There’s no doubt that relationships can be complicated, whether they are romantic, familial, or platonic. You’re sure to endure a few rough patches here and there, most of which are short-lasting and easy to resolve. But what can you do when your relationship with someone seems to constantly bounce back and forth between being absolutely incredible and completely miserable? Personality disorders can make navigating relationships a challenge, and borderline personality disorder (BPD) is no exception. Thankfully, locating an experienced psychologist for BPD treatment can help.
At Blair Wellness Group, we offer concierge-style counseling services in Beverly Hills for a variety of conditions and disorders. If you suspect that either you or a loved one is struggling with BPD, we invite you to contact Dr. Blair for help. In today’s post, we’ll review five frequently asked questions about the disorder.
A Closer Look at Borderline Personality Disorder
What is Borderline Personality Disorder?
BPD is a mental health disorder that affects the way an individual thinks and feels about themselves and other people. Individuals with the condition may have difficulty regulating emotions. This perception of self and others combined with unstable self-regulation can lead to impulsive actions, relationship difficulties, and a poor self-image, as well as intense emotional reactions to stressors.
Approximately 1.6% of adults in the United States experience BPD. Of those diagnosed, about 75% are women. However, new research suggests that the disorder may be just as common among men, but that they may commonly be misdiagnosed with depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.
How is Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnosed?
BPD can only be diagnosed by a qualified mental health professional following a comprehensive clinical interview and psychological evaluation. Clinicians may also review previous mental health evaluations and conduct interviews with those closest to the patient to render a diagnosis.
What Are the Symptoms?
Nine symptoms are considered markers for potential BPD. These include:
- An extreme fear of real or perceived abandonment, separation, or rejection. Individuals may go to great lengths to avoid these scenarios.
- Recurring relationships that are intense and unstable. One may idolize a loved one or friend one moment, then consider them an enemy the next.
- Rapid fluctuations in how someone views themselves. This might include rapid changes in goals and values and devalued self-worth.
- Stress-induced paranoia and disconnect from reality. These periods may be short and last a few minutes, or they may be longer and last for hours.
- Impulsivity and risky behavior. This behavior may present itself in various ways, such as food or drug abuse, practicing unsafe sex, poor financial restraint, and sabotaging successes, as well as other hasty and high-risk behavior.
- Self-harming behavior, self-injury, and suicidal threats. These are often fear responses to real or perceived separation or rejection.
- Wide, intense, and unpredictable mood swings including. These periods may be short and last a few minutes, or they may be longer and last for hours.
- Perpetually feeling empty.
- Explosive and inappropriate bursts of anger. This may include losing one’s temper frequently, being bitter or sarcastic, or having physical altercations.
These symptoms are often triggered by ordinary events that would not trigger a response in those who don’t have BPD. Additionally, not everyone who has BPD will experience all of these symptoms — some individuals may have a few while others experience more.
How Can I Help My Loved One?
If you are concerned that a friend or a loved one has BPD, the best way to help them is to be supportive. This can be challenging in the face of emotional instability and outbursts of anger, and your friend or loved one may try to isolate themselves even when they need your support the most.
The first step to supporting your friend or loved one is to recognize the symptoms yourself. If you think they would be open to it, talk about your observations with your friend or loved one to help them recognize the symptoms you are seeing. It is important to remain calm when they are in crisis, listening to them to help them feel understood. Speak honestly and kindly without ridiculing your friend or loved one and check in with them often. Encourage treatment and support them if they decide to seek treatment.
How is Borderline Personality Disorder Treated?
Historically, a comprehensive treatment plan that combines psychotherapy, medications, and emotional support has provided a positive long-term outcome for those with BPD. There are various forms of psychotherapy that can be effective at addressing the emotional dysregulation that accompanies this disorder. Psychotherapy is also great for learning and fine-tuning coping skills while coming to terms with the disorder. Medications may be prescribed to address any anxiety or depression that the individual is experiencing, and they may increase one’s ability to engage in treatment. If an individual has been diagnosed with another mental health disorder in conjunction with BPD, it is important that both disorders are addressed at the same time. With the right treatment plan and supportive loved ones, those with BPD can experience relationships that are meaningful and less turbulent.
Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment in Beverly Hills, Irvine, and Newport Beach
Borderline personality disorder can take a heavy toll on a relationship, whether you exhibit symptoms of the disorder yourself, or the person with whom you are in a relationship does. If the information we presented in today’s post resonated with you, rest assured that you aren’t alone. Blair Wellness Group offers borderline personality disorder treatment in Beverly Hills and we are here to help. Request an appointment with Dr. Blair today.