What is borderline personality disorder?
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a state of human body that causes you to have stormy relationships with other people. You see the world in terms of extremes: good/bad love/hate or your fault/my fault. These ways of thinking, feeling, and acting cause many problems at work, in school, and in relationships.
What is the cause of borderline personality disorder?
The exact cause of this disorder is not known. Possible causes of borderline personality disorder include:
- The brain makes chemicals that affect thoughts, emotions, and actions. Without the right balance of these chemicals, there may be problems with the way you think, feel, or act. People with this disorder may have too little or too much of some of these chemicals.
- Stress plays a part. You may be at higher risk due to problems like abuse, financial stresses, or the death of loved ones.
- Problems in the family may increase the likelihood that you will develop this disorder, for example, being neglected or having parents who were unpredictable.
It usually begins in the teen years or early adulthood. It affects more women than men.
How is borderline personality disorder diagnosed?
Your doctor or a mental health therapist will ask about your symptoms and any drug or alcohol use. He or she may also:
- Ask about your relationships with family, friends, and coworkers
- Give you a personality test
- Make sure medicines are not causing or increasing your symptoms
You may have lab tests to rule out medical problems.
What are the symptoms of borderline personality disorder?
Symptoms of borderline personality disorder may include:
- Having intense emotions and mood swings
- Having stormy relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, because you swing between loving them and hating them
- Having sudden changes in opinions, plans, or goals because you don’t have a strong sense of who you are and feel empty and worthless
- Doing things on impulse, such as binge eating, going on spending sprees, having unsafe sex, or reckless driving
- Feeling frantic at the thought of being left alone, which may cause you to reject others before they can reject you, or to do things to keep other people from leaving you
- Having problems with anger, such as violent temper tantrums
- Hurting yourself, such as cutting or burning yourself, or trying to commit suicide
- Feeling like people are out to get you or that you are losing touch with reality
How is borderline personality disorder treated?
Several types of medicines can help. Your doctor will work with you to select the best medicine. You may need to take more than one type of medicine.
This disorder changes the way you relate to others and the way you think about everyday activities. Several types of treatment may help.
- Dialectical behavior therapy helps you be aware of your thoughts and behavior, learn how to express your needs, deal with stressful situations, and manage your emotions.
- Supportive therapy gives encouragement, positive feedback, and reassurance.
- Treatment for any alcohol or drug abuse problems
- Day treatment programs, including structured activities and group therapy every day
- Treatment in a hospital if you are hurting yourself, like self-cutting, self-burning, or attempting suicide