Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder or BPD can be defined as the serious mental illness that is characterized by unstable relationships, behavior, and moods. For the first time, the BPD was called the diagnosable illness in 1980. However, despite the progress in treating and understanding the BPD, the patients with such disorder are very difficult to treat as they often express frustration and anger to people, who are willing to help them. Therefore, such attitude leads to the lack of professionals who would want to deal with such patients. Hence, this paper is focused on the borderline personality disorder as a serious mental disorder, its symptoms, medical treatment and side effects. 

BPD can be defined as a serious and complex mental illness that includes maladaptive behavior and multiple symptoms. The borderline name refers to the fact that this illness lies between or on the border with the neurotic and psychotic disorders. BPD can be characterized by long problems with the relationships, lack of control of behavior and emotions, frantic efforts to prevent the abandonment and even suicides. Very often people with BPD have other personality and mental disorders, troubles with drugs and alcohol. 


Some symptoms can help to identify the BPD. The BPD disturbs certain brain functions that cause the behavioral problems. Therefore, the main symptoms of people with BPD can be harmful impulsive actions, often-disturbed relationships, poorly regulated emotional responses, high chances of the drug and alcohol addiction, troubles with perceived or real abandonment and lack of self-comfort. Also, the symptoms can be perceived or real extreme reactions, including rage, panic, frantic actions, and depression, often oscillation from extreme love and closeness or idealization to extreme anger and dislike or devaluation. Other symptoms can be a dangerous and impulsive behavior, such as binge eating, reckless driving, substance abuse, anger problems, unstable self-sense or self-image that can lead to sudden alteration of goals, opinion, plans, feelings, values, stressed and paranoid thoughts. However, the most critical symptom is suicidal behavior and self-injuring. According to the statistical data, around eighty percent of people, who suffer from the BPD, have suicidal behavior. There is also can be a self-harming behavior that includes hitting, hair pulling, burning, head banging and other harmful actions. In such way, people with this disorder can express their pain or punish themselves for their behavior.

It is critical to notice that researches on the possible risk factors and causes of the BPD are on the early stage. According to Chanen&McCutcheon, the disorder is often inherited, and the individuals are able to inherit her or his specific personality traits and temperament, particularly aggression and impulsiveness. Nowadays, scientists are researching genes that have to help in the emotion regulation and impulse control. It is crucial to understand that cultural and social factors can increase the BPD`s risks. Moreover, people with BPD are considered to be the potential violence victims, including rape and other crimes. Unfortunately, the BPD is very often misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed. The mental health professionals that are dealing with the mental disorders can identify BPD through the symptoms discussion and interview. A careful medical exam can help to detect other causes of the disorder symptoms. However, people with this disorder usually show strong emotional reaction, when they are looking for the words with some negative meaning, in comparison with healthy people. 

In opposite to other mental disorders, where the medication is the main treatment, the behavioral strategies and support are the main elements in the BPD treatment. Medications can be used at times to effectively deal with the BPD symptoms. Therefore, anti-depressants can be used to alleviate the depression symptoms and Valium can be used to deal with an anxiety. However, the large part of the treatment has to be focused on helping people to realize their emotions and behavior, choosing different behaviors when it is needed and helping people to take the responsibility for themselves and own behavior. In general, psychotherapy is the main treatment for people, who suffer from BPD. According to the studies, this method can relieve some symptoms. However, it is important for the patients to reach the contact with the therapist to gain the success. One of the psychotherapy types is Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that can help people with BPD to detect and change some core beliefs and behaviors that are the basic in problems with interaction with other people. Moreover, it can help to reduce the anxiety symptoms and mood`s range and to deal with the self-harming and suicidal behavior. The most widely used cognitive-behavioral therapy is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and its goals are to modify the behavior that seriously harm the patient`s life, reduce the threatening behavior and to address the appropriate behavior model. Another treatment is the schema-focused therapy that mixes the CBT elements with other psychotherapy forms, which are focused on the ways people view themselves. Such approach is grounded on the idea that the BPD appeared from the wrong self-image, possibly formed because of the negative childhood experience, that effect on people`s reaction to the environment, the ability to deal with the stress or problems and to interact with other people. It is critical to understand that some symptoms can come and go, while the core symptoms, such as intense anger, changeable moods and impulsiveness will be more persistent. Moreover, people, whose symptoms were improved, can meet with the related disorders, such as depressions. However, according to the researchers, after remission the full symptoms return is rare.  No medications were approved officially to provide the BPD treatment and only several studies showed that the medications could be effective sometimes in the BPD treatment. Despite this, many people with such disorder in addition to the psychotherapy are treated with the medications and as it was already mentioned previously, some of them can be helpful in dealing with such specific symptoms as aggression, anxiety, and depression. Very often patients can be treated with the several medications at the same time, but there is no evidence that such treatment is effective or necessary. Also, the medication can lead to some side effects for different people. These can include dyskinesia, headache, insomnia, changeable mood etc. Hence, the patients with the BPD have to talk with their doctor about possible side effects and expectations from some specific medications. 

People with BPD have to accept some nutrition restrictions. According to the studies, through the omega-3 fatty acids, it is possible to reduce some BPD symptoms. It can regulate the message delivery system in the brain that helps to regulate and control the anxiety and mood. The omega-3 can be found in grape leaves, nuts, salmon, flaxseed and etc. Omega-3 is also known in addition to balancing the central nervous system, as a way to reduce the depression and schizophrenia severity. Hence, by adding in the patient`s diet the Omega-3, it is possible to reduce some symptoms.

Overall, it is critical to notice that BPD is a serious mental illness that unfortunately is still at the beginning stage of the researching. However, already provided studies showed several ways that have to help to reduce the BPD symptoms and even reach the remission. Among such methods, it is possible to name the psychotherapy, medications, and diet that includes the Omega-3. Hence, with such complex treatment, there is a great chance for the complete recovery.

Jun 26, 2020 in Research
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