One complex psychological disorder that is sometimes mistaken for bipolar or even narcissism is Borderline personality disorder (BPD).
The behavior of a person with BPD can be extreme or appear similar to that of a person with an antisocial personality disorder. However, a person with BPD is usually able to understand right and wrong and feel empathy and compassion towards others.
No doubt, BPD is a complex and mysterious mental health condition that can be difficult to understand. In this post, we unpack everything you need to know about the disorder.
What is Borderline Personality Disorder?
Borderline personality disorder is a mental health condition that impacts your sense of self. It affects how you feel about yourself and how you feel and interact with others.
For someone with BPD, emotions are difficult to manage, which usually results in fluctuating, unstable moods and a pattern of problematic relationships.
With BPD, you may find yourself struggling to form stable relationships or even hold down a job due to anger issues and reckless behavior you can’t seem to understand or control.
What Causes the Condition?
The causes of borderline personality disorder aren’t fully understood. However, researchers believe genetics, brain abnormalities, and environmental factors play a role.
As such, researchers have suggested certain risk factors that may lead to the development of the disorder. Let’s highlight them below:
A distressing environment characterized by hardship, abuse, neglect, and drug use can cause BPD, especially in people with other mental health problems like anxiety and depression.
You may also be at a higher risk of developing BPD if it runs in your family or there’s a history of mental health conditions in your family.
Studies have also shown that certain chemicals in the brain associated with emotional regulation may not function properly. This, among other brain abnormalities, may cause BPD to develop.
A huge number of patients' reports have revealed a history of distressed upbringing as a factor. An unstable childhood marked by abuse, neglect, and a hostile environment may contribute to the development of BPD later on.
Borderline personality disorder has a range of signs and symptoms that can appear in your early teens and later. While these symptoms can be consistent with other mental health conditions, they’re usually severe and disruptive in the case of BPD.
A warped sense of self marked by negative feelings like guilt or shame
Extreme fear of abandonment whether real or imaginary
A history of intense and unhealthy relationships affected by dramatic emotional changes
Extreme mood fluctuations marked by irrational and uncontrollable behavior
Impulsive and reckless behavior fueled by feelings of self-harm and suicidal tendencies
Issues with anger management and paranoia
Strong feelings of emptiness, lack of purpose and worthlessness that can lead to unpredictable behavior
Is There Treatment for BPD?
Borderline personality disorder can be treated and managed. However, medications aren’t the first line of treatment as there isn’t enough evidence that they can address the problem.
When medication is used, it’s to manage certain symptoms associated with the condition such as anxiety, depression, and even mood swings.
Psychiatrists generally prescribe psychotherapy for BPD. Some of the therapies used include:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: As one of the most effective types of therapies for psychological disorders, CBT helps a patient with BPD to unlearn negative patterns and change how they think.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy: DBT is designed to teach BPD patients self control when it comes to their emotions and destructive behavior.
Mentalization-Based Treatment: MBT helps BPD patients understand their emotional state of mind and how it affects their behavior.
People with BPD can also supplement psychotherapy with natural remedies to help manage or cope with their symptoms. Some natural techniques you can use to control BPD symptoms include:
One or a combination of both practices can help you strengthen your mind and improve your mental health.
Herbs have medicinal properties. Some, like ashwagandha, ginseng, kava, and lavender, are known to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. They can help you control your nerves.
Magic mushrooms contain a compound called psilocybin which can help control extreme behavior. Through microdosing psilocybin, you can tap into its therapeutic benefits without worrying about the unpleasant effects.
People with BPD can receive help to manage their condition. It’s a journey of hard work but you may go on to lead a relatively normal life with better self-awareness.
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