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What are the Signs of Borderline Personality Disorder?


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There are times in our lives when our emotions get out of control. In most cases, we are able to rein in those intense emotions, slow our thinking down, and calm ourselves to let things settle down. However, some people have great difficulty regulating their emotions. In fact, their emotions can be so intense and uncontrollable that they have problems in their relationships and their daily functioning. It can get to the point where they develop a poor self-image and even start harming themselves or others.

This isn’t simply a lack of emotional control; it points to a serious mental illness known as borderline personality disorder (BPD). If you or a loved one are struggling with BPD, don’t be discouraged. This article will give you essential information on BPD and the signs of borderline personality disorder. You will also learn where you can find treatment to address and overcome this debilitating mental illness.

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is characterized by the inability of an individual to control their emotions. The volatility and unpredictable nature of mood swings often cause high-risk and impulsive behavior. People with this mental illness can go from extreme happiness to anger and despair within a few minutes and without warning. BPD also causes people to develop a negative self-image about themselves, and their relationships with family, friends, co-workers, and others are severely dysfunctional.

It is estimated that BPD affects about 14 million Americans in their lifetime. Of all who are admitted to psychiatric hospitals, 20% of those patients have borderline personality disorder. BPD is often diagnosed in teenagers and young adults, and up to 40% of teens admitted to mental health institutions are diagnosed with BPD.

What Causes BPD?

Like other mental illnesses, there isn’t one main underlying cause for the development of BPD. However, there are several factors that make people more vulnerable to developing this mental disorder. One underlying factor is abnormal brain functioning in those areas which regulate emotion and self-control. Another factor is the abnormal levels of serotonin flowing within these brain structures.

Additionally, people with a history of mental illness in the family are more vulnerable to developing BPD. Adults who had experienced abuse and neglect as children also have a greater risk of developing borderline personality disorder. It is important to note that these risk factors do not necessarily mean a person will develop BPD.

What are the Signs of Borderline Personality Disorder?

One of the most obvious signs of borderline personality disorder is the intensity of the mood swings people experience. Moods can swing wildly and quickly from extreme happiness to extreme dislike of oneself or others. Another one of the most significant signs of borderline personality disorder is that people view things in extremes, whether good or bad. Other symptoms of borderline personality disorder include the following:

  • Fear of abandonment
  • Rapid changes in self-image and self-worth
  • Impulsive and risky behavior
  • Suicidal thoughts or self-harm
  • Feelings of emptiness that linger for long periods
  • Periods of stress-related paranoia that can last for minutes or hours at a time

Other borderline personality disorder symptoms include:

  • Periods of disassociation or feeling detached from oneself
  • Problems controlling anger
  • Unstable relationships with family and friends
  • Distorted sense of self

How Do You Treat Borderline Personality Disorder?

When you or a loved one displays signs of borderline personality disorder, you must seek professional mental health treatment as soon as possible. Since BPD is associated with risky, dangerous, and self-harming behaviors, therapy is the foundation of treatment. Psychotherapy such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is often effective in treating borderline personality disorder.

If needed, medications can also be an effective tool in dealing with BPD. Antidepressants such as Effexor and Prozac are commonly utilized as well as antipsychotics such as Abilify and Risperdal. While effective, many medications carry side effects and can even cause addiction. If medications are used to treat the symptoms of borderline personality, patients must be closely monitored by treatment staff.

Finding Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment in Southern California

BPD can be a very devastating mental illness. For those who experience BPD, it can rob them of their esteem and self-worth. If you need treatment in Southern California, call Thrive Treatment Center toll-free today. We are an outpatient treatment facility that offers evidence-based mental health programs as well as addiction treatment and dual diagnosis. We employ an individualized treatment approach that fits your unique and specific treatment needs.
Thrive Treatment is an outpatient rehab center in Santa Monica, CA. Are you ready to change your life and become the person you were meant to be? Call Thrive Treatment Center today!

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