Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is an often misunderstood, serious emotional disturbance characterized by pervasive instability in moods, difficult interpersonal relationships, negative self image and dysfunctional behaviors.  It is a disorder of emotional regulation. This condition often disrupts family and work relationships, inhibits long-term planning and negative affects the individual’s sense of self-identity. While less well known than bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder), BPD is just as common, affecting 1 to 2 percent of the general population.

What is BPD?

This condition, characterized by intense emotions, self-harming acts and stormy interpersonal relationships, was officially recognized in 1980 and given the name Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). It was thought to occur on the border between psychotic and neurotic behavior.  This is no longer considered a relevant analysis and the term itself, with its stigmatizing negative associations, has made diagnosing BPD problematic. The complex symptoms of the disorder often make patients difficult to treat and therefore may evoke feelings of anger and frustration in professionals trying to help, with the result that many professionals are often unwilling to make the diagnosis or treat persons with these symptoms.  These problems have been aggravated by the lack of appropriate insurance coverage for the extended psychosocial treatments that BPD usually requires.  Nevertheless, there has been much progress and success in the past 25 years in the understanding of and specialized treatment for BPD.  It is, in fact, a diagnosis that does not exclude the possibility of nearly complete recovery.

How is BPD treated?

How is BPD treated?
The treatment of severe cases of BPD is best performed by clinicians who have received specialized training in Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Dr. Z does not specialize in the treatment of BPD and will make a referral to a specialist as necessary.  For the treatment of spouses or parents of BPD patients, Dr. Z offers Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which emphasized the acquisition of certain critical skills.
The following four critically important skills can reduce the impact of BPD and keep a steadier balance when emotions threaten to become overwhelming:
The ability to tolerate distress
Helps in coping with painful events, increases resiliency, reduces the effects of upsetting situations, people and circumstances.
The ability to stay in the present moment
Helps in experiencing the present moment to the fullest, reduces the focus on past negative experiences, makes the future less frightening, and overcomes negative assumptions about self and others.
The ability to regulate one’s own emotions
Helps in recognizing and correctly identifying feelings, teaches the skill of observing one’s own emotions without becoming overwhelmed by them, regulates feelings’ intensity, reduces reactive and destructive behaviors.
The ability to interact effectively with others
Helps in providing new relationship tools to express opinions, beliefs and needs, set limits, negotiate solutions to most problems, protects relationships and promotes mutual respect.

Get help

Dr. Z does not treat BPD patients but can make a referral to a therapist who specializes in DBT (Dialectic Behavioral Therapy), which is the standard of care. Dr. Z works with anyone who lives with a BPD patient, to help them cope with the disruptions that often accompany this disorder.

To make an appointment with Dr. Z, call (678) 554-5632 or click the blue button to request an appointment using the online form. We can go over your current situation, identify the ways in which the BPD of your loved one is affecting your life and impairing this important relationship. We will put some dimensions to the problem, and identify your current resources that may be applied toward meaningful and lasting change. If additional resources and skills are needed, we will treat your more severe symptoms with CBT and help you feel calmer and increase your ability to choose the most appropriate response to each situation. Treating this type of symptoms is feasible, it’s proven to be effective, and has helped many people who had a variety of different challenges. Call and make your appointment today and we can get started!

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