Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder

By: Julia Keys

Personality disorders are often tricky to spot and hard to treat. This is because the symptoms of many personality disorders lie at the core of one’s identity. It is easy to dismiss someone’s behavior as their personality or “just the way they are”. It is important for these individuals to seek help when the symptoms cause them distress, dysfunction or danger.

Borderline Personality Disorder, also known as BPD, is characterized by a general instability in: moods, relationships with others, sense of self and behavior. About 2% of adults are affected by BPD and 75% of those affected are women. BPD can be dangerous because it can cause suicidal behavior and impulsive choices.

Symptoms of BPD:

  • Efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
  • A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships
  • Persistent and unstable sense of self
  • Impulsive behaviors such as: excessive spending, unprotected sex, reckless driving, and substance abuse
  • Self-harming behavior
  • Rapidly changing mood swings
  • Feeling like they are “losing touch with reality”
  • Difficulty regulating emotional reactions

Perhaps the most pervasive and debilitating symptom of BPD is the unstable pattern of relationships. People with BPD can quickly attach themselves to others and idealize them, but when a conflict occurs they may feel intense anger and dislike towards them. BPD tends to produce all or nothing thinking, which can explain the tendency to see people as either fantastic or terrible. Moods, relationships, people and ideas are oftentimes perceived as either all good or all bad. The highly volatile state of a person with BPD can be very confusing and distressing for the person experiencing it.

Fortunately, there has been a considerable amount of research on BPD and how to treat it in the past two decades. Dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT, is a type of psychotherapy developed specifically for those struggling with BPD. DBT teaches mindfulness, self-soothing, emotional regulation, and relationship regulation techniques to help those with BPD. Medications such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotics are also used to aid in treatment.

If you or a loved one is suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, please contact Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy, located in New York and New Jersey to speak to licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists. To contact the office in Paramus NJ, call (201) 368-3700. To contact the office in Manhattan, call (212) 722-1920. For more information, please visit .


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