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What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) defines Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) as a condition that is characterized by difficulty in managing emotion. Those with Borderline Personality Disorder will experience emotions intensely and for long periods of time, making it difficult to obtain stability after a triggered event.

Common characteristics in Borderline Personality Disorder are impulsivity, poor self-image, unstable relationships and intense emotional responses to stressors and triggers of stressors. Lack of self-regulation can result in dangerous and self-harming behaviours such as cutting. NAMI estimates that 1.6% of the adult U.S. population has Borderline Personality Disorder , but that number may be as high as 5.9%. Nearly 75% of people diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder are women. Recent research suggests that men may be equally affected by Borderline Personality Disorder but are commonly misdiagnosed with PTSD or depression.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence estimates the prevalence ranges between 0.7 and 2% in the general population. Borderline Personality Disorder is predominantly diagnosed in women and that the prevalence is high in the prison population. In England and Wales, it is estimated to be 23% among male prisoners and 20% among female prisoners.


Signs of Borderline Personality Disorder

Signs and symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder vary. Those with Borderline Personality Disorder will have mood swings, have uncertainty about themselves and their role in the world, and change values and interests quickly. They may view things in extremes, defining things as all good or all bad. Additional signs are patterns of intense and unstable patterns in their relationships, intense emotions such as intense anger or problems controlling anger. Intense and highly changeable moods that last from hours to days are a key characteristic of Borderline Personality Disorder. Those with Borderline Personality Disorder will range in emotion of extreme closeness and love to extreme dislike and anger.


Causes of Borderline Personality Disorder

A direct cause of Borderline Personality Disorder is unclear, however research suggests that genetics, brain structure and functionality, and your social and environmental influences contribute to the development of Borderline Personality Disorder. Those who have a family history of the disorder have a higher risk of developing borderline personality disorder.

Several cases of Borderline Personality Disorder report experiencing traumatic life events such as abuse or abandonment during childhood. Additionally, experiencing adversity during childhood such as unstable or invalidating relationships and conflict contribute to the development of Borderline Personality Disorder.


Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder

When seeking treatment, it is critical to pursue treatment with an appropriately trained provider as Borderline Personality Disorder often occurs with other mental illnesses. Psychotherapy is often used to treat Borderline Personality Disorder. Dialectical Behavioural Therapy was developed to treat Borderline Personality Disorder and uses concepts of mindfulness and acceptance to bring awareness and attention to the triggers and emotional state. With DBT you will learn skills to control intense emotions, reduce self-destructive behaviours and improve relationships. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help to identify and alter beliefs and behaviours that cause inaccurate perceptions of self and others and issues interacting with peers. Additionally, CBT will work to reduce the range in mood and emotions to reduce the number of suicidal or self-harming behaviours that result from Borderline Personality Disorder. Medication may be used in tandem with therapy to treat mood swings, depression or other co-occurring mental disorders.

For more information about talking therapies and treatment programmes available at our Clinics in London, Milan and Rome please visit our Treatment page.


Locations

We offer Psychological Therapies for Borderline Personality Disorder to Adults in London Bridge, London MaryleboneLondon Oxford Circus, MilanRome San GiovanniRome Garbatella, Rome Piazza Bologna and Online worldwide.


Team

All our Therapists offer Psychological Therapies for Borderline Personality Disorder to Adults. Click here to meet the Team.


Fees

You can find out more about our fees on our Fees PageContact us for a quote on peak and off-peak appointment times and fees. We offer 20% discounts to students and those on low income during off-peak times.


Further Reading about Borderline Personality Disorder

It is possible to manage symptoms of borderline personality disorder. Time to Change is a blog dedicated to those who are living with borderline personality disorder and offers resources as well as those who write about their personal experiences in living with BPD and work to eliminate discrimination against mental illness. Please click here to view the blog. Psychology Today has created a blog titled, Science at the Border to discuss living with BPD and the relationship between the brain and the mind. Please click here to view the blog.

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