Borderline Personality Disorder

Knowing how to handle and regulate our emotions is an important part of being able to manage relationships and navigate life’s stressors. Those with borderline personality disorder (BPD), however, have extreme difficulty with these key parts of daily life. This difficulty tends to lead to self harm behaviors such as cutting, chaotic relationships and suicide attempts. For the person suffering from borderline personality disorder, their intense emotions are confusing and lead to feelings of being out of control. Often, loved ones can become exhausted by the seemingly constant cries for attention only to be pushed away when offering help. Because this is an illness rarely discussed and typically misunderstood-sufferers and their loved ones usually feel at a complete loss and with no idea how to get help.

Key markers of this disorder are inflicting harm on ones self through cutting, burning, etc, multiple suicide attempts, history of intense and unstable relationships, significant instability of moods and often inappropriately intense or uncontrollable anger. Although more frequently diagnosed in women, it is becoming more and more identified in men as well.

Currently, the “gold standard” treatment for BPD is Dialectical Behavior Therapy. An evidence based modality, it combines behavior strategies and skill training to help those with BPD learn effective coping mechanisms and have a “life worth living”. Typically, a person receiving this therapy will engage in individual therapy sessions and group skills training.