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How to deal with Borderline Personality Disorder : Symptoms and Treatment

Updated on July 27, 2013
Girl suffering borderline personality disorder
Girl suffering borderline personality disorder

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

The borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a disorder of personality characterized by sudden changes in mood, behavior and instability of relationships with others, marked impulsive reaction and difficulty organizing their thoughts in a coherent manner. These elements reinforce one another, resulting in considerable suffering and problematic behaviors.
Among personality disorders, BPD is what comes most common in clinical observation. Affects 2% of the population, more frequently female. Onset occurs in adolescence or early adulthood.

The Causes of Borderline Personality Disorder

However the causes are not exactly known yet.They are likely to be biological, genetic or social factors. The chemicals that control the mood of a person may have a role in this problem. People get this might be a victim of childhood abuse or trauma.If a person has this personality disorder, research imply that there is a minor risk for this disorder to be “passed down” to their children.

Behaviour of a person with BPD

Intense emotions and mood swings.

Those who are affected by BPD exhibit sudden changes of mood :for example they may fluctuate rapidly between the serenity and intense sadness or between the intense anger and the sense of guilt.

These "emotional storms" are triggered mainly in response to relational unpleasant events, such as, for example, a refusal, a criticism or a mere oversight by the other. The emotional reaction of someone who has this disorder is much more immediate, strong and long-lasting than that of other people and managing their emotions become a tedeous task to themselves.

Harmful impulsive behaviors.

In an attempt to control their emotional peaks, people with borderline personality disorder act impulsively without thinking. Impulsivity can be expressed with bursts of anger, violent quarrels, drug abuse, binge eating of food, gambling, sexual promiscuity, reckless driving and more. Sometimes self-destructive acts or suicide attempts can also occur.

Contradictory talking and Relationship problems

The conversations of these people appear generally full of episodes, scenes and characters, but without a common thread. In other cases, however, they seem to be telling "everything and the opposite of everything": their point of view on yourself or on other people is contradictory.
Those with BPD also have intense and engaging relationship, but once again extremely unstable and chaotic .
They have no middle ground, are for the "all or nothing" , so oscillate rapidly between idealization and devaluation (eg can divide mankind into "totally good" and "totally bad").

Low self worth.

These difficulties dramatically affect on self-esteem, so individuals with this disorder are perceived wrong and depressed. Expressions such as "I'm not worth anything!", "I'm a bluff!", "I'm inconsistent!", "I'm horrible!" appear frequently in their thoughts. A frantic fear of being abandoned catches them leading to attempts to hold on to those around them or reject them.

Chronic feelings of emptiness.

Diagnostic criteria
Diagnostic criteria | Source


Counseling and therapy.

The care of BPD requires psycho-therapeutic treatment that normally you can not complete because of the continual mood changes. Long-term treatment can reduce symptoms and harmful behaviors. Try to find a good counselor who has experience treating this disorder.

Medicines such as antidepressants and anti-psychotics.

Psycho-therapeutic treatment must be accompanied by a pharmacological treatment with mood stabilizers such as lithium or valproate. Low doses of high potency neuroleptics (e.g., haloperidol) may be helpful.

What can you do to help?

Learn as much as you can about the illness. If the patient is angry with you or reject you, don't worry, understand that it is the disease that make them behave like this.
Unfortunately many people will not seek treatment because they think they can control it. So it is your duty to help them. Be kind to them, love them, try not to hurt them. Know when to get help. Call for help if you think the person is in danger or likely to harm someone else.

Famous People With Borderline Personality Disorder

  • Adolph Hitler

  • Susanna Kayson

  • Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald

  • Princess Diana

  • Marilyn Monroe

Quotes about Borderline Disorder

“The role of the therapist is to reflect the being/accepting self that was never allowed to be in the borderline.”
― Michael Adzema

“They love without measure those whom they will soon hate without reason.”
― Thomas Sydenham

“People with BPD are like people with third degree burns over 90% of their bodies. Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement.”
― Marsha Linehan

“I'm so good at beginnings, but in the end I always seem to destroy everything, including myself.”
― Kiera Van Gelder

“To stave off the panic associated with the absence of a primary object, borderline patients frequently will impulsively engage in behaviors that numb the panic and establish contact with and control over some new object.”
― Christine Ann Lawson


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    • akhildev143 profile image

      Akhil Dev 4 years ago from India

      Thank you lovedoctor for stopping by and commenting. Much appreciated. :)

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Useful information, good visuals. thank you for sharing.