Borderline Personality Disorder

What is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a condition in which an individual has severe difficulty regulating their emotions, leading to anger outbursts, unstable relationship patterns, suicidality, episodes of self-harm, chronic feelings of emptiness, unstable sense of self, and mood swings. People with BPD often have a chronic fear of abandonment and will go to extremes to avoid real or perceived abandonment. BPD is caused by childhood trauma and, in some senses, is like a specialized form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

How is BPD treated?

To treat borderline personality disorder we use strategies to help clients let go of dysfunctional behaviors and learn new ways to cope with stress. One of the most common treatments for borderline personality disorder is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). The goal of DBT is that clients develop the ability to live their lives to the fullest, letting go of old dysfunctional behaviors and embracing new, healthy ways of coping with stress.

Can I heal from BPD?

Yes! I have seen people come into my office struggling with suicidal thoughts, chronic feelings of emptiness, and anger outbursts and have helped them learn new ways of coping so that they no longer have these symptoms. They have transformed from being bogged down by borderline personality disorder to living the lives they had always wanted to.

What does the research say?

According to one study, ten years following treatment 86% of people with BPD no longer met diagnostic criteria for BPD for at least four years. 50% of people recovered completely, as measured by their ability to function healthfully in work and social relationships.