Personality disorders are often difficult to treat and even more complex to understand. Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a personality disorder that impacts an individual’s ability to interact positively with others, maintain strong relationships, develop healthy self-image, and control their emotions.
It is common that most individuals who struggle with symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder do not recognize the effects of their disorder. However, close friends, family, and loved ones can easily recognize the symptoms, especially if they are educated on BPD.
This month’s BPD Awareness Month is a good time to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder to determine if you or someone you love needs treatment for BPD.
Recognizing Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms
If you have a loved one who has Borderline Personality Disorder, it is likely that you have noticed their disruptive patterns of behavior. While you might not be fully informed about specific BPD symptoms, you can still help a loved one get help for their behavioral issues by being supportive while encouraging BPD treatment.
In the meantime, however, pinpointing the behaviors of this disorder can become much easier if you are aware of the many symptoms associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.
The symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder, as listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), are:
- Extreme reactions – including panic, depression, rage, or frantic actions – to abandonment, whether real or perceived
- A pattern of intense and stormy relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, often veering from extreme closeness and love (idealization) to extreme dislike or anger (devaluation)
- Distorted and unstable self-image or sense of self, which can result in sudden changes in feelings, opinions, values, or plans and goals for the future (such as school or career choices)
- Impulsive and often dangerous behaviors, such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, and binge eating
- Recurring suicidal behaviors or threats or self-harming behavior, such as cutting
- Intense and highly changeable moods, with each episode lasting from a few hours to a few days
- Chronic feelings of emptiness and/or boredom
- Inappropriate intense anger or problems controlling anger
- Having stress-related paranoid thoughts or severe dissociative symptoms, such as feeling cut off from oneself, observing oneself from outside the body, or losing touch with reality
By taking notice of a loved one’s behaviors and any co-occurring disorders, such as depression, anxiety, or eating disorders, you can begin to recognize the symptoms of BPD and work on determining ways to help obtain BPD treatment.
Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder
If you believe your loved one is displaying the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder, it is important that you work to support them in ways that encourage their participation in BPD treatment. Of course, before you do so, it’s imperative to get a professional diagnosis of BPD by a mental health professional.
The most common forms of treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder include behavioral therapy, such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and additional forms of therapy, such as mindfulness. Your loved one might also receive medication to help ease additional symptoms of their disorder, including depression or anxiety.
The first step to successful treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder is recognizing the symptoms of BPD. During this month’s BPD Awareness Month, take time to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of BPD so that you can determine if you or your loved one needs BPD treatment.