Helping Your Loved One With Borderline Personality Disorder

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borderline personality disorder

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a much-misunderstood condition that is often mistaken for a variety of other mental illnesses. The combination of mood swings, altered self-image, and impulsive behavior lends the disorder to common misdiagnoses, especially bipolar disorder. For many who suffer from BPD, these symptoms can result in destructive actions and cause problems in relationships.

People with this disorder may experience intense episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety. Sometimes these emotions cycle in quick succession, and sometimes they can last for hours or even days. Learning the signs and symptoms can go a long way for anyone living with or adjacent to BPD. Whether it’s for yourself or a loved one, educate yourself to create understanding and better support for your life with this condition.

Know the Signs of Borderline Personality Disorder

One of the mental hallmarks of BPD is struggling with issues that aren’t black and white. This means that there is no middle ground when it comes to deciding if something is good or bad. As a result, someone who lives with BPD may feel deep uncertainty about how they view themselves and how they fit into the world. This leads to constant changes in their interests and values. There may be a back and forth when it comes to their feelings about other people. If you’re close with someone who has BPD, you may notice inconsistencies in your position in their life. As a result, some relationships can become intense or unstable. They may experience intense and sometimes rapid mood swings. In short, this disorder can entail an overarching feeling of confusion.

The pattern of unstable relationships is often most visible among the person’s family, friends, and closest loved ones. It may seem difficult to keep up with how they feel about you. BPD can also include intermittent feelings of emotional emptiness, hopelessness, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts. These symptoms can be dangerous without the right help. If someone in your life is showing these signs, they likely need someone who truly cares about them enough to help them through difficult moments. Like most mental disorders, each person’s experience of BPD is unique to them. Symptoms can evolve over time, especially in response to different forms of treatment or care.

How Does BPD Develop?

Like many other disorders, it is unclear which factors lead to borderline personality disorder. Different experts have suggested that it may be caused by genetics, the physical structure of the brain, a person’s environment, or various social factors. While inconclusive, research indicates that these factors can each contribute to an increased risk of BPD. Being related to or even raised by a person who has the condition puts you at higher risk of developing it yourself.

Some studies on the brain have helped to expand our understanding of how BPD works. The part of the brain that is responsible for impulses and emotional regulation may hold the key to the root of this disorder. Perhaps most significant of all, the environment where people spend most of their time can help shape people into who they are. Undergoing traumatic life events like abuse or abandonment in your childhood can lead to unstable emotions or mental states.

Options for Treating BPD

Just because some have labeled BPD as difficult to treat doesn’t mean there’s nothing that can be done. New evidence suggests that people who put effort into treatment will end up improving their quality of life for as long as their treatment is evidence-based and specialized to meet their needs. With patience and persistence, you can gain control over your condition.

Someone with BPD may also experience depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, substance abuse, or even eating disorders. For this reason, one of the most important steps to take when addressing BPD is to speak with a psychiatrist or psychologist. A medical professional will conduct an interview with the patient to discuss symptoms and figure out what they can do to help you. Professional insight is key to both determining the source of your symptoms and ruling out other potential causes.

Once you begin treatment, you must stick with it. Consistency is a huge part of overcoming this disorder. A key part of being consistent is understanding that you are not a bad person so that when you make your mistakes along the way, you can keep pushing forward. If you have a loved one who is battling BPD, it is important to both maintain patience and set healthy boundaries. As a member of their support system, finding the balance between providing accountability and love will go a long way.

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a much-misunderstood condition that can often be confused with or misdiagnosed as other mental health issues. If someone you love is struggling with symptoms of depression, feeling confused about their existence, or finding it difficult to maintain multiple unstable relationships, it’s important to do your best to be there for them. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if your loved one shows symptoms that you interpret as anxiety, depression, or substance abuse. Our staff at Kimberly Center in Fort Myers, Florida, is here to make a difference. We provide unique insight into your mental health challenges and can accurately guide you towards care that meets your needs. Whether you need long-term care, short-term treatment, or an outpatient program, we are here to help you establish what it will take to achieve your wellness goals. Take matters into your own hands by finding effective help today. Contact us at (855)-452-3683 to learn more.

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