BPD or Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD is a mental disorder characterized by unstable moods, behavior, and relationships. In the United States, recent research has shown that 1.6% of the population has BPD. That number may seem small, but when you consider just how large the United States is, you may realize that 1.6% represents quite a large number of people.BPD impacts the way people think and feel about themselves and others, causing problems functioning in everyday life. BPD might include self-image issues, difficulty managing emotions and behavior, and a pattern of unstable relationships. People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) often have a strong fear of abandonment, struggle to maintain healthy relationships, have very intense emotions, act impulsively, and may even experience paranoia and dissociation. Borderline personality disorder can damage many areas of a patient’s life. It can negatively affect intimate relationships, jobs, school, social activities, and self-image, resulting in:
- Repeated job changes or losses
- Not completing an education
- Multiple legal issues, such as jail time
- Conflict-filled relationships, marital stress, or divorce
- Self-injury, such as cutting or burning, and frequent hospitalizations
- Involvement in abusive relationships
- Unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, motor vehicle accidents, and physical fights due to impulsive and risky behavior
- Attempted or completed suicide
In addition, patients may have other mental health disorders, such as:
- Eating disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Other personality disorders
Symptoms of BPD
Borderline personality disorder affects how you feel about yourself, how you relate to others, and how you behave. Signs and symptoms may include:
- An intensive fear of abandonment. People with BPD are often terrified of being abandoned or left alone or rejected
- A pattern of unstable intense relationships. People with BPS are idealizing someone one moment and then suddenly believing the person doesn’t care enough or is cruel
- Unclear or shifting self-image
- Impulsive, self-destructive behaviors, often in response to the fear of rejection
- Impulsive and risky behavior, such as gambling, reckless driving, sex addiction, eating disorders or drug abuse, or sabotaging success by suddenly quitting a good job or ending the healthy relationship
- Wide emotional swings lasting from a few hours to a few days, which can include happiness, irritability, or anxiety
- Ongoing feelings of emptiness
- Inappropriate explosive anger. People with BPD are frequently losing their temper, being sarcastic or bitter, or having physical fights
If you’re aware that you have any of the signs or symptoms above, talk to your doctor or a mental health provider.
What causes borderline personality disorder
The cause of borderline personality disorder isn’t well understood. Borderline personality disorder may be caused by:
- Genetics. BPD may be inherited or strongly associated with other mental health disorders among family members.
- Environmental factors
- History of child abuse
- Brain abnormalities
Diagnosis is made based on symptoms. Symptoms include emotional instability, feelings of worthlessness, insecurity, impulsivity, and impaired social relationships. Treatments include talk therapy or, in some cases, medications. Hospitalization helps if symptoms are severe. If left untreated, the effects of borderline personality can be devastating, not only for the individual who is diagnosed with the disorder, but their friends and family as well. Some of the most common effects of untreated BPD can include the following: Dysfunctional social relationships. Repeated job losses.
BPD vs Bipolar
BPD and Bipolar disorder are often confused. They both have symptoms of impulsiveness and mood swings. However, borderline personality disorder (BPD) and bipolar disorder are two separate disorders with different symptoms and treatments. Diagnosing a mental illness isn’t like diagnosing some physical illnesses—it takes a lot of observation and understanding to find the right diagnosis. It’s best to talk to your therapist for the right diagnosis. Both BPD and bipolar have good treatment options, but they are very different options, so putting time into getting a correct diagnosis is essential.
Published: April 01, 2021
Last Updated: April 03, 2021
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