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All About Borderline Personality Disorder

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Borderline Personality Disorder can be extremely challenging to deal with both for the ones undergoing the condition and the caregivers. Finding the right professionals and tailoring a scientific treatment plan becomes extremely essential in the process of recovery from BPD. Read on to find out everything essential about the Bipolar Disorder.

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Borderline personality disorder or BPD is a mental illness that affects the way individuals feel, think about themselves and others, also majorly affecting their behaviour. The effects of the disorder disrupt their normal functioning.

Individuals suffering from BPD disorder tend to be highly sensitive. They are often seen to have intense unstable relationship patterns. They have a distorted self-image and tend to be highly impulsive and emotional.

If you are wondering “What is Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD?” or “How to identify BPD?”, then here are a few questions that may help you identify signs of BPD disorder.

You may answer the following in affirmative or negative

  1. Almost all of my relationships are unstable where at times I over idealize the person or undervalue them.
  2. In a relationship, I constantly have the feeling that the other person would abandon me.
  3. At times when I am upset I tend to or think about harming myself.
  4. I have difficulties accommodating changes and I almost all the time get angry when it happens.
  5. In relationships, I tend to get too easily intimate.
  6. I, almost all the time, tend to have severe mood swings where I am angry at someone at one time and after a little while, I am friendly towards them.
  7. Almost all the time my reactions to incidents are out of proportion and control.
  8. I constantly feel a sense of emptiness.
  9. When upset I tend to get into risky or harmful activities such as smoking, drinking, unprotected sex, reckless driving, binge eating, etc.
  10. My view of self keeps changing.
  11. If I feel the other person is going to abandon me, I tend to become emotionally distant from them
  12. My goals in life or activities keep changing.
  13. When I feel the other person is going to abandon me I frantically make efforts to avoid it.
  14. Most or some of the above-mentioned problems are so intense that it affects my profession/studies.
  15. Most or some of the above-mentioned problems are so intense that it affects my relationship with others.

If you have agreed to more than 7 of the above (it should include statements 14 and 15) then you may consider approaching a psychologist or psychiatrist. Note: these statements cannot be used to diagnose BPD disorder.

Borderline Personality Disorder in Men

Borderline personality disorder or BPD is mostly known to occur among women and rarely seen in men. It is a disorder that characterizes high emotionality, sensitivity and unstable patterns of relationships.

Men express BPD symptoms differently from women, this is one of the reasons why it gets misunderstood for men. It has been suggested by studies that women suffering from BPD tend to show symptoms such as mood fluctuations, feelings of emptiness and problems in interpersonal relationships. Whereas men suffering from BPD disorder tend to show impulsivity, tend to be self-destructive and are likely to abuse drugs.

It is seen that men expressing symptoms of BPD are often misunderstood and misdiagnosed as some other mental illness such as oppositional defiant disorder or Attention Deficit Disorder. In order to help an individual overcome BPD disorder, it is essential to correctly identify the illness. Since BPD is expressed differently among men, specific symptoms shown by men have to be known. The following can be considered warning signs in case of BPD in men:

  • Numerous intimate relationships: Men suffering from BPD usually tend to have multiple partners. They also tend to be hesitant to commit due to the fear of being abandoned. They may appear to be argumentative, physically aggressive and show quick temper in order to scare their partners away. Men with BPD tend to get into romantic relationships too fast and are also known to get out of them equally fast.
  • Dramatic attitudes and behaviour: Society assumes that women are more dramatic as they tend to be emotional. Men with BPD also tend to be dramatic but they display it in a different manner. They could appear to like and be confined to one person and later reject the same person.
  • Unstable thoughts, emotions and behaviours: Men suffering from BPD may appear to be “hot at one time and “cold” in the other. They may change their perspectives quickly appearing to be hostile and angry towards others. The change in their behaviour and emotions are too sudden and quick that they may appear like a totally different person.
  • Polarized interactions with others: Men with BPD disorder tend to have difficulty in interpreting others’ opinions, emotions and non-verbal cues. As a result, they may have polarized behaviour when interacting with others. For instance, a man may misinterpret his wife’s behaviour towards other men and act distant to her. After a while, that same husband may act too friendly and intimate towards the wife, as if nothing ever happened.
  • Suicidal and attention-seeking behaviour: In BPD, the symptoms are so intense that they cause great pain to the individual. Suicidal tendencies are the result of these pains. They also seek attention and even negative attention is fine with them. They may harm themselves or threaten others to achieve it.
  • Likely to engage in risky behaviours: Men suffering from BPD are likely to engage in risky lifestyles. Such as unprotected sex, multiple partners, drug abuse, sexually obsessive, obsession with pornography, substance addiction and violent behaviour.

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Borderline Personality Disorder in Women

Stats show that 75-90% of all persons diagnosed with BPD are women. Borderline personality disorder has a dangerous effect when it is left untreated. Some of the effects are job loss, financial strains, poor performance in work, social isolation, underestimating self, trouble to sustain relationship, divorce or separation, death due to suicide, and handicapped due to failed suicide attempts. Some of the common Borderline Personality Disorder symptoms in Women are –

  • Behavioural symptoms: the individual may have impulsive behaviour, tendency to indlge in self-harm such as cutting hands, suicidal threats and anxious effort to avoid real or imaginary rejection.
  • Physical symptoms: the individual has self-injury marks such as scars and scabs.
  • Cognitive symptoms: the individual has stress-related paranoia (mistrust feelings).
  • Psychosocial symptoms: the individual tends to destabilise relationships, under-estimate others, to bottle-up anger.

There are many mental health professionals, psychologists and psychiatrists, who can help you with your difficulty.

  • Psychologist- Play an important role in diagnosis and testing via various psychological tests and questionnaires. Psychologists provide psychotherapies such as Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, schema-focused therapy, mentalization-based therapy and others that are seen to be effective in the treatment of BPD disorder.
  • Psychiatrist- Psychiatrists provide psychopharmacological therapy, medications such as antidepressants, antipsychotics and mood depressants. These address the hormonal imbalance and other physical issues associated with BPD.

However, effective results are seen when both psychologists and psychiatrists work together to enable positive growth.

Medications for Borderline Personality Disorder

Medications have a positive effect on an individual with BPD, depending on the symptoms present, the medication itself and the biological factors of that individual. There are 3 categories of medications that are seen to reduce symptoms associated with BPD:

  • Antipsychotics: Although BPD does not show symptoms of psychosis, antipsychotic drugs in lower doses are seen to be effective in the treatment of BPD. It is seen to be helpful in reducing symptoms such as hostility, anger and cognitive symptoms such as paranoia, suspiciousness, all or none thinking and dissociation. Drowsiness, headache, insomnia, discomfort and restlessness can be some of the side effects caused by this class of drugs.
  • Mood stabilizers: These medications play an important role in stabilizing brain chemicals that control behaviour and emotional temperament. Mood stabilizers are seen to reduce BPD symptoms like anger, hopelessness, impulsivity, low mood, mood swings and irritability. Dry mouth, constipation, drowsiness, reduced appetite and nausea are some of the side effects caused by this class of drugs.
  • Antidepressants: These medications are seen to reduce symptoms such as low mood, emotional instability, self-harm behaviours and impulsivity. One of the common types under this class is selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs. They play an important role in altering the production of certain brain chemicals affecting behaviour. Headaches, reduced appetite, insomnia, sexual dysfunction and sedation can be some of the side effects caused by this class of drugs.

Note that these medications are to be taken under the strict guidance of a psychiatrist after a detailed discussion on the individual’s symptoms and biological factors.

There are other forms of treatments like psychotherapy; that have been seen to be effective in treating BPD. Psychotherapies are provided by psychologists and some of these are dialectical behaviour therapy, mentalisation-based therapy, schema-focused therapy and transference focused psychotherapy.

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Borderline Personality Disorder: Causes and Cures

For starters, there is no singular cause for borderline personality disorder, it’s mostly caused due to a combination of factors.

  • Genetics – The genetic makeup that you inherit from your parents can make you vulnerable to BPD.
  • Problem with neurotransmitters – Another cause for BPD is having problems with brain chemicals. It’s assumed that most people who suffer from borderline personality disorder have a dysfunction in the neurotransmitter of their brain, especially with the serotonin levels.
  • Stunted brain development – Medical professionals have used MRI to study patients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, which revealed that patients suffering from BPD will have three parts of the brain that are either smaller than normal or have unusual activity.
  • Environmental or Social factors – People having a childhood filled with traumatic events, parental neglect, or physical, sexual, or emotional abuse often develop BPD.
  • Hereditary predisposition – One might be at a higher risk of developing BPD if their immediate family member – mother, father, brother, or sister has a similar disorder.
  • Stressful Childhood – Trauma like sexual or physical abuse, neglected childhood, parents getting separated or divorced, lost or separated from parents, alcoholic parents or caregivers can often aid in developing BPD in a person.  

Borderline personality disorder treatment aims to diagnose what triggers BPD symptoms in an individual and help them overcome the associated emotional problems (such as anger, depression, and anxiety). It also aids in motivating them towards proper goals and purpose in life, have better relationships, learn how to understand and live with self and improve physical health.

Following are the treatment options available to cure BPR –

  • Dialectical behaviour therapy – Or DBT is a type of psychotherapy that is specially designed for treating BPD. Here the therapy uses two concepts. One, where the patient’s emotions are validated and accepted, and two, where the patient is taught to contradict their own emotions. This way they would be able to break away from their narrow view of life and look at the world from an open perspective.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – This therapy provides awareness of disruptive thoughts and beliefs, leading patients toward more effectively managed emotions.
  • Mentalisation-based therapy – Or MBT works on the belief that individuals with BPD lack the ability to mentalize, the ability to think about and examine others and their own thoughts and behaviour. MBT helps the individual develop this and use it in their daily lives. This helps bring a positive change in their behaviour and in their relationship with other people.
  • Schema Focused Therapy (SFT) – This therapy beliefs that the reason for a negative, unhelpful thought and behaviour pattern is an unmet need. Schema focused therapy helps you identify and fulfil this need, bringing a healthy change in behaviour.
  • Therapeutic Community – Or TC is a structured environment where different individuals with different mental illnesses live together as a part of their recovery process. Here the individuals are trained to develop social skills and increase their self-confidence through a wide range of activities. They also undergo group and individual therapy.
  • Transference Focused Psychotherapy – or TFP is a therapy where the therapist intentionally creates and uses the relationship with the client to help them. They help the client look into their emotional and interpersonal issues and learn techniques to overcome them.
  • Pharmacological therapy – Individuals with BPD are also, depending on the severity, given medications. These help them stabilize their mood, reduce their impulsivity and relax. They are also suggested when another mental condition occurs with BPD.
  • Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving (STEPPS) – A form of group therapy led by a social worker intended to aid other forms of treatment.
  • Good Psychiatric Management – This treatment approach relies on individual cases and their medical management. It focuses on making sense of emotionally distressing moments by considering the interpersonal context of a psychiatrist and the patient. It may also integrate medications, groups, family education, and individual therapy.

Living with BPD can be very difficult and overwhelming. However, there are various mental health institutions with professionals that provide a range of effective treatments. These can help an individual with BPD manage their symptoms and lead a normal life. For effective treatment options for borderline personality disorder, call us now on +919611194949.

Disclaimer – We strive to treat our patients with dignity and the utmost sensitivity. We understand that mental health illness is a disease and not a sign of weakness. The term mental health issue is used not in a derogatory fashion but to remain relevant to user search trends and common usage. In case you or a loved are struggling with dementia or you are caring for one, do share your unique viewpoint on how we can improve this content for our readers, please reach out to us at

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