Borderline Personality Disorder Expert Help at Larkin

Everything You Need To Know About Symptoms and Causes

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline Personality Disorder is a mental illness characterized by a severe impact on a person's ability to adjust their emotions. Loss of emotional control may lead to increased impulsivity and how one feels about oneself. In most cases, the condition may negatively impact their relationships with others.

Luckily, numerous effective treatments manage the symptoms of borderline personality disorder. Meeting an experienced professional is the best way to handle this issue.

Stages and Types of Borderline Personality Disorder

BPD can be divided into the following four types:

  1. Discouraged Borderline (Quiet BPD): Also referred to as the high-functioning BPD (quiet borderline), this category of BPD makes one heavily dependent on others and practice avoidance. They are incredibly loyal and humble. However, this may make them clingy. The end of a close relationship may be tough for them to cope with. They may feel that their world has come to a standstill. These individuals feel depressed, powerless, and lack motivation. Common symptoms include being avoidant, hopeless, loyal, depressed, submissive, vulnerable, helpless, and humble.
  2. Impulsive Borderline: Impulsive borderline displays histrionic and antisocial traits. These individuals get distracted, hyperactive, and unable to think wisely before taking action. Their behavior may cause harm to themselves or others.
    People with the impulsive borderline type are superficial, fearful, unreliable, chaotic, suicidal, irritable, seductive, and get easily annoyed and distracted.
  3. Petulant Borderline: The disorder can make one stubborn, demanding, impatient, and undesirable. These individuals are often jealous of the happiness of others and do not like to depend on others. Petulant borderline patients have been ignored as children (mistreated, abused, or influenced by caretakers). They tend to feel insecure in their relationships. As they grow up, these individuals may feel worthless, miserable, and guilt-ridden. They may become overwhelmed with irrational anger and rage, which may seriously harm others. Once the episode ends, they feel guilty and desperately try to repair the damage. Individuals with petulant are pessimistic, easily offended, impatient, irritable, stubborn, resentful, rebellious, and cynical.
  4. Self-Destructive BPD: The disorder displays masochistic personality traits. The patient tends to bottle up their feelings. This may force them to engage in hazardous or harmful behaviors toward themselves. Although they wish to be independent, they are also afraid of achieving it, resulting in internal strain and battle.
    Patients with BPD tend to be sacrificial, compliant, and submissive in relationships with others. These extreme behaviors gradually turn into a feeling of being annoyed, hostile, and unacknowledged. The patient can face depression and tension, which may be self-harming or force one to indulge in suicide attempts.

Individuals with the self-destructive borderline can experience the following symptoms:

  • Self-focused
  • Moody
  • Suicidal
  • Overly compliant
  • Submissive
  • Directing anger inward

Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder

Living with Borderline Personality can be challenging for the patient and appear different for everyone. Although it is tough to know if an individual has BPD, certain signs and symptoms can indicate the presence of this disorder. These include the following listed below:

  • Self-harming behaviors
  • Unstable relationships with family, friends, and other loved ones
  • Avoiding abandonment
  • Unstable and distorted self-image
  • Impulsive behaviors (reckless driving, spending sprees, binge eating, unsafe sexual intercourse, excessive drinking)
  • A feeling of emptiness
  • Unable to trust others
  • Excessive and irrational fear of the intentions of others
  • Irrational, intense anger
  • Trouble controlling anger
  • Suicidal thoughts or threats
  • Feeling of being disconnected from the body
  • Mood swings

Speaking to a mental health professional helps treat the condition.

Risk Factors of Borderline Personality Disorder

Although there is no consensus on specific factors that contribute to the onset or severity of the ailment, researchers believe that BPD may result from a combination of the following:

  • Biological Factors - Differences in brain development, cyclical nature of estrogen, and HPA axis dysregulation.
  • Brain Development - The smaller hippocampus and a smaller amygdala.
  • Chronic stress and childhood trauma
  • Estrogen
  • Environmental Factors

Causes of Borderline Personality Disorder

The causes of borderline personality disorder are not clear. Apart from environmental factors such as a history of neglect during childhood or child abuse, BPD may be linked to the following:

  • Genetics: Studies and research reveal that personality disorders, including BPD, may be inherited or strongly associated with other mental health disorders. These may co-exist among family members.
  • Brain Abnormalities: Some research has shown changes in some brain regions involved in emotion regulation, impulsivity, and aggression. In addition, certain brain chemicals that help regulate mood, such as serotonin, may not function properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Although the two disorders share some significant similarities, both are different, with distinct symptoms.

It is unclear whether using medications as the main line of treatment for BPD can benefit the patient. However, a psychoanalyst may prescribe medication to control symptoms. These include mood stabilizers to encourage emotional instability.

Although childhood trauma is a significant factor in developing BPD, not everyone diagnosed with the condition has experienced childhood trauma.

A recent study revealed that around 1.6% (4 million people) of the general population in the United States has BPD. This means that Borderline Personality Disorder is quite common.

A hospital visit may be mandatory in case of an emergency. This is important to get the resources required to feel better. This is usually a short-term hospital stay of a week or even less. Hospitalization is considered when patients are more likely to harm themselves or others.

According to studies, it is estimated that more than 14 million people in the United States have BPD. Earlier, it was more commonly diagnosed in women. However, the most extensive study on psychiatric disorders reveals that it occurs equally among women and men.

It is not uncommon for individuals with a borderline personality disorder to have other mental health issues that may complicate the diagnosis. Common co-occurring disorders with BPD include mild depression, substance use disorders, eating disorders, gambling, social phobia, bipolar disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PSTD).

At times, a crisis can intensify and turn into an emergency. Emergencies are situations when a loved one with BPD faces threats of suicide, physical violence, reduced judgment, difficulty in decision-making, or substance use that concerns you. You can talk to the patient and convince him/her gently to agree to visit the doctor or therapist. In case nothing works, you may need to call emergency.

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