BPD or borderline personality disorder is relatively common. Actually, it is estimated that one in 100 people live with this condition. Or, to put it in a different way, 1.4%of the adult population has been diagnosed with BPD — the majority of them women. And yet, in spite of its prevalence, this illness remains quite stigmatized. Most individuals do not know what borderline personality disorder is. Their only information of the condition comes from the media, and from shows and cinemas such as Fatal Attraction or Tamasha But the actual condition differs quite a bit from the movie portrayals. There are still several misconceptions about BPD.
Shivani Sadhoo says borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental illness that is usually misunderstood by the general population and even certain healthcare professionals. It is also a disorder that has the ability to negatively affect the lives of others. Because of the two issues, there are several misconceptions about BPD. But if you or someone you know has BPD, it is important to understand the facts about the illness in order to start recovery. There is both help and hope.
So this article, by Psychologist Shivani Misri Sadhoo talks about what is a borderline personality disorder? The signs and symptoms, and how it is treated? Here is everything one needs to know about borderline personality disorder.
What is BPD?
A borderline personality disorder is a personality disorder or illness marked by an ongoing pattern of differing moods, self-image, and behaviour.
People having BPD might experience mood swings and/or perceive things in extremes, i.e. everything is excellent or worst. Life is black or white. People having borderline personality disorder struggle with their sense of self-worth. Their self-image is usually distorted and/or unstable, as are their relationships. They might swing from being extremely close to the friends and loved ones in their life to being completely angry and/or distant.
The Signs and Symptoms
While everyone will experience BPD in different ways, but those who live with borderline personality disorder seem to have difficulties with:
- Feeling bad about themselves
- Controlling their emotions
- Suicidal thoughts
- Feeling ’empty’ or numb
- Identity confusion
- Maintaining stable relationships
The actual reason for borderline personality disorder is not known; however, some research suggests that genetics, environmental, cultural, and social factors might play a role. There is no sole reason why certain people develop a borderline personality disorder. Also, professionals cannot use things such as blood tests or brain scans to help diagnose who are suffering.
That said, you might be more vulnerable to BPD if a close family member, such as a parent or sibling also has BPD. Experiencing abuse and/or long-term distress in your childhood may also increase your chances of being diagnosed with BPD, as can your brain’s development.
Studies indicate that people having borderline personality disorder might have structural and functional changes in the brain specifically, in the areas that control impulses and emotional regulation. However, is it not certain whether these changes are risk factors for the disorder, or done by the disorder.
Ways it is Diagnosed
There are no medical tests that can confirm or deny the presence of BPD. In fact, BPD is diagnosed based on a sequence of assessments, including a medical examination, a psychological evaluation, and a discussion of your signs and symptoms.
A qualified and professional mental health professional like a psychiatrist, psychologist, experienced in diagnosing and treating mental disorders is able to diagnose borderline personality disorder by completing a thorough screening, interview, including a discussion related symptoms; performing a careful and complete medical bases evaluation, which will help rule out other possible causes of symptoms and by asking about family medical histories, including any history of mental illness.
The manner it is Treated
BPD is historically quite hard to treat, but saying that there is assistance and hope for those having this condition.