There are different types of personality disorders and Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is one of them.
What is BPD?
BPD is characterised by a difficulty relating to other people and the world around them, frequent distressing emotional states and self-harming behaviours.
Approximately two per cent of all Australians will experience borderline personality disorder in their lifetime. It is three times more common in women than men.
The causes of BPD are widely debated but there is some agreement that it may be caused by genetic and environmental factors. Often its symptoms appear in the teens or early adulthood. BPD sufferers have an increased risk of suicide.
The symptoms of this personality disorder include:
- Intense feelings of insecurity
- Idealising or devaluing other people
- Excessive reassurance seeking behaviour
- Difficulty compromising
- Feelings of abandonment and loss
- Impulsive and potentially harmful behavior such as excessive spending, unsafe sex or substance abuse
- Intense outbursts of anger
- Anxiety and depression
It is a complex disorder and those suffering from it often show symptoms of other mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders and drug and substance abuse. People with the disorder are often perceived by others to lead chaotic lives acting impulsively and sometimes irrationally. Getting the right help can significantly increase a person’s life quality.
Treatments for BPD include medical (drug) treatment and psychological counselling. If you experience the symptoms of BPD, it is important to seek help from a trained psychologist. Speaking to a professional will help you to better understand your behaviours, the triggers for negative behaviours and thought patterns and to help you learn strategies for coping with its symptoms.
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