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Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental illness that develops during adolescence or early adulthood. It is marked by a pattern of emotional instability, impulsive behavior, a distorted self-image, and unstable relationships. Approximately 5.9 percent of people will develop BPD.
Researchers are still trying to learn the exact cause of BPD. Multiple factors may contribute to the disorder. These include:
BPD may be a genetic condition. A scientific study on twins and BPD suggested that there is a good likelihood that the disorder is inherited. Personality traits—such as aggression and impulsivity—seen in BPD and other disorders may also be inherited, according to another study.
Growing up in an unstable, abusive, or neglectful environment may cause or be a factor in the development of BPD.
Abnormalities in serotonin (a hormone that regulates mood) production may make you susceptible to developing BPD.
You may be at risk for developing BPD if:
Your mental healthcare provider will diagnose BPD. He or she will ask you questions and analyze your emotional and behavioral history. Based on the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, you must meet at least five of the following criteria to be diagnosed with BPD:
Your mental healthcare provider may recommend one or more of the following treatments for BPD.
Psychotherapy is the main treatment. Your mental healthcare provider may recommend one of the following types:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT helps you to identify and change unhealthy beliefs, behaviors, and any inaccurate perceptions you have about yourself or others. This therapy teaches you healthy ways to react when you are feeling angry, insecure, anxious, or suicidal.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
DBT teaches you how to recognize, be aware of, and accept your beliefs and behaviors. You also learn healthy responses to these behaviors .
Schema-focused therapy helps you to view yourself and the world in a more positive way.
Medication does not cure BPD; it relieves symptoms associated with the disorder. Your doctor may prescribe medication in addition to psychotherapy treatment. Medications your doctor may prescribe include antidepressants to treat depression, antipsychotics to treat aggression, and antianxiety medications to treat anxiety.
Your doctor may recommend that you temporarily stay in a hospital for treatment if your symptoms are severe. You may also be hospitalized for suicidal behavior, suicidal thoughts, or thinking about harming or causing harm to yourself or others.
Omega-3 fatty acids may relieve symptoms of depression and aggression in people who have BPD. More research needs to be conducted to confirm the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.
BPD may occur with or lead to other disorders such as:
Your BPD symptoms can increase your risk of:
Written by: Rose Kivi and Marijane Leonard
Published on: Aug 16, 2012on: Mar 29, 2016
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