Borderline personality disorder is a mental illness under the category of personality disorders.
The disorder is characterized by unstable relationships, behaviors, and moods. Individuals with this disorder have problems managing their thoughts and emotions. They may also exhibit reckless and impulsive behavior and problems relating to other people. In some cases, people with the disorder may also experience other symptoms such as: suicidal behaviors, self-harm, eating disorders, substance abuse, anxiety disorders, and depression.
Borderline personality disorder is treatable. Treatment last for several months but patients treated successfully may live a normal and happy life. Treatment modalities for the disorder include psychotherapy and medications to manage problems associated with the disorder such as anxiety and depression. In some cases, hospitalization may be needed for intensive treatment and continuous monitor, especially for suicidal patients.
Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder
Diagnosis of the disorder involves mainly assessment of the signs and symptoms manifested by the person. This is why physicians stress a lot of importance in knowing the signs and symptoms of the disease. Commonly, the disorder affects the patient’s feeling about self, relationship with other people, and patient’s behavior.
People with the disorder often have insecurities with themselves. Their attitude towards their self often changes rapidly. They may view themselves as bad or evil. This may result to frequent changes in values, goals, friendships, and jobs.
Turmoil relationships usually happen with people with the disorder. Their relationship with other people may be with a mixture of love and hate. They may first show love and kindness at someone for a moment and then suddenly shifts their emotions to hate and fury over minor or slight misunderstandings.
Other symptoms of the disorder may include: impulsive behaviors such as: substance abuse, gambling spree, unsafe sex, and reckless driving, sudden increase and decrease in emotions, depression, anxiety, inappropriate anger that may even involve physical expression of fury, fear of being abandoned, and suicidal behaviors.
Disorders that occur with Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline personality disorder may occur together with other disorders. This makes it difficult for physicians to diagnose the disorder which results to the delay in treatment. The symptoms of other disorders may even overlap with its symptoms making it hard to diagnose.
Illnesses that occur with borderline personality disorder may vary from men to women. Disorders that are to co-occur in men usually are antisocial personality disorder and substance abuse. Furthermore, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and major depression is likely to occur in women.
Other illnesses may occur due to medication side effects. These may include obesity, chronic back pain, high blood pressure, arthritis, and diabetes.
Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder
Treatment of borderline personality disorder involves different modalities. These include medications, psychotherapy, or hospitalization. Each may be used alone or in tandem with other treatment modalities. The core treatment of this type of personality disorder is psychotherapy. There are two forms of psychotherapy that is considered to be the most effective. These are dialectical behavior therapy or DBT and transference-focused psychotherapy or TFP. DBT is a type of psychotherapy that was designed specifically for the treatment of this personality disorder. DBT may be done in groups, individually, or even through phone. DBT involves utilizing the skills of therapists to teach the patient to controlling their emotions, improve a relationship with others, and stress management.
On the other hand, TFP focuses on the relationship between the therapist and the patient. The therapist aims to aid the patient to understand the difficulties and emotions that develop in their relationship. The lessons learned in this therapy with regards to maintaining a relationship may be used by the patient to relate better with other people.
There is no such medication that can cure the disorder. Medications used in this illness are only used to manage disorders such as: anxiety, impulsivity, and depression. Examples of medications are antidepressants, major depressants or antipsychotics for impulsivity, and anti-anxiety medications. These medications are not supposed to be taken without consulting a physician. This is because these medications mentioned may cause severe side-effects such as severe hypertension and dependence. In fact, medications of these disorders involve a lot side-effect. The more severe the case, the more medications are used, therefore more side-effects.
In severe cases of Borderline personality disorder, hospitalization is needed for an intensive approach for treatment. The patient may need to be admitted to a psychiatric ward for 24-hour monitoring. This is to prevent the patient from injuring self and even commit suicide. Besides providing a safe environment for the patient, these institutions are also equipped with the necessary facilities and mental-health professionals who can provide interventions related to promoting mental-health. And because treatment for this disorder is long-term and intense, chances for success are high if the patient is cared for by professional health workers that are experienced with treating the disorder.