Are you struggling to maintain stable relationships for a prolonged time? Do you always fear losing your friends, partners, or family and still end up in such positions?
These are signs you might be struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder. Although you might not have heard about it till now, the disorder is relatively common, with over 10 million cases every year.
While you may not live for long hours alone, you are always struggling to maintain stable relationships in such a disorder. Inappropriate anger and impulsive actions are common symptoms of the disorder.
But all isn’t so sad and gloomy as there are several ways to treat it.
Here we discuss the symptoms, causes, and effective ways to treat the mental health disorder. But first, let’s understand the meaning of the condition and how you can identify it.
What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?
Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD is a severe psychological disorder that affects how you think about yourself and deals with others.
The condition is accompanied by unstable moods, troubles in managing emotions, difficulties in controlling anger, and impulsiveness that leads to unstable relationships.
The disorder involves a constant fear of abandonment, depriving you of maintaining healthy relationships for long.
A person suffering from BPD would find it challenging to live alone. The disorder typically starts in early childhood and is at its peak seriousness in early adulthood.
Therapy and treatment can substantially relieve symptoms, and you may even learn to live with it and improve over time. The signs also subside or reduce gradually with age.
What Are the Causes Behind BPD?
It’s not yet clear what causes BPD, but researchers have zeroed in on a few possible causes. An array of unrelated factors can lead to the condition, including genetic and environmental factors, as discussed below.
Serotonin is the mood-regulating hormone, and high levels of it elevated the mood. If you are body suffers from abnormalities in serotonin production, you may experience BPD.
Studies from the Journal of Personality Disorders suggests that genetic components might be the reason behind the disorder.
If you have grown up in an unstable or toxic environment in your household, you might be susceptible to BPD.
Abnormalities in specific parts of your brain may lead to unwanted aggression and impulsiveness affecting your relationships. Elements of your brain may not function properly, resulting in lower production of serotonin.
Signs and Symptoms
American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has suggested the following criteria based on which you can gauge whether you have the disorder:
- You notice a pattern of unstable and toxic relationships where you may invest too much or leave them astray at times
- You are unclear about your image and value
- You are always running away from thoughts of abandonment
- You can’t control your actions and act impulsively even when a couple of things are damaging you, for instance, overspending and substance abuse
- You indulge in self-mutilation or have suicidal thoughts
- You feel emptiness even in a short while of being alone
- Constant mood swings that can switch between extremes in days or hours
- You have poor temper control and often get into heated arguments and fights without much reason
Out of all these criteria, you must meet at least 5 to be qualifying as someone suffering from BPD. If that’s true with you, it’s time to act swiftly, as immediate consultation can lead to quick relief from the symptoms.
Ways to Treat BPD
Transference Focused Psychotherapy
Transference-focused psychotherapy tries to change the way you think about yourself and others.
The therapy can declutter your mind and bring in a solid sense of belief in yourself, leading to a stable sense of decision making.
It addresses the contradicting thoughts and feelings that people with BPD commonly suffer with.
Your therapist would try to unify your contradicting moods and personalities by challenging your beliefs. You would create a method that helps you gauge your value and relate your personality to the entire world.
Click here to learn more about how transference focused psychotherapy can help you.
Schema-focused Therapy (SFT)
It is another form of therapy that focuses on affirming the sense of self-value and fixing a dysfunctional self-image.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
This kind of therapy teaches you to regulate your emotions by encouraging meditative and physical exercises. The therapy also involves learning a few skills to manage their impulsiveness and mood swings better.
While BPD does heal on its own with age, as the symptoms relax, it can deteriorate your life quality for long periods.
Getting professional help can reduce if not completely heal the disorder, helping you manage its professional and personal life effects better