme reactions—including panic, depression, rage, or frantic actions—to abandonment, whether real or perceived
- A pattern of intense and stormy relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, often veering from extreme closeness and love (idealization) to extreme dislike or anger (devaluation)
- Distorted and unstable self-image or sense of self, which can result in sudden changes in feelings, opinions, values, or plans and goals for the future (such as school or career choices)
- Impulsive and often dangerous behaviors, such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, and binge eating
- Recurring suicidal behaviors or threats or self-harming behavior, such as cutting
- Intense and highly changeable moods, with each episode lasting from a few hours to a few days
- Chronic feelings of emptiness and/or boredom
- Inappropriate, intense anger or problems controlling anger
- Having stress-related paranoid thoughts or severe dissociative symptoms, such as feeling cut off from oneself, observing oneself from outside the body, or losing touch with reality.
With BPD half the battle is discovering it. While it is a fairly prominent mental health issue it is still widely misdiagnosed and underdiagnosed. The lucky thing about BPD is that there is treatment for it. The two major ones are psychotherapy and medication, both of which have proven to be effective. While these forms of treatment do work they still take time to be effective and the road will not be easy. Make sure if you or a loved one is suffering from BPD that you get educated on it and support them every step of the way.
~Be mindful of the mind.