Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental illness that not many people know very much about. It is marked by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, self-image, and behavior. These symptoms often result in impulsive actions and problems in relationships. The term “borderline” refers to the fact that people with this condition tend to “border” on being diagnosed with additional mental health conditions in their lifetime, including psychosis. One of the ironies of this disorder is that people with BPD may crave closeness, but their intense and unstable emotional responses tend to alienate others, causing long-term feelings of isolation.
The causes of BPD are not well understood. Genetics and brain abnormalities are linked to BPD, as well as a history of neglect or abuse. About 2% of the US has been diagnosed with BPD and about 75% of those are women.
Therapy is the first line of treatment for people with borderline personality disorder, primarily Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). DBT uses concepts of mindfulness and acceptance or being aware of and attentive to the current situation and emotional state. With good, consistent treatment, symptoms can be greatly reduced.
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