How to Treat Borderline Personality Disorder Naturally
Treat BPD without prescription medications
If you have BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) and you're looking to treat it with natural herbs and supplements, you came to the right place. Here you'll find herbs and natural supplements that have been proven to treat the symptoms of BPD. These can be taken on their own or in some cases, they can be used in addition to the medication your doctor prescribes.
Natural treatments usually cost less and they don't require you to get a prescription from your doctor. Some have been proven to work just as well as prescription medication while carrying a much smaller risk of side effects
Serotonin and Why it matters
Most natural treatments work by raising levels of serotonin in your body.
Why does that matter?
Serotonin is the chemical largely responsible for regulating the intensity of moods. Levels too high or too low can have a significant impact on mood.
Herbs for BPD
St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort is probably the most well known mood enhancing herb. Not only does it have a great word-of-mouth reputation, but it's also backed by 29 separate studies concluding that St. John's wort has almost the same effect on major depression as prescription antidepressants. It works by blocking your bodies ability to absorb serotonin, thereby increasing serotonin levels. Although these 29 studies have proved the benefits of St. John's Wort, many physicians are still skeptical because of one large study that concluded it had no effect on depression. Personally, I think it's a crock because the same study also concluded that Zoloft has no effect on depression. And we all know that's not true!
Because it works the same as SSRI's, St. John's Wort shouldn't be taken with prescription SSRI's, MAO's or with other herbs or supplements that work like SSRI's.
The recommended dosage is 900mg a day. This is usually achieved by taking 300mg 3 times a day.
Kava is known for it's ability to promote short term feelings of euphoria, relaxation and calmness. It's most commonly used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. Because it works similar to benzodiazepines, Kava can be used to lessen the withdrawal symptoms if you decide to stop taking anti anxiety medications or sleeping pills.
Long term use can lead to higher mental clarity, higher patience levels, calmness, relaxed muscles and an increased feeling of well being. It's also been proven effective as a sleep remedy. Depending on the dosage, Kava can induce an episode of deep sleep within 30 minutes. Many patients report that it's extremely restful sleep and that they wake up more alert than usual. When used as an anti-anxiety remedy, it usually takes 2 months before any real effect is felt.
Because of the controversy surrounding Kava supplements, I recommend you make your own herbal tea using Kava Root. This way you can also control the potency of the herb. Try to buy your Kava from a reputable source and make sure it contains only the root because the stems and leaves contain a toxic compound.
Here's one fun fact: When drinking Kava Tea, it's common to feel a slight numbing of your tongue, lips and stomach.
Valerian Root is most commonly used for it's sedative properties. It's a very powerful sleep inducer and also very effective at relieving anxiety. Personally, I use it to lessen the intensity of a manic episode. I also use it to get to sleep when my mind won't shut down. I've found that it's very effective and usually works within 30 minutes. And I've never had any side effects (like next-day drowsiness). When using as a sleep inducer, it's best to use it everyday. Unlike many herbs and medications, Valerian doesn't lose it's effectiveness with long term use. Instead, the longer you use it, the more effective it works!
Although effective, Valerian does have one very large defect. It stinks! Oh my gosh, does it stink! When I open my bottle to remove a few capsules, my family swears the smell drifts through the whole house. In fact, they've banned me from even opening it in the house. Because I wouldn't wish that awful smell on my worst enemy, I would recommend using an extract instead. Believe me, you'll thank me later! However, if you'd rather take the Valerian Root capsules (as I do), you can keep the smell down by keeping them in the refrigerator.
About Natural Treatments for BPD
Just like prescription medication, there isn't just one herb that treats every symptom of BPD. Instead, different herbs treat different symptoms. Sometimes these herbs can be used together.
I recommend visiting your local herbalist to find out about possible negative interactions.
Natural Supplements for BPD
SAM-e is an amino acid your body naturally produces. It's too difficult to explain the SAM-e cycle in detail, so I'll just sum it up. SAM-e plays an important role in the production of mood enhancing neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. So if your body doesn't produce enough SAM-e, the result is a lower production of natural mood enhancers.
There's been 28 studies and clinical trials performed on SAM-e and they all had the same result: SAM-e is effective in relieving the symptoms of depression.
Although most of the clinical trials were based on using 800-1600mg a day, many doctors only recommend 400-800mg a day. If you have Borderline Personality Disorder or Bipolar Disorder, start with a low dose because high doses carry a small risk of causing a manic episode. Because it sometimes causes insomnia, you should take SAM-e in the morning on an empty stomach. And to help break it down properly, taking a Vitamin B supplement will provide you with the best results.
5-HTP is another compound your body naturally produces. It's job is to regulate and increase the production of serotonin. Since serotonin is a natural mood enhancer, higher levels of it can help alleviate the symptoms of depression, anxiety and insomnia.
In the back of my mind, I think of 5-HTP as an herbal supplement because it's made from the seeds of a Griffonia bush.
As with any "medication", it's best to start at a lower dose of 50mg. If you find it's not working, try increasing it to 100mg. It usually takes several weeks to feel the full effects of HTP-5.
DHA is an omega 3 fatty acid most often found in cold-water oceanic fish oils. Although there hasn't been any clinical trials specifically pertaining to it's effect on Borderline Personality Disorder, it has been studied as a treatment for Bipolar Disorder. This trial concluded that increased levels of DHA increased the length of time between episodes and improved the overall emotional state of Bipolar patients. It also stated that DHA works in a manner similar to Lithium, but has very little side effects.
In addition to the Bipolar study, data has been collected and studied from other studies. The collected data shows a lower than normal depression rate in areas where people consume high levels of DHA. Data also shows that people who suffer from major depression show a definite decrease in DHA levels in their body compared to those without depression. This suggests that higher levels would decrease depression.
If you take DHA in the form of fish oil capsules, make sure to read the label carefully because many fish oils advertising Omega 3's actually contain high levels of EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and low levels of DHA. The recommended dose is 100-200 mg a day, although some take as much as 500 mg a day.
Just a quick note!
These is not an exhaustive list of herbs and natural supplements used for treating the symptoms of BPD. This is a short list that I will be adding to as I get the time.
Borderline Personality Disorder can not be treated with just medications or herbs. These only help lessen the symptoms. The actual disorder can only be fully treated with therapy.
Do you use a natural remedy for BPD? If so, please share your story. What do you use? How do you like it?
Do you use one of the natural herbs or supplements listed above? Would you recommend it to others?
© 2011 Othercatt