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A look at borderline personality disorder

Borderline personality disorder is a behavioural disorder affecting both men and women. It is however more common amongst women than in men. People affected with the disorder have unstable moods, behaviour, and interpersonal relationships. They have no stable self-image. Their thought processes are more disturbed than people with antisocial personality.

Defining borderline personality disorder

People suffering from borderline personality disorder turn their aggression and anger at self. They are angrier, confused with their identities and more impulsive compared to people with histrionic personality.

  • Symptoms

* Emotional disturbance – People with borderline personality disorder experience feelings of rage, sorrow, shame, anger, panic and terror. They have dramatic and intense relationships. Even when they are cared for, they still appear lonely often needing help for past mistreatment, depression, abuse, or eating disorders. However, when they feel that a caring person abandons them, their mood shifts to intense and inappropriate anger.

* Unstable patterns of thinking – People affected with the condition feel abandoned and even wonder if they really exist. They are out of touch with reality that they have brief episodes of paranoia, hallucinations and psychotic thinking. Their view of the world changes in extreme. For them neutral can never exist because things are only black or white.

* Impulsive behaviour – They also engage in uncontrolled and impulsive behaviour such as reckless promiscuity or substance abuse.

  • Cause

People with a borderline personality disorder were often abused or neglected as children. As a result, they feel empty, angry, and feel they should be nurtured and cared for. In short, they feel they deserve attention.

Treatment

People suffering from a borderline personality disorder actively pursue and seek treatment themselves. Consequently, they are commonly seen and treated by primary care doctors. It is also the most common personality disorder handled by therapists. However, caregivers including doctors and therapists become frustrated with them because they often fail to comply with therapeutic recommendations and are thus labeled as, “help rejecting complainers.” In the UK, patients are treated by the community mental health teams (CMHTs) for day to day support.

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