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Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic, mental health disorder. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) defines borderline personality disorder as an “illness marked by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, self-image, and behavior.” The symptoms of BPD usually stem from an inconsistent self-concept. As is explained by the Mayo Clinic “with borderline personality disorder, you have an intense fear of abandonment or instability, and you may have difficulty tolerating being alone. Yet inappropriate anger, impulsiveness, and frequent mood swings may push others away, even though you want to have loving, and lasting relationships.” According to the DSM-5, borderline personality disorder is diagnosed when a person experiences “a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood” and must experience five or more of the following symptoms in a variety of contexts:

  • Emotional instability.
  • Feelings of emptiness.
  • Efforts to avoid abandonment.
  • Impulsive behaviors.
  • Identity disturbances.
  • Inappropriate, irrational and/ or intense bouts of anger.
  • Transient paranoid and/ or dissociative symptoms.
  • Unstable interpersonal relationships.
  • Suicidal and/ or self-harming behaviors.

The symptoms that manifest because of borderline personality disorder often mimic those of other mental health disorders (e.g., histrionic personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, bipolar personality etc.). BPD is notorious for being an incredibly challenging mental health disorder to both diagnose and treat. Due to its illusive nature, some mental health professionals are reluctant, or even refuse, to diagnose and/ or treat BPD even when a person clearly meets diagnostic criteria.

Treatment Barriers 

People with borderline personality disorder commonly show signs of another condition called anosognosia. Anosognosia is defined as “a neurological condition in which the patient is unaware of their neurological deficit or psychiatric condition.” This causes a person with BPD to be incapable of recognizing that they present with its signs and symptoms, which leads them to believe that treatment would be unnecessary. 

While the cause of borderline personality disorder remains unknown, the NIH alludes to research that “suggests that genetics, brain structure and function, and environmental, cultural, and social factors play a role, or may increase the risk for developing borderline personality disorder.” Although an individual cannot assume responsibility for developing BPD, it remains a condition that is rampantly stigmatized. This stigma can lead a person experiencing BPD to feel ashamed, hide their suffering, and avoid treatment. A lack of understanding about borderline personality disorder paired with the fact that BPD is one of the most heavily stigmatized mental health conditions often prevent people from seeking treatment.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options. 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

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