Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a severe mental health disorder that affects over four million Americans. Individuals with borderline personality disorder have difficulty managing their emotions and behaviors, which leads to significant impairment in their daily functioning. Maintaining healthy relationships is difficult for those with BPD. Luckily, BPD seems to improve with age and is very responsive to treatment. If you suffer from BPD, it may feel like your life is out of control. BPD treatment at Harmony Hills can help. Call us at 855.494.0357 to learn how.
How to Recognize Borderline Personality Disorder
Personality disorders are categorized into Cluster A, Cluster B, and Cluster C. Cluster A (Odd, Eccentric) includes conditions like a schizoid personality disorder. Cluster C (Anxious, Fearful) includes conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder. BPD falls under Cluster B (Dramatic, Unpredictable). As the name of the cluster implies, people who suffer from borderline personality disorder exhibit erratic emotions and behaviors.
If you or someone you love has BPD, life usually feels chaotic. Living with BPD is often described as being on an emotional rollercoaster. Many with BPD are described as being overly sensitive. Minor incidents can cause explosive reactions. Once triggered, it takes a long time for the individual to calm down. Those with BPD say hurtful things and engage in risky and inappropriate behaviors. Feelings of guilt and shame often follow outbursts, but these feelings do not prevent future episodes. It is a painful and confusing cycle for everyone involved.
In general, anyone exhibiting five or more of the following symptoms for an extended period, beginning in late adolescence, should seek professional help to see if a diagnosis of BPD is warranted:
- Intense fear of abandonment
- A pattern of unstable and intense relationships
- Impulsive, risk-taking, or self-destructive behaviors
- Rapidly changing, unstable sense of identity
- Extreme emotional instability
- Recurring threats of suicide or self-harm
- Intense anger or inability to control anger
BPD is rarely diagnosed on its own. BPD patients usually have at least one co-occurring disorder, such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and substance use disorders. At Harmony Hills, we know that not everyone with BPD will exhibit the same symptoms or require the same treatment. We provide BPD treatment tailored to your individual needs, including co-occurring treatment where indicated.
The Impact of BPD on Relationships
Individuals with BPD tend to have significant difficulties with relationships, especially with those closest to them, including parents, siblings, and romantic partners. Loved ones are often left feeling confused, helpless, and abused because of the erratic behavior exhibited by a person with BPD. While those with BPD have an intense and chronic fear of abandonment, they often cannot recognize how their mood swings, angry outbursts, and impulsive and irrational behaviors negatively impact their relationships and push people away.
The intense fear of abandonment and rejection felt by those with BPD is often the cause of their erratic mood swings and their inability to trust others. They can be caring and doting one minute and suddenly switch to feeling smothered and overwhelmed, causing them to pull away. They often respond to perceived rejection with anger to help protect their fragile sense of self. The effects of BPD are far-reaching and result in:
- Employment instability
- Legal problems
- Marital conflict and divorce
- Self-harm or self-injurious behaviors
- Involvement in abusive relationships
- Social problems and isolation
Though it is not part of the diagnostic criteria, many friends and family members of those with BPD report that lying and deception are significant concerns. Individuals with BPD tend to perceive things differently than others causing them to have a worldview that seems out of touch with reality, which may contribute to this.
Harmony Hills Provides Comprehensive Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment
BPD treatment at a mental health treatment center can be highly effective. At Harmony Hills, we design our borderline personality disorder treatment program to be flexible to accommodate the unique needs of our clients. If you or your loved one has BPD, reach out to us today at 855.494.0357 to learn how to overcome the symptoms of BPD, regain control of your life, and develop the skills to have healthy relationships.