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Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder and Fear of Abandonment

Psychology Today characterizes fear of abandonment as “a lingering feeling of insecurity, contributing to intrusive thoughts, emptiness, unstable sense of self, clinginess, neediness, extreme mood fluctuations, and frequent relationship conflicts.” It is a complex phenomenon that can stem from a variety of sources, including interruptions in the normal development of certain cognitive and emotional capacities, challenges with past relationships, and other problematic social and life experiences. It is important to note that fear of abandonment is a natural part of the human psyche and is hardwired into our survival mechanism. Humans are born into the world and as infants, are fully dependent upon others to survive and thrive. Hence, the idea of being abandoned and left entirely and forever alone should elicit feelings of terror.

 

Psychologists and neuroscientists explain and understand the fear of abandonment through the lens of attachment theories. People with anxious-preoccupied attachment, for example, tend to feel fear of abandonment and rejection more consciously. This leads them to develop persistent emotional and behavioral patterns around these fears more so than people with other attachment styles. Fear of abandonment may cause a person to experience deep feelings of sadness and hollowness when a person to whom they are attached is not physically by their side. It may cause an unexplainable fear that a loved one will be hurt, killed, or disappear suddenly. Although, fear of abandonment itself is not a pathology, it is a core feature of certain mental health disorders.

 

Borderline Personality Disorder

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) list ten standalone personality disorders and based on similar characteristics, each personality disorder is grouped into one of three categories (cluster A, cluster B, and cluster C). Borderline personality disorder (BPD) belongs to cluster B, which are characterized by dramatic, overly emotional or unpredictable thinking or behavior. BPD is specifically characterized by “hypersensitivity to rejection and resulting instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, affect, and behavior.” A hallmark of BPD is a pattern of instability in personal relationships. As is explained by Harvard Medical School, “People with borderline personality disorder have a deep fear of abandonment… they compete for social acceptance, are terrified of rejection and often feel lonely even in the context of an intimate relationship.” Even with the strong desire to have loving, and lasting relationships, the symptoms of BPD such as inappropriate anger, impulsiveness, and frequent mood swings often push others away, which reinforces the fear of abandonment.

 

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options.

 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

5 Things To Remember When You Have BPD

Borderline personality disorder

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic, mental health disorder. It is a complex psychological condition that is characterized by pervasive instability in moods, emotions, behaviors, and interpersonal relationships. This instability interferes with one’s ability to function in his or her daily life, long-term planning, as well as an individual’s sense of identity. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options available for a person diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Still, having a diagnosis of and living with BDP can be challenging. Therefore, it can be helpful to bear the following in mind:

  • You are not manipulative or attention-seeking: A hallmark symptom of BPD is to experience a rapid onset of intense emotions. As a result, people with this condition can quickly become extremely distressed. When someone with BPD is upset, it is because they are genuinely distressed and struggling to cope with those feelings, while trying to manage an incredibly complex mental health condition. You deserve to have your distress listened to, respected, validated, and taken seriously.
  • You are loveable and can be in a healthy relationship: Relationships can feel like a whirlwind at times, because when someone with BPD, especially those struggling with chronic feelings of emptiness or loneliness, develops a real connection, the intensity is akin to any other emotion they experience. Your BPD, emotional sensitivity or mental health difficulties do not mean there is something unlovable about you. On the flip side, people with BPD have a lot of love to give, so much that it can be overwhelming. People with BPD can have successful long-term relationships, lasting for decades.
  • Do not believe everything you read: The is an array of content, across all entertainment platforms (e.g., websites, videos, movies, podcasts, etc.) that depict people with BPD in a negative light (e.g., abusers, monsters, bullies, etc.). Additionally, some books and research papers portray people with BPD as helpless, vengeful, or vindictive. Whilst mental health ailments are becoming better understood and more accurately represented, this shift seems to be occurring much more slowly for personality disorders, such as BPD, and the stigma continues to cause detrimental consequences.
  • You did not cause BPD: Although the cause of borderline personality disorder remains unknown, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) alludes to research that “suggests that genetics, brain structure and function, and environmental, cultural, and social factors play a role, or may increase the risk for developing borderline personality disorder.”
  • You are not alone: Borderline personality disorder is not an uncommon disorder, as an 1.4% of the adult population in America experience BPD.

 

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options.

 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

How Do I Know If Someone Has Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline Personality Disorder

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) list ten standalone personality disorders and based on similar characteristics, each personality disorder is grouped into one of three categories (cluster A, cluster B, and cluster C). Borderline personality disorder (BPD) belongs to cluster B, which according to the Mayo Clinic are “characterized by dramatic, overly emotional or unpredictable thinking or behavior.” More specifically, the Merck Manual explains that BPD is “characterized by a pervasive pattern of instability and hypersensitivity in interpersonal relationships, instability in self-image, extreme mood fluctuations, and impulsivity.” Emotional dysregulation is a term used within the mental health field to denote irrational, poorly modulated emotional responses, which is a core feature of borderline personality disorder.

Borderline personality disorder is not an uncommon disorder, as the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) estimates that 1.4% of the adult population in America experience BPD. The cause of borderline personality disorder remains unknown, but the NIH alludes to research that “suggests that genetics, brain structure and function, and environmental, cultural, and social factors play a role, or may increase the risk for developing borderline personality disorder.” Although there are several warning signs that can be indicative of BPD, without a comprehensive evaluation that is conducted by one or more qualified mental health professionals, it is essentially impossible to truly know if someone has borderline personality disorder.

Signs and Symptoms

Every individual is different and has the propensity to exhibit a unique combination of signs and symptoms related to borderline personality disorder. The symptoms of borderline personality disorder typically result in overarching interpersonal relationship complications and impulsive actions. The Mayo Clinic provides examples of signs and symptoms that are commonly exhibited in individuals with borderline personality disorder, some of which include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Engaging in risky and/ or impulsive behaviors (e.g., reckless driving, excessive gambling, binge eating, substance abuse, unsafe sex, etc.)
  • Intense fear of abandonment
  • Suicidal ideations
  • Self-injury
  • Severe mood swings (e.g., elation, irritability, shame, anxiety, etc.)
  • Pattern of unstable relationships
  • Irrational displays of anger
  • Distorted self-image
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Stress related paranoia

Some individuals may experience numerous symptoms of BPD, while others may only experience a few symptoms. Research indicates that individuals with borderline personality disorder may experience intense episodes of depression, anxiety and/ or anger that could last from a few hours to several days long. The symptoms that manifest because of borderline personality disorder often mimic those of other mental health disorders (e.g., histrionic personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, bipolar personality etc.). In fact, BPD is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed mental health conditions in America.

 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

What Are The Symptoms Of Borderline Personality Disorder?

personality-disorder

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic, mental health disorder. It is a complex psychological condition that is characterized by pervasive instability in moods, emotions, behaviors, and interpersonal relationships which interfere with one’s ability to function in everyday life. It can be difficult to determine who will develop borderline personality disorder as the cause of BPD remains unknown. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) alludes to research that “suggests that genetics, brain structure and function, and environmental, cultural, and social factors play a role, or may increase the risk for developing borderline personality disorder.” BPD typically develops in early adulthood, often with more severe symptoms occurring in the early stages of onset.

Symptoms & Diagnostic Criteria

Borderline personality disorder directly affects how one feels about him or herself, one’s behavior as well as how an individual can relate to others. It is not uncommon for people with BPD to feel extremely intense emotions for extended periods of time. This makes returning to a stable emotional baseline far more challenging, especially after experiencing an emotionally triggering event. According to the DSM-5 key signs and symptoms of BPD may include:  

  • Unstable personal relationships that alternate between idealization and devaluation, sometimes referred to as splitting
  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment by family and friends
  • Impulsive behaviors resulting in dangerous outcomes (e.g., engaging in unsafe sex, reckless driving, abuse of drugs, etc.)
  • Distorted and unstable self-image, affecting one’s moods, relationships, goals, values, and/ or opinions
  • Self-harming behavior (e.g., suicidal threats)
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness and/ or boredom
  • Periods of intense depressed mood, irritability and/ or anxiety lasting anywhere from a few hours to a few days long
  • Dissociative feelings
  • Intense, inappropriate, and/ or uncontrollable anger, typically followed by feelings of guilt and/ or shame

More specifically, the diagnostic criteria outlined in the DSM-5, indicates that to be clinically diagnosed with BPD an individual must experience five or more of the following symptoms, in a variety of contexts,

  1. Emotional instability
  2. Feelings of emptiness
  3. Efforts to avoid abandonment
  4. Impulsive behaviors
  5. Identity disturbances
  6. Inappropriate, irrational and/ or intense bouts of anger
  7. Transient paranoid and/ or dissociative symptoms
  8. Unstable interpersonal relationships
  9. Suicidal and/ or self-harming behaviors

Due to the quick changing nature of signs and symptoms associated with borderline personality disorder, it is notoriously known as a difficult to diagnose illness. The treatment for BPD often includes long-term participation in psychodynamic models of psychotherapy such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT was developed by Marsha M. Linehan in the late 1980s, as a means to more effectively treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. It is an evidence-based psychotherapy that combines techniques from western cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psycho-educational modules, and eastern mindfulness-based practices to foster the systematic learning of new emotional coping skills. Since its inception, dialectical behavior therapy has been and remains the gold standard method of treatment for individuals diagnosed with BPD.

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

Main Cause Of Borderline Personality Disorder?

personality-disorder

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) list ten standalone personality disorders based on similar characteristics, and each personality disorder is grouped into one of three categories (cluster A, cluster B, and cluster C). Borderline personality disorder (BPD) belongs to cluster B, which according to the Mayo Clinic are “characterized by dramatic, overly emotional or unpredictable thinking or behavior.” More specifically BPD is characterized by “a pervasive pattern of instability and hypersensitivity in interpersonal relationships, instability in self-image, extreme mood fluctuations, and impulsivity.” The symptoms associated with borderline personality disorder can pervasively interfere with an individual’s ability to function optimally in his or her daily life. Most commonly, BPD develops in early adulthood, often with more severe symptoms occurring in the early stages of onset

BPD Triggers & Risk Factors

A trigger, in the context of BPD typically refers to something that precipitates the exacerbation of one’s BPD symptoms. Johns Hopkins Medicine explains “triggers are external events or circumstances that may produce very uncomfortable emotional or psychiatric symptoms, such as anxiety, panic, discouragement, despair, or negative self-talk.” While BPD triggers can vary from person to person, there are some types of triggers that are more common in BPD, such as the following examples:

  • Perceived or real abandonment
  • Rejection of any kind
  • Loss of a job
  • Locations that invoke negative memories
  • Reminders of traumatic events
  • Ending a relationship

Many borderline personality disorder triggers arise from interpersonal distress. When it comes to understanding the specific cause of this disease, there is no solitary scientific reason behind why an individual develops borderline personality disorder. Rather there are several contributing factors that have been recognized as possibly playing a role in its development, potentially increasing one’s susceptibility to BPD. These factors may include, but are not limited to the following, provided by the National Institute of Mental Health

  • Genetics: people with a family history (e.g., parent, sibling, etc.) with BPD may be at increased risk of developing borderline personality disorder. Psychology Today assert that BPD is approximately five times more common among people with close biological relatives with BPD. 
  • Environmental factors: growing up in an unstable, neglectful, and/ or abusive environment could increase one’s risk for developing BPD. 
  • Brain factors: some studies have indicated that individuals diagnosed with BPD have structural and/ or functional abnormalities, specifically in the areas of the brain that reign emotional regulation and impulse control. Furthermore, deviations from typical serotonin (hormone that works to stabilize one’s mood, happiness, and feelings of well-being) production could increase one’s vulnerability to BPD. 

Although the above factors may contribute to the development of BPD, exposure to one or more risk factors does not indicate an individual will inevitably to go on to develop borderline personality disorder. Since the root of borderline personality disorder remains unknown, it is impossible to isolate a single cause that accurately and universally explains its development.

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

Is There A Connection Between BPD and OCD?

Is There A Connection Between BPD and OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as an anxiety disorder. It is a neuropsychiatric disorder affecting between 1 to 3 percent of the population. OCD is characterized as a mental illness involving recurrent unwanted thoughts and/ or actions. OCD is known as one of the most common mental illnesses in America. The precise cause as to why an individual develops obsessive-compulsive disorder remains unknown. Several risk factors that have been noted to increase one’s predisposition for developing OCD include:

  • Presence of other mental health disorder 
  • Family history of OCD (e.g., parent, child, and/ or sibling diagnosed with OCD)
  • Differences in the makeup of one’s brain
  • History of child abuse (e.g., physical, verbal, and/ or sexual)
  • Experience with trauma

It is also possible for OCD to develop in children because of a streptococcal infection. This is referred to as PANDAS (pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcal infections). An individual with OCD will engage in repeated and compulsive rituals that greatly interfere with his or her daily life.

Borderline Personality Disorder

The DSM-5 lists ten personality disorders that are classified into clusters. Although each personality disorder has distinct characteristics, each of the different personality disorders is categorized into one of three clusters (cluster A, cluster B and cluster C). The personality disorders that make up each clusters share similar symptoms and have overlapping characteristics. Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is listed under cluster B in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, and is recognized as a chronic, mental health disorder. As defined by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), “borderline personality disorder is an illness characterized by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, behavior, and self-image.” The cause for borderline personality disorder remains unknown. However, research “suggests that genetics, brain structure and function, and environmental, cultural, and social factors play a role, or may increase the risk for developing borderline personality disorder.” It is highly common for individuals with BPD to lack the ability to foster and maintain meaningful, lasting relationships. 

The Connection

Experts haveon noted that “personality disorders are a common comorbidity in obsessive-compulsive disorder.” The most evident connection between BPD and OCD relate to the symptoms present in both ailments. The Journal of Psychopathology asserts “Obsessive-compulsive symptoms are…considered intrinsically related to borderline psychopathology. These symptoms are severe and are characterized in BPD patients by poor insight and resistance and obsessive control evident in personal relationships.” The symptoms that manifest because of borderline personality disorder often mimic those of other mental health disorders, which can make the diagnosis process rather challenging. It is, however, possible to be diagnosed with BPD and OCD. In fact, studies show that between 75 and 90 percent of people with BPD also meet the diagnostic criteria for at least one type of anxiety disorder, such as OCD. Specifically, evidence of a higher-than-expected overlap between OCD and BPD first came from the Epidemiological Catchment Area study, where 23 percent of those with BPD also met criteria for OCD. Subsequent studies have consistently supported these findings with rates as high as 15 to 35 percent.  

Disclaimer:

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

BPD And PTSD: Are They Often Confused?

BPD And PTSD: Are They Often Confused?

Borderline personality disorder is a mental health disorder that is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). The National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) defines borderline personality disorder as an “illness marked by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, self-image, and behavior.” These patterns will often result in reckless and hasty actions, negatively affecting one’s relationships. The term “borderline” was initially coined because psychiatrists believed that its symptoms hovered on the border between psychosis and neurosis. The symptoms associated with borderline personality disorder can pervasively interfere with an individual’s ability to function optimally in his or her daily life. Common symptoms of borderline personality disorder can include any combination of the following examples, provided by the Mayo Clinic

  • Ongoing feelings of emptiness
  • Risky behavior (e.g., gambling, having unsafe sex, etc.)
  • Intense fear of being alone or abandoned
  • Fragile self-image
  • Unstable relationships
  • Erratic moods
  • Frequent displays of intense anger
  • Stress-related, fleeting paranoia
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Threats of self-injury

It is not uncommon for people with BPD to feel extremely intense emotions for extended periods of time. This makes returning to a stable emotional baseline far more challenging, especially after experiencing an emotionally triggering event. 

PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder as defined by the Mayo Clinic “is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event—either experiencing it or witnessing it.” PTSD is recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a diagnosable mental health condition and is listed under the new category called Trauma- and Stressor- Related Disorders. PTSD can occur when an individual has experienced severe stress or anxiety after being exposed to a traumatic event. The most widespread symptoms associated with PTSD could include any combination of the following examples, provided by the National Institute of Mental Health:

  • Agitation
  • Reckless behaviors
  • Regressions
  • Flashbacks to the event
  • Irritability
  • Irregular sleep
  • Physical aches and pains
  • Difficulty with physical contact
  • Depression 
  • Severe anxiety
  • Isolation
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Low self-esteem
  • Constant feelings of fear and worry
  • Hyper vigilance
  • Experiencing crying spells
  • Tense muscles
  • Suicidal ideations
  • Exhaustion
  • Risky behavior
  • Social anxiety

The symptoms of PTSD can be incredibly distressing. Every individual who suffers from PTSD will have his or her own set of unique symptoms. Although borderline personality disorder (BPD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are two distinct mental health ailments with different characteristics they are often confused. This is primarily because they share a remarkably similar list of symptoms and triggers. While there is significant overlap in symptoms, the difference between BPD ad PTSD is that the symptoms of PTSD are provoked by external triggers and the symptoms of BPD stem from an inconsistent self-concept

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment. 

Coping With Pregnancy And BPD

Coping With Pregnancy And BPD

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic mental health disorder. It characterized by a pervasive pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image issues, difficulty managing emotions and behaviors, and an inability to appropriately self-regulate. The symptoms that manifest because of borderline personality disorder often mimic those of other mental health disorders such as histrionic personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder and bipolar personality disorder. Individuals with borderline personality disorder feel prolonged, intense emotions and are unable to return to a neutral emotional baseline after facing an emotionally charged experience in a timely manner. This can affect all areas of one’s life as the duration it takes an individual with BPD to process, integrate, and recover from emotional challenges is elongated. Further, the symptoms associated with borderline personality disorder can interfere with an individual’s ability to function optimally in his or her daily life.

Impact Of BPD In Pregnancy

To effectively cope with pregnancy and BPD it is helpful to be aware of some of the effects that can occur when these two conditions coincide. Women with borderline personality disorder during pregnancy are faced with additional challenges, as risk of certain complications increase, and BPD symptoms influence various aspects of pregnancy. For example, leading experts assert “Women with borderline personality disorder during pregnancy have been found to be at increased risk of gestational diabetes, premature rupture of the membranes, chorioamnionitis, venous thromboembolism, caesarian section and preterm birth.” It is not uncommon for women with BPD to experience distress when touched. The anticipation of birth is often perceived as traumatic, and women will frequently request early delivery. 

What To Do

Pregnancy is a major period of transition in one’s life that is filled with wide ranging emotions. Along with the typical strains and stressors that can accompany pregnancy, individuals that simultaneously struggle with managing symptoms of BPD while pregnant are at increased risk of encountering avoidable challenges. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to help woman with BPD navigate her pregnancy and manage her symptoms. Consider the following suggestions:

  • Minimize the number of people caring for the pregnant woman: leaning on the same person or small group of people during the pregnancy can be helpful for women with BDP, as continuity of caretaker/s provides consistency and familiarity. 
  • Encourage the pregnant woman to identify and seek practical and/ or emotional support services.
  • Urge the pregnant woman to focus on making healthy daily choices (e.g., eating nutritiously, establish good sleeping patterns, etc.).
  • Engaging in regular exercise can be advantageous, as it promotes the release of endorphins and increases serotonin levels.

Although for some women with borderline personality disorder, the idea of getting pregnant may seem outlandish or dangerous, it is important to note that with the proper support, a woman with BPD is fully capable of having a perfectly healthy pregnancy. 

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment. 

Helping A Partner Who Has BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)

Helping A Partner Who Has BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic, mental disorder. As defined by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), “borderline personality disorder is an illness characterized by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, behavior, and self-image.” Individuals with borderline personality disorder feel prolonged, intense emotions and are unable to return to a neutral emotional baseline after facing an emotionally charged experience in a timely manner. This can affect all areas of one’s life as the duration it takes an individual with BPD to process, integrate, and recover from emotional challenges is elongated. Individuals with borderline personality disorder often struggle with relationship issues, lack self-esteem, have a poor self-image, and have an inability to appropriately self-regulate. Borderline personality disorder is not an uncommon disorder, as the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) estimates that 1.4% of the adults in America experience BPD. 

Diagnostic Criteria 

There is no definitive medical test to diagnose borderline personality disorder. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), borderline personality disorder is diagnosed when an individual experiences “a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood” and must experience five or more of the following symptoms in a variety of contexts:

  • Emotional instability
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Efforts to avoid abandonment
  • Impulsive behaviors
  • Identity disturbances
  • Inappropriate, irrational and/ or intense bouts of anger
  • Transient paranoid and/ or dissociative symptoms
  • Unstable interpersonal relationships
  • Suicidal and/ or self-harming behaviors

Due to its illusive nature, borderline personality disorder can be extremely difficult to diagnose. As such, to obtain the most accurate mental health diagnosis it is imperative to undergo a comprehensive evaluation that is conducted by one or more qualified mental health professionals. 

What You Can Do

Despite the challenges that BPD can bring to a relationship maintaining self-care practices and utilizing effective communication skills are essential for both partners, and integral to the health of the relationship. Consider the following suggestions to help you navigate your partner’s BPD:

  • Increase empathy: learn as much as you can about borderline personality disorder to increase empathy in your partnership
  • Remain calm: do not engage in serious conversations unless your partner is calm 
  • Be supportive: provide your partner with emotional support and understanding, and be sure to let your partner know that you fully support their treatment 
  • Avoid shame and blame: remember that labeling and blaming is not productive nor will it help to de-escalate or resolve any situation
  • Take threats seriously: threats of self-harm should not be minimized or ignored, and should prompt you to seek immediate professional help

It is important to bear in mind that although BPD is a chronic condition, with proper support, is it possible for an individual diagnosed with borderline personality disorder to learn strategies, techniques, and tools to effectively manage the symptoms associated with BPD, reducing the severity of symptoms experienced and increasing one’s quality of life.

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

Are Binge Eating and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Connected?

Are Binge Eating and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Connected?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic mental health disorder. It characterized by a pervasive pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image issues, and difficulty managing emotions and behaviors, which interfere with one’s ability to function in everyday life. Although there is no single cause of borderline personality disorder, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) alludes to research that “suggests that genetics, brain structure and function, and environmental, cultural, and social factors play a role, or may increase the risk for developing borderline personality disorder.” Akin to BPD, the exact cause behind why individuals develop eating disorders remains unknown, but research has found that it is likely due to a combination of psychological, biological, and environmental factors. 

 

Binge eating disorder (BED) is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a severe, life-threatening eating disorder. According to National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), it is characterized by “recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food (often very quickly and to the point of discomfort); a feeling of a loss of control during the binge; experiencing shame, distress or guilt afterwards and not regularly using unhealthy compensatory measures (e.g., purging) to counter the binge eating.” Binge eating disorder is currently known to be the most common eating disorder in the United States.

 

Are They Connected?

Yes, binge eating, and borderline personality disorder are connected. More so, research has found an undeniably strong relationship between borderline personality disorder and dysregulated eating behaviors, such as binge eating. The symptoms of BPD often result in reckless and hasty actions, negatively affecting one’s relationships. Some highly regarded professionals in the mental health field suggest that it may be that the symptoms of BPD play an active role in the development of binge eating disorder. For example, common symptoms of BPD such as chronic impulsivity and urges to self-harm could lead to an individual engaging in detrimental eating behaviors, which would subsequently increase one’s susceptibility for developing an eating disorder. Conversely, engaging in dysregulated eating behaviors may cause an individual to experience overwhelming stress, which may trigger BPD in someone with a genetic vulnerability for the disorder. The prevalence of eating disorders is about 6 to 11% in those with borderline personality disorder, which is far greater than individuals with an eating disorder in the general public that amount to an approximate 2 to 4%. Hence, the rate of BPD in people with eating disorders is notably elevated when compared to the general population.

 

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.