What is Borderline Personality Disorder?
Modern psychiatry, which arguably had started with Dr. Sigmund’s Freud quite outrageous (for its time, of course) claims and theories had really started to take off during the early decades of the 20th century. Nowadays, no one can legitimately say to a single person that he or she is “crazy” because—let us face it—there are just different kinds of “crazy” out there that it is really quite hard to lump it into a single, catch all term. And, most often, it is not the fault of those affected persons on why they had become “crazy” in the first place. Either they just have a hard time controlling those obsessions of their or it may be because they are doing those things rather unconsciously. But the bottom line is that these affected persons need our help and understanding, even though practically only some of them will admit that they are indeed having a problem.
Out of all the mental disorders out there —schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder among some of the more common—the condition called borderline personality disorder (BPD) may arguably prove to be the most unpredictable and volatile out of all those aforementioned conditions. Why is it so then? A borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a severe and potentially threatening mental disorder which is characterized by the affected individual having an all encompassing and constant wavering and instability in his or her moods, his or her relationships with his or her immediate family or other persons of note, how he or she views himself or herself, and, more importantly, how that individual acts and behaves. This constant volatility can often wreak havoc on one’s personal life—which can be either family or work related—on how that affected individual may be able to plan for his or her future, or even question the purpose of his or her existence.
- Borderline personality disorder (BPD) had been initially thought of as being the initial manifestation that an individual may exhibit before he or she goes into a full blown psychosis, hence the “borderline” tag which had become popularly associated with it later in the study of this disorder. Folks who are affected with borderline personality disorder (BPD) are all unable to maintain and regulate how they can be able to show their emotions.
- However, what makes it more dangerous than, say, schizophrenia or a manic depressive bipolar disorder is that borderline personality disorder is found to be the most widespread mental illness affecting all types of the worldwide population.
- Currently, borderline personality disorder already affects a total of 2 percent of adults globally.
- The suicide rate for borderline personality disorder is staggeringly high, which makes it an immediate emergency if one is found or even suspected to have borderline personality disorder.
Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
It can be quite difficult to pinpoint how exactly we can identify what makes a person highly susceptible or be diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, what we need to keep in mind is that there are quite discernible and persistent patterns of mental and emotional instability that may alert someone that you or your loved one may have borderline personality disorder (BPD).
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) may occur much earlier during one’s childhood or teen years, but it can only be properly diagnosed once the affected person has reached eighteen years of age or is already into his or her early adulthood. The quite unstable pattern of trying to relate or personally intermingle or interact with his or her peers or to other people of varying backgrounds may have been continuously and unconsciously persevered for some months or even for years. The type of problems that are seen with one’s borderline personality disorder (BPD) is most usually linked to the affected person’s images of his or her self and is related to his or her earliest remembered social interactions. This type of mental and emotional pattern is often manifested in a diversity of settings, like during at work, during at home, or even during the time when he or she is just “relaxing” (i.e. when that affected person is on vacation). A parallel can also be drawn on how that affected person can have his or her mood or feelings exhibit a pendulum-like manifestation of its extremes (i.e. being sad in one moment and laughing hysterically the next, all in quick succession).
One thing to note for the affected individuals having borderline personality disorder (BPD) is that they often show sigs and streaks of having an overbearing impulsive behaviour.
Other “symptoms” to watch out for are:
- the affected person being in constant fear of being abandoned, whether it is real or not;
- trouble identifying with oneself or even questioning his or her worth;
- a constant and often uncontrolled indulgence in his or her impulsive behaviour which can often amount to physically or mentally damaging his or herself, like indulging in substance abuse or even things like having uncontrollable binges during the night;
- an instability in his or her emotional state;
- having thoughts of being unjustly persecuted or paranoia;
- difficulty in controlling his or her temper;
- and one which can prove to be most dangerous in the end, having thoughts and ideas of committing suicide or even entertaining certain notions of suicide.
If you or your loved one have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD), you may find out that these symptoms only reach their “peak” during the prime of adulthood, which ranges from the ages of twenty or thirty years of age. Borderline personality disorder (BPD) reaches a “plateau” state during an affected person’s trek into middle age, which can be during his or her 40′s or 50′s.
Causes of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
Just like any psychological or personality disorder that have been discovered even around during fifty years ago, borderline personality disorder (BPD) still is considered by all experts as being “idiopathic”. What that means for us common folk is that there is still no clear-cut case as to why certain persons develop borderline personality disorder (BPD). Even when some researchers have managed to gather some rather impressive data of some notable borderline personality disorder (BPD) sufferers, they still cannot exactly trace the etiology of the disorder.
However, what most researchers can agree on is that there are various factors to be considered when studying the condition of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Most experts are now convinced that borderline personality disorder (BPD) starts out as a response of the affected individual that deals with the several biologic, genetic and environmental factors that are immediately available to him or her. Some leading theories still abound as to why certain persons develop borderline personality disorder (BPD), but as of this writing, none of these can still prove to be conclusive enough to warrant a satisfactory explanation.
Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnosis
There are a variety of tools and some concentrated probing to be done by the clinician to properly diagnose if the affected person is indeed suffering from borderline personality disorder (BPD). Unlike most “common” diseases, there are no blood tests or chemical testing to be done.
All the clinician has to do is to do a diagnostic interview with his or her client, the client’s family members, and all the client’s other immediate persons of note and contact.
A pre-planned questionnaire is also given for the client to be answered. Lastly, the above symptoms that we have discussed above are used as the “criteria” in determining whether the client really has BPD if he or she exhibits two or more characteristics associated with this disorder. These symptoms, of course, should have been occurring for a long time even before the client or any of his or her loved ones had noticed that something was wrong.
Treatments for Borderline Personality Disorder
Treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a combination of medications and behavioural therapy. Some of the more common therapies for borderline personality disorder are:
- psychotherapy, which can help the individual in question develop and maintain his or her new coping skills; possible hospitalization, which may be necessary if the client is posing a potential harm to him or herself, and a
- combination of medication therapies like antipsychotics, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers.
Famous People or Celebrities with Borderline Personality Disorder
While some of these personalities haven’t been properly diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD), some of their actions over the course of their lifetimes may have indicated that they may be indeed suffering from this condition. This is like a veritable who’s who of chronic mental illness sufferers: Adolf Hitler, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana of Wales, and even current artists and socialites like Angeline Jolie, Amy Winehouse, and grunge icon Kurt Cobain.
It can be quite challenging to be affected with borderline personality disorder. However, all these people just need are our concern and care. If you ever suspect that you or your loved one may have BPD, please don’t hesitate to call on your local psychiatrist.