Borderline personality disorder (BPD), also known as borderline disorder, is one of the most serious mental disorders . The person who suffers from it suffers from emotional ups and downs, attacks of anger, feelings of doubt, impulsive and unstable behaviors, etc.

What are the symptoms of a borderline person?

The signs or symptoms that a person with borderline personality disorder presents depend on many aspects: their way of being, their past experiences, their personality and their way of dealing with problems, among others. However, in most cases they present common symptoms, some of them are:

– Extreme fear of abandonment: They feel real panic about being abandoned or not loved as they expect, for not meeting the expectations of others or feeling alone and empty.

For this reason, when they feel an abandonment, be it real or imagined, they isolate themselves socially, closing in on themselves, leaving aside the people who have caused this feeling. In the worst cases, they become completely isolated from everyone and trust no one.

– Self-destructive behavior : both physically and mentally, generally the person with this disorder does not think anything positive about himself, so he surrounds himself with negative thoughts, even suicidal.

In some cases, this is compounded by self-harm, caused in order to express their emotions, since they feel that they are unable to do it in any other way. The worst thing about this behavior is that it becomes addictive, since with it they free themselves from the weight of their emotions and it causes them pleasure.

– Impulsive behavior : People who suffer from a borderline personality disorder are very impulsive people, that is, they are carried away by their emotions and impulses, without thinking about what this action can cause.

In most cases, they abuse drugs, alcohol or other substances, including food, perform high-risk activities, practice unprotected and uncontrolled sex, steal, etc. With this type of behavior they manage to escape and expel adrenaline to calm down and feel better about themselves.

– Difficulty when it comes to relating : The fear of abandonment or being inferior to the rest, makes it difficult for them to maintain a social relationship properly. On multiple occasions they have doubts and they think that people are lying to them, failing, that they do not care, etc.

For this reason, they are not able to maintain a loving relationship for a long period of time, they constantly change partners, they do not trust or trust anyone, they find it difficult to talk about feelings and open up to others, etc.

– Attacks of anger or anxiety : Generally when faced with stressful situations or that are difficult for them to deal with, they are not able to manage the high levels of frustration that these imply, so they present attacks of anger or anxiety. These attacks are increased by the fact of being very impulsive people, sometimes they can put their lives in danger.

– Emotional ups and downs: They can go in a matter of seconds from being happy to being sad, from being happy to very angry, etc. This happens because they are people who are affected by anything, no matter how minimal or indifferent it may be to others, they feel very much and very intensely everything that happens to them, they oscillate between emotional limits and extremes, hence their name, and they are not able to regulate their feelings.

– Uncertain personality , that is, they do not have a fixed personality, they often change hobbies, aspirations in their future, friends, partner, ideals, etc. They make very extreme changes in their lives, they do not have long-term goals, and if they do, they abandon them or change after a while, they do not really know who they are, or what they are or what they want to be.

– Extremist personality , not only if we refer to their emotional states, for them it is all or nothing, there are no intermediate points, either in social relationships, in love, or in any aspect of their life. They give everything or they don’t give anything, they expect everything from something or someone or they don’t expect anything, things are bad or good, black or white, for them there is nothing beyond limits and extremes. This causes them many problems when it comes to relating, since if they do not receive the maximum from a person, they understand it as abandonment.

– High levels of insecurity : people with a borderline personality disorder are very insecure with themselves, in their social relationships, in terms of their abilities, with their friends, studies, etc. They are people with very low self-esteem , which is very difficult to raise due to their characteristics.

– Emotional dependency : Borderline people have the need to have an intimate relationship with someone, since in this way they feel protected. They continuously seek the affection of the other person, in order to feel loved and indispensable for this person.

On many occasions the dependence is not on the couple, but on the relationship, that is, the important thing is not the person with whom they are, but the simple fact of being with someone, so in the face of an abandonment, real or imaginary, they seek affection in another person and are not able to take time between relationship and relationship.

– They also present irritability, a negative image of themselves, feelings of emptiness and loneliness, megalomania or narcissism. On many occasions this disorder leads to others, such as: depression, eating disorders, either bulimia or anorexia , a paranoid disorder, etc.

What are the causes of this disorder?

Borderline personality disorder does not have a cause as such, specialists believe that it is due to genetic factors, or social and family trauma , of which these are some of the most prominent risk factors:

– Abandonment in childhood or adolescence : although in some cases it is not necessary that abandonment occurs, it is valid with only the fear of being abandoned in one of the two stages.

– Dissociated family life , that is, growing up in an unstructured family environment.

– Lack of communication at the family level, sometimes even at the social level.

– Sexual, physical or emotional abuse during childhood or adolescence, either by a family member, a friend, etc.

What is the treatment for borderline personality disorder?

This disorder is chronic , lasts for life, although it is also true that with psychological aids, therapies, acquisition of social skills, etc; symptoms may decrease and lead a normal life. The treatment most used and recommended by specialist doctors is dialectical behavior therapy , which is based on:

– The acceptance of oneself.

– Knowledge of the disorder.

– The acquisition of social skills and strategies when dealing with frustration and feelings.

– Learning how to regulate emotions.

– Modification of beliefs, such as the belief of abandonment, and of behaviors, such as self-injurious behaviors.

In some cases the psychiatrist prescribes the consumption of drugs aimed both at the perception that the patient has of himself and to improve his mood, as well as the treatment of possible depression, eating disorder, paranoid disorder , anxiety attacks, insomnia , etc. 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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