What is borderline personality disorder?
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental disorder that is characterized by instability in mood, and behavior. These characteristics often impair a person’s relationship and daily functioning. People with BPD experience anger episodes, intense anxiety, and depression that may last for hours to days.
The instability is the main feature of borderline personality disorder. As a result, the mood of people with BPD is extremely unstable. They easily get angered without apparent reason. Their self-concept is also unstable. Thus, people with borderline personality disorder sometimes have self-doubt and grandiose feeling of self-importance.
Because people with BPD are unstable in many aspects, their interpersonal relationships are unstable too. The feeling of emptiness leads them to find other people who can fill such feeling. They always feel anxious about being deserted and avoided.
A bipolar personality disorder is sometimes accompanied by other mental disorders such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, etc. The label borderline personality disorder is somewhat inaccurate and misleading. However, to date, a more accurate term is not yet formulated. Thus, experts still use the existing label.
Symptoms of borderline personality disorder
A person with BPD may have the following characteristics;
- Frantic effort to avoid real or imagined abandonment
- Instability in interpersonal relationships
- Have unstable self-image or sense of self
- Impulsive in spending, reckless driving, substance abuse
- Having suicidal thoughts and other self-mutilating behaviors
- Always feel emptiness
- Unable to control anger
People with BPD tend to easily get irritated and angered even in a minor event. Often misinterpret meaningless facial and physical cues of others. These ordinary events often lead people with BPD to react violently.
Causes of borderline personality disorder
Genetics is one of the factors of BPD. People with family members who have this disorder are more likely to have this disorder. In addition, social and environmental factors also play an important role in the development of this disorder. People with a personality disorder often report of childhood abandonment.
Treatments for borderline personality disorder
One of the most effective ways of correcting characteristics of people with BPD is dialectal behavior therapy. This therapy aims to help people with personality disorder develop realistic and positive self-concept, and learn adaptive skills. In the process, the therapist guides clients to monitor their own thoughts and challenge those thoughts.
A cognitive therapy is also helpful in treating BPD. Systems training for emotional predictability and problem
solving (STEPPS) is a group intervention aim to help people with borderline personality disorder. It is a combination of cognitive and behavioral techniques. The very purpose is to change irrational thoughts and develop adaptive skills.
How to help people with BPD?
The best thing you can do to people with this disorder is to understand them. But how will you understand such weirdness? Equip yourself with knowledge about different mental disorders. And ultimately, find mental health professionals who have deep experience of this problem.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.