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 http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/ .

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/resolution-not-conflict/201210/when-your-mother-has-borderline-personality

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hope-eating-disorder-recovery/201609/what-is-dbt

Source for Picture:

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Self-Harm

Self-Harm

Self-Harm

By: Julia Keys

        Self-harm is the act of intentionally injuring oneself without intending suicide. Self-harming behaviors may include, but are not limited to: cutting, scratching, burning, banging/bruising or interference with an injury so that it cannot heal. Self-harm has become a huge concern within the adolescent demographic. Research shows that girls are more likely than boys to self-harm. A recent study shows that up to 17% of teenagers self-harm. To many others who do not self-harm, the act of intentionally hurting oneself may be perplexing, however there are many reasons why people self-harm.

The root of self-harming behavior stems from a lack of healthy coping mechanisms. Oftentimes people turn to self-harm when they have overwhelming feelings of anger, anxiety, depression, or guilt that they do not know how to express. Some self-harm as an act of release, similar to crying or screaming. Once they self-harm, the body releases endorphins which are the body’s natural painkillers, giving the individual feelings of relaxation or happiness. Sometimes people self-harm because they “feel numb”, and harming themselves makes them feel alive.

Here are some signs someone you love may be self-harming:

  • Unexplained cuts, bruises or marks
  • Patterns of parallel cuts or scars
  • Sudden change in mood
  • Wearing clothing inappropriate to the weather in an attempt to cover certain parts of the body
  • Secretive behavior
  • Self-isolating behavior

While self-harm is usually not an attempt at suicide, it is a very serious sign of emotional distress. If you are struggling with self-harm or know someone struggling with self-harm, here are some resources you may find helpful.

Self-Harm Hotline: 1-800-DON’T-CUT (1-800-366-8288)

Self-Harm Text Hotline: Text CONNECT to 741741 in the United States.

If you or a loved one is struggling with self-harm, do not hesitate to seek help by contacting 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 http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/ .

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evidence-based-living/201805/why-do-youth-self-injure

https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Related-Conditions/Self-harm

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/cutting-self-harm-signs-treatment#3

Source for Picture:

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Addiction

By: Dianna Gomez

It is more often than not assumed that a person addicted to a substance, whether it be drugs or alcohol, is someone with shallow morals, little motivation, and that if he or she really wanted to, they could simply stop using at any moment. These assumptions show how extremely misunderstood addiction is by our general public, as well as how infrequently this topic is discussed among us. Addiction is a chronic disease that affects a person’s brain chemistry, thoughts, and behaviors. An individual can initially fall into addiction through voluntarily substance use or through necessary use of prescription medication prescribed by a doctor (ex: pain medication for after a surgery). When addiction first begins, the substance affects the reward circuits in the brain which causes feelings of complete euphoria. If a person continues to use the substance, the brain adjusts itself and develops a “tolerance” for it, which causes the individual to not feel the effects of the drug as intensely as they did the first time the drug was taken. This requires the person to have to use a larger quantity of the substance in order to reach the same level of “high” they did before. There are many different ways an individual can naturally be more vulnerable to addiction throughout their lifetime. Two of these main ways include biology and environment.

Biology: the genetics a person is born with can affect up to 50% of their risk for becoming addicted to a substance. This includes factors such as gender, ethnicity, and an individual’s family mental health history.

Environment: the conditions in which an individual is brought up in such as their economic status, family/friends, and quality of life in general also plays a huge role in their vulnerability for addiction. Peer pressure, lack of parental guidance, traumatic experiences with abuse (physical, emotional, sexual) are a few examples of common environmental influences.

If either you or anybody you know suffers from substance abuse or addiction, the licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can help you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201)-368-3700 or (212)-722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit us at https://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/.

 

Compulsive Sexual Behavior

Compulsive Sexual Behavior/ Hypersexuality:
By: Cassie Sieradzky

Compulsive sexual behavior, also known as hypersexuality or sexual addiction, is characterized by frequent sexual fantasies, urges, and behaviors. These intense and repetitive preoccupations are uncontrollable and distressing to the individual, which can result in impaired daily functioning. Compulsive sexual behavior is more common in men and usually develops during late adolescence or early adulthood. This disorder is often undiagnosed because the individual may feel embarrassed about their behavior and unwilling to disclose information that could lead to a diagnosis and they may be unaware that this disorder can be successfully treated.

Compulsive sexual behavior can be diagnosed if a person experiences 3 or more symptoms for over 6 months. The symptoms include time consumed by sexual urges/fantasies/behaviors repetitively interferes with other important facets of life, repetitively engaging in sexual fantasies/urges/behaviors in response to negative mood states, repetitively engaging in sexual fantasies/urges/behaviors in response to stressful life events, repetitive but unsuccessful efforts to control these symptoms, and repetitively engaging in sexual behaviors while disregarding the risk for physical or emotional harm to self or others. Compulsive sexual behavior is highly comorbid and research suggests that about 50% of adults diagnosed with this disorder also meet criteria for at least 1 other psychiatric disorder, such as mood, anxiety, substance use, impulse control, or personality disorders. This disorder also comes with increased risk of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Psychotherapy and some medications are successful in treating compulsive sexual disorder.

If you or a loved one appears to be suffering from compulsive sexual behavior, licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can assist you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/

Grant, J. E. (2018, February). Compulsive sexual behavior: A nonjudgmental approach. Current Psychiatry, 17(2), 34-45.