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  1. #1
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    Borderline Personality Disorder: Facts Vs. Myths

    Borderline Personality Disorder: Facts vs. Myths
    By Paula Durlofsky, PhD, World of Psychology
    9 Nov 2015

    Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a serious psychiatric condition marked by a pattern of unstable and stormy relationships, an unformed sense of identity, chronic feelings of emptiness and boredom, unstable moods, and poor impulsive control in areas such as spending, eating, sex, and substance use. Fear surrounding real or imagined abandonment from loved ones is a profound concern for people with BPD and often is what underlies their destructive behaviors. Some people with BPD will go to dangerous lengths to avoid this fear, for example, by becoming suicidal or engaging in self-mutilation.

    Below are five of the more difficult symptoms of BPD:

    • problems with relationships (fear of abandonment; unstable relationships)
    • unstable emotions (frequent emotional ups and downs; high emotional sensitivity)
    • unstable identity (unclear sense of self; chronic feelings of emptiness)
    • impulsive and self-damaging behaviors
    • unstable thinking/cognition (suspiciousness; tendency to dissociate when under stress)


    Although this disorder may appear easy to self-diagnose, a valid diagnosis of BPD involves an extensive evaluation. BPD is a complex condition, but with appropriate treatment most people will show improvement within a year.

    Here are some facts and myths concerning BPD:

    FACT: Many people diagnosed with BPD also struggle with depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and eating disorders.

    MYTH: People diagnosed with BPD are always difficult to deal with, likely to be physically aggressive, untreatable, depressed, or unable to live fulfilling and productive lives.

    These symptoms usually vary in their intensity. The majority of people diagnosed with BPD are genuinely very passionate, courageous, loyal, sensitive, thoughtful and intelligent individuals.

    FACT: BPD usually develops during adolescence or early adulthood. Trauma may be a factor in its development. Parental neglect and unstable family relationships also have been shown to contribute to an individual?s risk for developing this disorder. Other studies suggest BPD may also have a genetic component. It is thought that individuals may inherit their temperament along with specific personality traits, particularly impulsiveness and aggression.

    MYTH: BPD is untreatable. This is one of the most harmful misconceptions about BPD. In fact, the opposite is true. Current studies indicate that rates of recovery from BPD are much higher than previously thought.
    Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is one of the most common and effective treatment approaches for BPD. This modality teaches mindfulness (paying attention to the present), interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and emotion regulation.

    Other treatment options include cognitive-behavioral therapy, transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP), mentalization therapy (MBT) and schema-focused therapy. Additionally, family members of individuals diagnosed with BPD may also benefit from some kind of therapy. Family therapy can educate family members and loved ones about BPD and it can educate them about ways in which they can reduce their loved one?s symptoms.

    Developing a strong therapeutic relationship with a therapist that one trusts and feels safe and secure with is crucial for effective treatment of BPD. The therapist should make him- or herself available by phone, text, e-mail. or other means of communication in between sessions.

    Below are a few tips for coping with BPD:

    • Seek professional help and try to stick with treatment even when you feel discouraged.
    • Exercise regularly. Exercise has been shown to improve mood, decrease anxiety, and reduce stress.
    • Get a minimum of seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Getting proper rest helps with mood regulation and decreases mood swings.
    • Educate yourself about the disorder. Consider joining a support group.
    • Set realistic goals for yourself. Be patient and compassionate with yourself as you work on achieving your goals.
    • Identify and seek out comforting situations, places, and people.

  2. #2
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    Re: Borderline Personality Disorder: Facts Vs. Myths

    Generally are there not 2 types of BPD? Quiet BPD is one type where those individuals do not tend to "rage" outwardly but rather direct it internally.

    I've also heard it been said that up to 10% will commit suicide successfully.

    And somewhere it stated that there are as many as 450 different ways to reach a diagnosis of borderline.

    Sent from my SM-N900W8 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    Re: Borderline Personality Disorder: Facts Vs. Myths

    I think the whole dam label should be thrown out because it destroys peoples lives even more. The are even abandoned by the professionals who they reach out for help
    They are told they do not fit into the criteria for therapy

    It is a very damaging label sorry but it is. My heart hurts for them they are treated like they are an illness not a person and it hurts to see that. just my observations sorry if this post is wrong.
    Words always stay inside ones soul

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    Re: Borderline Personality Disorder: Facts Vs. Myths

    The label is wrong I agree. What's worse is that there is so little funding for treatment which would cost less in the long run...

    DBT or other therapy needs to be steady and not rushed. There is a fix according to the theories but it cannot be rushed.

    It took a while to get that way, it's only logical it's going to take a while to get out.

    Sent from my SM-N900W8 using Tapatalk

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    Re: Borderline Personality Disorder: Facts Vs. Myths

    Thanks forgetmenot, everything you describe is my experience with seeking treatment. When I was diagnosed with BPD I was actually relieved because it made sense of a lot of things and I naively thought it would lead to appropriate treatment. However "treatment" was piecemeal, usually involved being belittled, lied to, ignored when in extreme and life-threatening crisis. There was no psychological support. It was more of a charade so it could appear like something was being done, it was a waste of their resources too to be honest. I eventually discharged myself from mental health services, mainly because I had become so anxious that I couldn't physically go near the hospital, never mind walk in. Since finishing there I gradually started to feel better. I had the same problems as before but my sense of myself as having an intrinsic worth as a human being started to come back.

    I was crying when i read your post, but they were tears...well I wouldn't say of happiness exactly, but of relief maybe - that we all get when we feel seen and understood by somebody.

    I wouldn't want this post to put off anyone thinking of seeking help with this or any issue. It was just my experience in my specific location. Maybe things have even improved here in the meantime. Also, there were some great people, who I'm sure got into the job because they wanted to help people, just that they were working in a dysfunctional, drastically underfunded system.( But there were some real a**holes too by the way!!) The whole thing just made me think of the mad hatter's tea party in Alice in Wonderland.

    ---------- Post Merged at 10:08 AM ---------- Previous Post was at 09:20 AM ----------

    Also, when I was diagnosed I asked the doctor if he could recommend any books I could read or other sources of information. He just said no, he only knew of medical journals, just don't look on the internet. That was literally the only information he gave me. This was the consultant by the way.

    (Haha, oh no I seem to be getting into full "rant mode". Just wait, in ten minutes I'll be posting again; "And another thing...")

  6. #6
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    Re: Borderline Personality Disorder: Facts Vs. Myths

    I do hope t hat knowledge about the illness now have increased so people are not being treated with such negativity. I read once that they might change this label because of what i said that people with this label were being misjudged abandoned as the professionals did not have the knowledge to help them

    Now the knowledge about the illness is more hopeful perhaps the people in the field of helping will be less condemning and less judgmental I am sorry you too were mistreated and made to feel less of a person
    Words always stay inside ones soul

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    Re: Borderline Personality Disorder: Facts Vs. Myths

    I really hope that funding and execution improves where you are Harebells and other places that it is not being done well, and in the meantime that sufferers might be able to find some sort of resource that can do something for them in the meantime.... It is really so so hard for people who have illnesses and problems where there is not well-established and well-executed treatment near them yet.... I really hope it gets much better soon for those suffering.

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