Your angry, anxious, and depressed for prolonged periods of time. Maybe something happened that upset you, or maybe there is no reason at all. Either way, you could be suffering from a borderline personality disorder. This is a relatively common type of mental disorder that affects three million people across the United States each year.
This disorder is characterized by a pattern of moods and behaviors. These patterns consist of periods of normalcy, followed by intense emotional episodes. During these episodes, the affected may experience feelings of depression, anxiety, and anger. These episodes vary in length. Typically they last a few hours to a few days. During these episodes, the individual may make rash decisions, partake in impulsive actions, and struggle to maintain a relationship.
Borderline Personality vs. Bipolar
Though this disorder may sound similar to bipolar disorder, the differences are substantial. Both are characterized by changes in mood and behavior. But the episodes in which these changes occur differ in length. As noted, the episodes associated with borderline personality disorder last hours to days. The episodes that characterize bipolar disorder last weeks to months.
Another distinct difference is that the mood changes that identify bipolar disorder are accompanied by changes in sleep patterns, energy levels, and thought processes. Borderline personality disorder is almost entirely characterized by changes in mood and self-esteem.
Common Questions and Answers
Now that we’ve covered the basic information, let’s answer the common questions asked about Borderline Personality Disorder.
Is BPD Something You Are Born With?
Similar to most mental disorders, borderline personality disorder is likely hereditary. Though it is believed that our experiences enhance or suppress the condition. For example, an adult with a traumatic childhood may be more likely to suffer from an emotional disorder than those who did not face extreme difficulty during their youth.
Why the Sudden Change In Mood?
One of the most confusing aspects of borderline personality disorder is that the individual could be doing extremely well, then suddenly have an outburst. These fluctuations may be caused by the environment or a recent social exchange. But often, they are the result of the individual holding things back until they erupt. That’s why it is so important to seek therapeutic help when you suffer from borderline personality disorder. Therapy is an excellent treatment option because it provides the individual with a safe space to let go of the things that are bothering them and learn techniques that could prevent or hold-off another episode.
Why Is Substance Abuse Related to BPD?
Those who suffer from borderline personality disorder are prone to erratic behavior and impulsive decision making. Mood altering substances, such as drugs or alcohol, are often used to self-medicate. They are often taken in an attempt to avoid extremely negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, and sorrow.
Unfortunately, these mood-altering substances often enhance the negative emotions. This is because many of these substances are depressants. When introduced to the human body, they interact with our central nervous systems. This causes a delay between the receipt of messages to the brain and our reactions. It is impossible to predict how an individual will react to a mood-altering substance.
How Is BPD Treated?
This disorder, similar to most other mental disorders, is treated by psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, provides the individual suffering from borderline personality disorder a safe space. The therapist can assist them in managing the condition. This management is performed by observing and monitoring your moods, then learning the different techniques that can assist you in managing them.
The explosive moods that accompany borderline personality disorder can affect your daily life. They impact relationships, self-image, and the ability to function in a social setting. If you or someone you love is believed to be suffering from this disorder, treatment can help. Find a therapist in your area and begin treatment as soon as possible. You do not have to continue suffering and things can get better.