Borderline personality disorder is a mental health issue that affects your self-image and relationships and causes problems with daily functioning. Despite their intense fears of abandonment and loneliness, people with BPD often push others away with their unpredictable moods and unstable behaviors.
Warning Signs of BPD
The term “borderline” in BPD derives from early understandings of this mental illness. Mental health professionals formerly believed that people with “borderline” personalities were on the precipice of developing neuroses or psychotic disorders like schizophrenia. As our knowledge of BPD has evolved, we now know the word “borderline” is a misnomer, but the mental health community has yet to agree on a more appropriate descriptor to replace it.
Borderline personality disorder can impact many facets of your life. Its leading characteristics include:
- Taking extreme steps to avoid real or imaginary rejection
- A pattern of relationship instability, such as putting someone on a pedestal one moment and suddenly believing they are cruel or uncaring the next
- Rapidly shifting identity, goals, and values
- Periods of stress-related paranoia and dissociation lasting from a few minutes to a few hours
- Impulsivity and risk-taking, such as gambling, reckless driving, unprotected sex, spending sprees, binge eating, substance use, or self-sabotaging by suddenly quitting a job or ending a relationship
- Threats of suicide or self-harm, often in response to separation anxiety
- Inappropriate, intense anger, such as frequently losing your temper or starting arguments
Causes of Borderline Personality Disorder
As with other mental health complications, BPD arises from a combination of factors, including the following.
- Adverse childhood experiences: Undergoing things like abuse, neglect, and violence at an early age is one of the strongest predictors of future mental and behavioral health disorders. Some children grow up surrounded by dysfunctional families where they witness substance abuse, conflict, and other unhealthy behavior. These can have a ripple effect long into adulthood.
- Genetics: Some studies of twins and families suggest that mental illnesses are heritable. If someone in your family lives with BPD or a related condition, your risk of developing it increases.
- Brain abnormalities: People with BPD may have differences in the brain regions that govern emotions, impulsivity, and aggression. BPD can also result from abnormal levels of mood-regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin.
Professional Treatment for BPD and Related Disorders
BPD can make life feel uncertain, but it’s possible to successfully manage this condition with counseling and support. A therapist can help you change your life for the better with evidence-based treatments that teach you strategies for eliminating negativity and improving your self-esteem and self-awareness.
Because BPD frequently co-occurs with other illnesses such as depression and addiction, it’s crucial to address both conditions simultaneously. At Lakeside-Milam, our experienced clinical staff create comprehensive plans that help our clients recover multiple facets of their health. You don’t have to struggle in silence or face your challenges alone. Contact us today to learn more about our treatments, locations, and how we can benefit you.