Healthy Living

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Key Takeaways

  • Borderline personality disorder can be treated by a healthcare professional.

Borderline personality disorder is a mental disorder characterized by unstable emotions and behavior patterns. Their unpredictable moods and behavior may lead to issues in relationships. People with this disorder often have low self-esteem. They often tend to view themselves as being the ‘lowest’ and therefore not deserving of any happiness.

While there could be a few cases which may not fit with the general paradigm when it comes to personality disorder, most of the patients do have an extremely low self-esteem and often do their best to damage any relationships that they may have with others.  In most cases, the first signs of this personality disorder make its appearance in childhood, but the problems start only as an adult. An individual's behavior patterns, mood swings, and impulsiveness affects his or her relationships in significant ways.  

It can be hard to spot the first signs of borderline personality disorder but the symptoms should start manifesting themselves regularly, making it easier for others to spot the erratic behavior, impulsiveness and the mood swings as well. As the condition includes both mood problems and reality distortions as symptoms, the disorder was considered to be borderline between mood problems and schizophrenia.

The person may start imagining scenarios and even dream up outlandish conspiracy theories to the point of being ridiculous, making it easier to diagnose the problem once the condition starts to manifest itself. It is found in both men and women and affect about 6% of adults. The condition does not have a complete cure but severe symptoms can be alleviated with appropriate treatment.

More often than not, those suffering from BPD, have little stability when it comes to relationships since they are prone to damage any relationship they may develop during the course of their lives. In many cases, borderline personality disorder seems to be common in people with a specific history, which is why doctors often ask for a complete medical history as it can give a clear indication regarding the BPD.

The risk of this mental disorder increases in people who have a history of abuse, neglect, or any other form of trauma as a child. And this often starts to manifest itself later on as borderline personality disorder or BPD.

Emotional instability and behavior patterns are very obvious and severe in this mental disorder, and this is what often affects how a person relates to others.

Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Mood swings, if you find your loved one displaying mood swings and acting erratically, then you may need to consult a doctor regarding this. You may also want to take your loved one along so that the doctor can make an on spot assessment as well.
  • Impulsive actions, including alcohol and drug abuse – more often than not, those diagnosed with borderline personality disorder or BPD often indulge in fantasies and seek an outlet for the same. And usually, they start abusing alcohol and drugs, more often as a way to escape reality. Most of the patients who have been diagnosed with BPD have abused drugs or alcohol to an extent.
  • Low self-esteem – Those diagnosed with borderline personality disorder often have low self-esteem to the point where they consider themselves to be undeserving of any happiness and as a result, often sabotage any chance they may have, at being happy.
  • Issues in maintaining relationships – those diagnosed with BPD often have difficulty in forming new relationships and often seek to damage any of the current ones that they might be having at the moment.  Given the impulsive nature that characterizes BPD, these people often fall in love intensely and after a short while, that feeling of love is no longer there. They often seek to fit the new relationships, into their paradigm and soon start displaying their erratic behavior to the point of sabotaging their new relationship.
  • Episodes of anxiety and depression – BPD patients often experience intense bouts of anxiety and depression. As a result, they often tend to be morose, even negative on everything. These intense bouts of depression, along with mild mood swings and sudden euphoria often make it easy to spot BPD tendencies.
  • Suicidal tendencies – As a result of intense depression that borderline personality disorder patients face, they may exhibit suicidal tendencies often. There have been cases of suicide attempts where the person concerned suffered from BPD, attempted suicide and was caught in the nick of time. This is why it is essential that you take your loved one to the doctor at the earliest, make sure that they are able to provide you with a diagnosis so that you can get your loved one treated for the disorder at the earliest.
  • Feeling of being neglected and abandoned – Often patients suffering from borderline personality disorder experience this intense feeling of being neglected and abandoned. As a result, they may get depressed more easily than that’s usual and this often pushes them to commit suicide as well. If your loved one exhibits similar symptoms, it is vital that you get him some counseling at the earliest.
  • Fear of isolation – One of the fears of most borderline personality disorder patients is isolation. While on one hand they hate being left alone, the disorder also makes it hard for them to form any steady relationship.
  • Feeling of insecurity – most borderline personality disorder patients have this heightened feeling of insecurity where they believe that the whole world is coming to get them. Often they float some of the most outlandish conspiracy theories and even playact roles.  It is this feeling of insecurity that feeds their paranoia, which manifests often in most BPD patients.

A person’s self-image keeps varies, and this may result in changing friends and jobs often. Temper tantrums are common among individual's with this condition, and he or she may feel lonely or paranoid. The symptoms of borderline disorder may often be confused with other mental disorders, therefore, it is important to get it diagnosed by a doctor.

The healthcare worker may even run a few tests, to enable correct diagnosis and may even run a few scans on your loved one. After carefully reviewing all the results of the various tests and the subject’s reaction to certain stimuli, the doctor would make a careful assessment and then diagnose your loved one to be suffering from borderline personality disorder. At the moment there is no cure for this current condition other than the fact that doctors can best alleviate some of the most severe symptoms with medication.

Often doctors would recommend counseling sessions, along with physical therapy to help treat the patient so that he can manage his condition better. Most of the patients often return to their normal life, after a course of treatment but they need to be monitored carefully.  And in case they start exhibiting symptoms of borderline personality disorder they will have to return back to counseling.

This is why most BPD patients need to be carefully monitored for a long while, post their release from the treatment center. This is to ensure that the treatment prescribed is working effectively and that they are able to manage their condition without any re-occurrence of the borderline personality disorder.

The symptoms of borderline personality disorder may return even after treatment. It is possible that the person may have a difficult relationship with the treating doctor or a counselor. Many people may not opt for any form of treatment with this disorder. The symptoms can be reduced and controlled through appropriate treatment. The most common treatment methods used are counseling, medicines, and healthy habits. Psychotherapy is another approach used towards treating the symptoms of this disorder. 

In time, BPD patients can return back to their normal life with counseling sessions and therapy. And with the right medication, and therapy, they should be able to integrate back to society and even lead healthy lives, as long as they are able to manage their condition effectively.  So while the condition cannot be cured at the moment, it is perfectly manageable. This is why, if your loved one stats exhibiting the symptoms, you will have to ensure that they get treated for their condition right away so that they can lead a normal life again, at the earliest.