Borderline personality disorder is a mental health problem characterized by rapid mood changes, anger management issues, fear of abandonment and impulsive, irrational behavior. Many people unknowingly live with borderline personality disorder, not realizing there’s a healthier way to behave and relate to others.
Who Does BPD Affect?
Almost three-quarters of people diagnosed with BPD are women. Some evidence suggests BPD affects all gender identities equally, but men are typically less willing to seek treatment, or when they do, they may receive a misdiagnosis of a different mental illness such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Though anyone can develop BPD, it’s more likely if you have a family history of this condition or related mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression or eating disorders. There is a strong genetic component to mental wellness. Environmental factors and innate differences in brain chemistry also play a role. However, having an increased risk for BPD or other disorders does not necessarily mean you will struggle with your mental, behavioral or emotional health.
BPD vs. Bipolar
While hallmarks of bipolar disorder also include impulsivity and dramatic behavioral changes, the DSM-5-TR defines BPD and bipolar differently. The primary distinction is that BPD is a personality disorder, while bipolar is a mood disorder.
With BPD, stress and conflict can be significant triggers. Interactions with other people may cause intense emotional reactions, including self-harm or suicide attempts.
Additional symptoms of borderline personality disorder are:
- Fears of being abandoned or alone
- History of relationship instability
- Tendency toward black-and-white thinking
- A poorly defined self-image
- Impulsive, self-destructive behavior such as gambling or substance abuse
- Mood swings involving anger and depression, usually in response to stressful events or relationships
- Feelings of emptiness or detachment from reality
- Difficulty managing anger and unpleasant emotions
- Co-occurring mental illnesses like anxiety
BPD Treatment Strategies
If a doctor diagnoses you with borderline personality disorder, you must accept you have a genuine mental health concern that will not resolve by itself. Though there is no cure for BPD, a professional therapist can help you manage your condition by teaching you coping strategies to help you regain your quality of life.
Borderline personality disorder frequently co-occurs with other issues like addiction, eating disorders, depression, anxiety and PTSD. Having a comprehensive treatment plan designed to address your unique challenges is crucial to uncover and address their root causes and help you lead a more balanced lifestyle.
At Canyon Crossing, our professional team provides several women’s-only recovery options, including residential treatment, intensive outpatient programming, extended care and family therapy. If you are ready to learn more about addiction and mental health treatment in Arizona, reach out to us today to ask for help.