Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental health disorder that affects approximately 19.7 million people in the United States. Many people with BPD have difficulty regulating their emotions, maintaining relationships, and engage in dangerous and self-destructive behavior. Because of the stigma surrounding mental health disorders — especially BPD — sufferers may go years before seeking help from a borderline personality disorder treatment center. This can have severe and sometimes fatal consequences.
What is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental health disorder of severe emotional disregulation that has a largely continuous disruptive impact on your day-to-day life. BPD impacts the way you feel about yourself and other people. These feelings can cause a change to your behavior, mood, and you may also:
- Have an intense and exaggerated fear of abandonment, and may take extreme measures to avoid separation or feelings of abandonment — including staying in abusive or dangerous relationships
- Change goals, values, or ideals in response to rapidly changing self-image or identity
- Feel worthless or as if you don’t belong
- Engage in dangerous or risky behavior, including drug and alcohol abuse, gambling, unsafe sex, or criminal activities.
- Have feelings of paranoia lasting from several minutes to days
- Have rapidly changing mood swings from intense happiness to anxiety, and may also exhibit inappropriate and intense anger
- Suicidal thoughts or actions, including self-harm — especially in response to perceived or actual separation or abandonment
- Engage in self-sabotaging behavior, like abruptly leaving a successful career or ending a healthy and happy relationship
Oftentimes, BPD presents alongside other mental health issues, such as:
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Anxiety disorders
- Other personality disorders
Causes and Risk Factors of Borderline Personality Disorder
Like many mental health disorders, the exact cause of Borderline Personality Disorder is largely unknown. It typically develops some time in your late teens or early adulthood and may gradually get better with age. Some environmental causes may play a role in the onset of BPD — such as childhood neglect or abuse — but it is thought that there may be other contributing factors:
Differences in the brain: Some research has shown that individuals with borderline personality disorder display evidence of changes to the areas of the brain responsible for emotional regulation, aggression and impulsivity. Mood regulating brain chemicals may also not work properly.
Genetics: Mental health disorders tend to run in families, and may be inheritable. There may be a greater-than-average risk of developing borderline personality disorder if a close relative also has the same or similar condition.
Heredity and brain abnormalities may increase the likelihood of developing BPD, but some elements related to personality development may play a role:
- Unstable childhood environment, including neglect by a primary caretaker
- Abandonment by a primary caretaker
- Childhood sexual or physical abuse
- Parental substance abuse
Borderline personality disorder can have a severe impact on your quality of life, if left untreated. Because BPD impacts how a person sees themselves and others around them, it can have a negative affect on school, social activities, personal and romantic relationships, and social activities resulting in:
- Inability to finish school
- Frequent job changes or job loss
- Difficult romantic relationships that may be abusive
- Legal issues
- Impulsive or risky behavior, that may include unsafe sexual behavior, physical fights and altercations
- Suicide attempts
Borderline Personality Disorder impacts each sufferer in unique and personal ways, so treatment plans should be developed that address the individual case rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach. Successful treatment involves a combination of evidence-based interventions, which might include:
- Group, experiential, individual, and family therapies
- Non-medical ambulatory detoxification services
- Medication management services
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), motivational interviewing and, in certain cases, 12-step recovery programs, have also proved helpful for treating borderline personality disorder and its co-occurring concerns.
Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment Centers in West Palm Beach
Untreated borderline personality disorder can have devastating consequences and keep you from living the life you truly deserve. At Neuroscience Research Institute our compassionate multidisciplinary team will work with you to develop an evidence-based treatment plan for your unique experience with BPD. Your recovery starts now and NRI is here to help. Take the first step to take control of borderline personality disorder and Neuroscience Research Institute today.