What is Borderline Personality Disorder, and can it be treated?

In 2012, Hannah thought she’d met the love of her life. Marco was tall, beautiful, charming, and kind, but most of all – he loved Hannah. She felt on top of the world when she was with him, as though she was the most beautiful girl on the planet. In her mind she envisioned their wedding, their children, and their long, happy future.

But despite Marco’s kindness and fondness of Hannah, Hannah was jealous. Any woman who so much as looked at Marco was met with a sneer or a snarky comment, followed by Hannah screaming and crying at Marco in private. He would soothe her, calm her, and the next day, it would start again.

Marco would soon learn more about his girlfriend than he ever wanted to know. It wouldn’t be long before he discovered her infidelity through hidden texts and secret DMs to other men. When he confronted Hannah, she blamed her insecurity and instability on him, and then would threaten to take her life.

Hannah had Borderline Personality Disorder.

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental health disorder characterized by intense and unstable emotions, impulsiveness, distorted self-image, and difficulty maintaining relationships. BPD affects around 2% of the general population and is diagnosed more often in women than in men. While the causes of BPD are not yet fully understood, research suggests a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurobiological factors may play a role.

Symptoms of BPD can vary in severity, but often include intense and rapidly changing emotions, such as anger, anxiety, or depression. Individuals with BPD may also experience impulsive and reckless behaviors, such as substance abuse, binge eating, or risky sexual behavior. They may engage in self-harm or have thoughts of suicide, and have difficulty maintaining healthy relationships with others, frequently experiencing abandonment fears and unstable interpersonal relationships.

A key hallmark of BPD is the persistent struggle with self-image, with individuals often experiencing significant changes in their beliefs about themselves, as well as their opinions and relationships with others. This can lead to feelings of emptiness, self-doubt, and difficulty trusting others. People with BPD may also engage in “splitting,” where they alternate between idealizing and devaluing others.

Diagnosis of BPD is often difficult, as symptoms can resemble those of other mental health disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder. BPD is typically diagnosed by a mental health professional through a comprehensive evaluation, including a thorough medical and psychological history, and a review of symptoms.

The treatment of BPD often requires a combination of approaches, including psychotherapy, medication, and other holistic interventions. Psychotherapy, particularly dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), is one of the most effective treatments for BPD and focuses on helping individuals regulate their emotions and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
Medications, such as anti-depressants or mood stabilizers, can also be helpful in managing symptoms of BPD. However, medication alone is not a complete solution, and it is important for individuals with BPD to receive a comprehensive treatment plan that includes therapy and other holistic approaches, such as mindfulness and stress management techniques.

Living with BPD can be challenging, but it is possible to manage symptoms and lead a fulfilling life with the right support and treatment. Family and friends can play a crucial role in helping loved ones with BPD, by providing a supportive and understanding environment, as well as learning about the disorder and how to best support their loved one.

It is important to note that BPD is a treatable condition, and individuals with BPD can lead fulfilling and meaningful lives with the right treatment and support. With the right help and support, individuals with BPD can develop healthy coping mechanisms, regulate their emotions, and build stable and meaningful relationships.

While Borderline Personality Disorder is a complex and challenging condition that can greatly impact an individual’s ability to lead a fulfilling life, with the right treatment and support, individuals with BPD can manage their symptoms.
If you or someone you know is struggling with BPD, it’s important to reach out to a mental health professional for a proper evaluation and treatment plan.

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