This blog originates from Canada.
All Rights www.heretohelp.bc.ca
Could I have borderline personality disorder?
I can’t control my anger. I often lose my temper or get into fights
I feel empty inside most of the time
I experience intense anxiety, depression or irritability, and it usually goes away in a few hours or a few days
I do whatever I can to avoid being abandoned
I can’t stop spending money, having risky sex, using drugs or other things that can hurt me
I think about ending my life
I harm myself
I have a hard time maintaining personal relationships; I fall ‘in and out of love’quickly
My sense of self changes all the time; I don’t know who I really am.
Who does it affect?About 1% to 2% of the general population has BPD. It’s usually diagnosed in teens and young adults, though it may also be diagnosed later in life. It seems to affect more women than men.
Family members—You are five times more likely to
develop BPD if a close family member like a parent or sibling has BPD.
You also have a higher risk of BPD if a close family member has an
impulse control disorder like a substance use disorder or antisocial
Childhood trauma—Abuse, neglect, loss and other hurtful events that occurred in your childhood increases your risk of developing BPD.
Age BPD is more likely to be diagnosed in your
20s. This is also the time with the highest suicide risk. Many people
find that their symptoms become more manageable as they get older,2 and many people recover by the age of 50.Researchers aren’t completely sure why people often feel better as they
get older. One theory is that people become less impulsive as they get
older. Another theory is that certain brain structures related to
emotion change as we age.
Other mental illnesses—Many people living with BPD
have other mental illnesses. This can make it hard to diagnose BPD
properly. The illnesses most often associated with BPD are mood
disorders, anxiety disorders, substance use disorders,
attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, eating disorders, dissociative
disorders and other personality disorders.
What can I do about it?For a blog which talks about my evangelical faith and how it affects my counseling those with Borderline Personality Disorder, please go this link
Treatment for BPD can be very effective. It may include a combination of therapy (counseling), medication and self-help.
Several different therapies may help:
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is often a treatment of choice.
It’s based on cognitive-behavioural therapy and mindfulness.
Cognitive-behavioural therapy teaches you how your thoughts and
behaviours affect your emotions, while mindfulness teaches you to focus
on the present moment. DBT teaches you to replace extreme and rigid ways
of thinking with more open and flexible ways of thinking, and teaches
skills like acceptance, problem-solving and tolerance.13
Several newer therapies also show a lot of promise in the treatment
of BPD. Mentalization-based therapy helps you understand your behaviour
and other people’s behaviour, and the thoughts and feelings associated
with the behaviours. Transference-focused therapy helps you understand
how you see yourself in your relationships. Schema-focused therapy
focuses on identifying unhelpful way of thinking, feeling and behaving.
Other types of counseling may also help. Supportive therapy helps
to improve day-to-day life skills, increase self-esteem and helps you
understand your feelings. Interpersonal group therapy lets you share
your problems and successes with others, and it teaches relationship
skills. Family therapy helps family members understand the illness and
teaches them coping skills.
MedicationMedications won’t resolve BPD, but they can help manage some troubling symptoms. Atypical anti- psychotics, mood stabilizers and certain antidepressants may help.
Self-helpThere are many things you can do to help manage BPD. Learning about the illness can help you understand what’s going on. It’s always a good idea to get enough sleep, eat well and exercise regularly. Finding help for other issues like a substance use problem or another mental illness can also help you cope with BPD.
BPD can take some time to treat. It’s important to build a trusting and open relationship with a counsellor or doctor and keep a consistent, long-term treatment plan.
Rev. Steve Bloem, B.A. M.M. is a certified DBT therapist. He and his team were trained by Dr. Marsha Linehan at the University of Washington in the years 1996 and 1997. Steve and another team member started and held one of the first DBT programs in the Community Mental Health System. in the U.S.A.He is now in private practice in Palm Beach County, Florida. If you would like to know more about our ministry, Please go to our contact us form on our web site,
BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information
Visit www.heretohelp.bc.ca for the Managing Mental Illnesses series, more info sheets and personal stories about personality disorders. You’ll find information, tips and self-tests to help you understand mental health. You’ll also find the Borderline Personality Disorder issue of Visions Journal.
Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division
Visit www.cmha.bc.ca or call 1-800-555-8222 (toll-free in BC) or 604-688-3234 (in Greater Vancouver) f