Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a complex mental disorder and generally affecting 2 - 3% of the population. BPD is formerly known as the "border" of schizophrenia but later is found to be associated with mood disorders such as depression, or possibly to impulse control disorders like Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. BPD has been impacting the functioning of the individuals where they experience difficulty in emotional regulation and control of impulses. For example, individuals with BPD may display inappropriately intense anger, exhibit self-injurious or suicidal behavior. Self-harm behaviors usually occur without suicidal intention, yet there is numerous report of individuals with BPD committed suicide.
In addition, BPD is often accompanied by depression and anxiety, as well as addiction problems in some cases. Extensive mental health services are required for BDP individuals and they made up 20% of the populations are psychiatrically hospitalized. Regardless of the critical consequences of BPD, latest study implied that treatment could yield significant improvement over time, which increased the chance of recovery.
Symptoms of BPD
Common signs of BPD individuals are dramatic mood swings, irritability, and intense anger. Mood swings occur in BPD individuals as results of the occurrence of stressful events, especially difficulties in interpersonal relationships or interpersonal conflict. They are highly sensitive to rejection or perceived abandonment which often results in experiencing explosive anger or with self-injurious or suicidal behavior. Meanwhile, these behaviors are threatening to close interpersonal relationships that lead to provoking the rejection and abandonment BPD individual afraid of.
Besides, BPD signs include feelings of emptiness or boredom; identity confusion; and impulsive behavior such as over-spending, risky sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, or binge eating. People with BPD occasionally experience stress-related paranoid or irrational thinking that lasted for a short interval. They are also inclined to think in "black and white" terms, whereby engage in between of extreme thoughts ie. Idealization vs. Devaluation.
Causes of BPD
Faulty parenting was formerly identified as the core factor of BPD and led to unjust blames towards the families. However, BPD demonstrates a strong biological component that linked to both genetic and environmental factors. A recent study indicates BPD individuals show irregular neurotransmitters that control emotions and impulse. Serotonin is one neurotransmitter believed to play a significant role in BPD. When individuals suffer from this type of an imbalance, life stresses can easily overwhelm their coping abilities.
Effect of BPD on family members
Family members often feel mystified and exhausted by their relative's illness. The intense mood swings and anger outbursts can be frightening and disruptive. Impulsive acting out in areas such as spending, substance abuse, or sex can be a major source of marital conflict. Relatives are often overwhelmed with worry regarding their loved one's safety following repeated suicide attempts or acts of self-mutilation. At times, partners and family members feel manipulated by these suicidal or self-destructive behaviour and are torn between reaching out to their loved one and setting personal limits and boundaries. It is not unusual for relatives and spouses of BPD individuals to feel depressed themselves and to struggle with feelings of guilt, shame, and helplessness.
A number of effective treatment options are emerging to help BPD individuals and their families. Some of these options include:
• Psycho Nutritional Medication- Psycho Nutritional Medications can be helpful in reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, irritability and paranoid thoughts. Psycho Nutritional Medications may also help improve emotionally and impulse control, thereby reducing stress in marital or family relationships and making it easier to develop new interpersonal or stress management skills in psychotherapy. Unlike pharmaceutical medication, it does not have side effects and you will not develop a dependency to them.
• Individual Psychotherapy- Often, psychotherapy is required to achieve lasting personality change. Short-term or brief therapy may be helpful in stabilizing immediate crises. Psychodynamic therapy helps make connections between early traumatic experiences and ways that learned behavior patterns are repeated in current relationships. Emotion Focused Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy have proven helpful in altering negative patterns of thinking and emotions, and in learning new behaviors and coping strategies.
• Marital or Family Therapy- Marital Therapy can be helpful in stabilizing the marital relationship and in reducing marital conflict and stress that can worsen BPD symptoms. Family Therapy or Family Psychoeducation can help educate family members regarding BPD, improve family communication and problem-solving, and provide support to family members in dealing with their loved one's illness.
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