She must be bipolar…
In our society, we are quick to label people with diagnoses that we may know very little about based on the behaviors we think we understand. On the news we often hear people debating the mental status of a person after a tragic event has happened. Even in everyday conversation, mental disorders are commonly used to blame people for their behaviors. With these kinds of blanket statements circulating day-to-day, mental health and its many complex disorders often go misunderstood.
One disorder that remains confusing to most is borderline personality disorder (BPD). BPD is a serious mental disorder marked by a pattern of ongoing instability in moods, behavior, self-image, and functioning. Oftentimes these patterns play out as impulsive actions and unstable relationships. A person with BPD may experience extreme episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety that may last from only a few hours to days. Although the cause of borderline personality disorder is unknown, studies show that genetic makeup and environmental circumstances may predispose a person to the symptoms of BPD.
Signs and Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder
- Feelings of abandonment – either real or imagined.
- Instability in relationships with friends and family.
- A distorted self-image.
- 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.
- Inappropriate, intense anger or problems controlling anger,
Historically, it has been said the BPD is not treatable. However, there have been great strides towards tailoring treatment for BPD patients. This kind of treatment plan consists of psychotherapy, medication management, group, peer, and family support. Furthermore, specialized therapy such as dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) have proven to be effective in treatment. With the right kind of treatment plan, recovery is possible.
If you or someone you love is experiencing any of the above symptoms, please know that there is help available and you don’t have to suffer alone. And remember that only a professional should diagnose BPD.
Horizon Health Services offers help for people dealing with depression, dysthymia and other mental health disorders. If you or someone you love is experiencing any symptoms of mental health disorders and live in the Western New York area, please contact us at (716) 831-1800. All calls are 100 percent confidential.