What is Border Line Personality Disorder? Simply known as BPD, this is a mental condition that reconstructs the normal cognitive functioning of the part of the brain responsible for triggering and perceiving various emotions. BPD affects brain working in such a way that it alters the traffic lights that help keep one’s emotions in check. The patient is, therefore, a pawn of his own emotions rather than the other way around.
What causes borderline personality disorder?
While the exact cause of BDP is yet to be fully understood, researchers have managed to narrow down the causes to a trio of factors namely:
1) Inherited genetics
Genetic abnormalities have long been the culprits of various physiological and psychological complications. Doctors believe BDP to be one of those caused by genetic alterations that are passed down from one generation to another.
2) Childhood abuse
Violent or traumatic childhood experiences of an emotional, sexual and/or physical nature have also been thought to cultivate the seeds of a swaying emotional balance which could manifest in adulthood as BDP.
3) Brain damage
Though quite unclear, medical experts have also cited brain damage to the portions tasked with emotional and impulsive duties as a possible factor.
What are the symptoms of borderline personality disorder?
1) Emotional lability:
BPD catapults the victim into a fast-paced merry-go-round of emotions alternating haphazardly between states of happiness, sadness, and anger without warning. One can be extremely happy one minute and the next they are sobbing like crazy for no particular reason. These phases are unpredictable and might last a couple of days or a couple of hours.
2) Uncertainty about one’s self-image
Those with the condition are plagued by burdening doubts about who they are and what their purpose in life is. Their opinions of themselves fluctuate drastically between good and bad and they can wake on top of the world in the morning and an hour later they are as unsure of themselves as can be. This drastic change in self-belief is evident in their regular changes of religion, jobs, lovers, friends and/or sexual orientation.
3) Overwhelming abandonment fears
Their relationship with others- be it a spouse, family member or friend- is also highly volatile when it comes to trust. The slightest of factors such as short, unexplained absences can cause an explosion of abandonment concerns. They are as a result overly cautious about trusting people in general and tend to be socially withdrawn.
4) Impulsive behavior
Many professionals have described the condition as a nerve-exposing illness that heightens ordinary feelings tenfold. To cope with this increased perception of various emotions that can often become unbearable to the affected, they might indulge in impulsive and possibly risky activities such as alcohol and drug abuse.
5) Quick to anger
The tendency to fly off the handle at the slightest annoyance is a common trait of those with BPD. Situations that might be seemingly ordinary can stir an insatiable anger with victims making mountains out of molehills.
Can Borderline personality disorder be treated?
Yes. Depending on the severity of each case, treatment options might waver between psychotherapy or medication but usually, a combination of both is preferred. In dire cases, patients are a danger to others and themselves hence they might need to be hospitalized because of safety concerns. That said, here’s a closer look at both alternatives.
Prescribed medications for BDP encompass:
• Anticonvulsants: These are mood stabilizers which alleviate the strong impulsive drive instigated by the condition.
• Anxiolytics: These are basically for combating anxiety and while they are effective they can also serve to fan the flames further as they are quite addictive.
• Antidepressants: These primarily counter the effects of sadness
There are various forms of psychotherapy used to contain different dimensions of the condition as follows:
• Transference: With the therapist in the shoes of a certain character, the patient can channel his relationship toward that person so that the therapist can help him/her regulate unstable ties with others.
• Dialectical: In this type of therapy, the patient is taught how to keep thoughts from manifesting into improper behavior/actions.
• Schema: In cases where BDP afflicted persons have a history of traumatic childhood experiences, this therapy is administered to solve these underlying issues.
Psychotherapy and medication are basically all the treatment options available with newer techniques just coined from these two methods.
So what is Border Line Personality Disorder? It is a mental condition thought to be a state somewhere between neurosis and psychosis. It causes an unstable emotional compass that can lead to an avalanche of unwarranted actions and behavior.
BDP, just like other mental conditions, is often met with stigma but it has surprisingly managed to stay under the radar. However, do not be afraid to seek professional help if you or anyone you know is exhibiting any of these symptoms mentioned herein. Early diagnosis is the key to avoiding a potentially fatal scenario in future.