Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act.
Experts say we all have the potential for suffering from mental health problems, no matter how old we are, whether we are male or female, rich or poor, or ethnic group we belong to.
I personally, have a special interest in mental health disorders and their development; today I’ll introduce you to one of the classics: Borderline personality disorder (BPD), also known as emotionally unstable personality disorder.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental disorder marked by a pattern of ongoing instability in moods, behavior, self-image, and functioning. These experiences often result in impulsive actions and unstable relationships. A person with BPD may experience intense episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety that may last from only a few hours to days.
Do you have this thoughts?
- I often feel “empty.”
- My emotions shift very quickly, and I often experience extreme sadness, anger, and anxiety.
- I’m constantly afraid that the people I care about will abandon me or leave me.
- I would describe most of my romantic relationships as intense, but unstable.
- The way I feel about the people in my life can dramatically change from one moment to the next—and I don’t always understand why.
- I often do things I know are dangerous or bad for me, such as driving recklessly, having unsafe sex, binge drinking, doing drugs, or going on spending sprees.
- I’ve attempted to hurt myself, engaged in self-harm behaviors such as cutting, or threatened suicide.
- When I’m feeling insecure in a relationship, I tend to lash out or make frantic gestures to keep the other person close.
If you identify with several of the statements above, you may be suffering from borderline personality disorder (BPD). Don’t panic!!!
Because I normally mistake my PMS symptoms with BPD or other personality disorders here are the first signs you’re hormones are not the only ones playing with your body and mind:
- Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
- A pattern of intense and unstable relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, often swinging from extreme closeness and love (idealization) to extreme dislike or anger (devaluation)
- Distorted and unstable self-image or sense of self
- Impulsive and often dangerous behaviors, such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, and binge eating
- Recurring suicidal behaviors or threats or self-harming behavior, such as cutting
- Intense and highly changeable moods, with each episode lasting from a few hours to a few days
- Chronic feelings of emptiness
- Inappropriate, intense anger or problems controlling anger
- Having stress-related paranoid thoughts
- Having severe dissociative symptoms, such as feeling cut off from oneself, observing oneself from outside the body, or losing touch with reality
Quick break: Personal experience: Coming Soon (DEC2016)
I’ll start my employment in a psychiatric clinic soon, so I’ll let you know about my experiences that are not too personal with the patients and all the diseases.
- Genetics. BPD is about five times more likely to occur if a person has a close family member (first-degree biological relatives) with the disorder.
- Environmental and Social Factors. Many people with BPD report experiencing traumatic life events, such as abuse or abandonment during childhood.
- Brain Factors. Studies show that people with BPD have structural and functional changes in the brain, especially in the areas that control impulses and emotional regulation.
If you want to learn more about how to deal with someone that has BPD – click here
Current research shows that treatment can decrease the symptoms and suffering of people with BPD.
Mentalization-based therapy (MBT) is a talk therapy that helps people identify and understand what others might be thinking and feeling
Medications cannot cure BPD but can help treat other conditions that often accompany BPD such as depression, impulsivity, and anxiety.
Transference-focused therapy (TFP) is designed to help patients understand their emotions and interpersonal problems through the relationship between the patient and therapist. Patients then apply the insights they learn to other situations.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): This type of therapy utilizes the concept of mindfulness, or being aware of and attentive to the current situation and moods. DBT also teaches skills to control intense emotions, reduce self-destructive behaviors, and improve relationships. DBT differs from CBT in that it integrates traditional CBT elements with mindfulness, acceptance, and techniques to improve a person’s ability to tolerate stress and control his or her emotions. DBT recognizes the dialectical tension between the need for acceptance and the need for change.
Some people with BPD experience severe symptoms and require intensive, often inpatient, care. Others may use some outpatient treatments but never need hospitalization or emergency care. Although in rare cases, some people who develop this disorder may improve without any treatment, most people benefit from and improve their quality of life by seeking treatment.
Families of people with BPD may also benefit from therapy. The challenges of dealing with a loved one with BPD on a daily basis can be very stressful, and family members may unknowingly act in ways that worsen their relative’s symptoms. Some therapies include family members in treatment sessions.
I hope you liked reading about this as much as I do.