Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a psychiatric diagnosis that is given to people who have a problem maintaining relationships, self-image, and mood. One of the main characteristics of people who suffer from this prognosis is the inability to maintain their sense of self. If undiagnosed and untreated BPD can cause the individuals who are afflicted to have periods of complete dissociation with reality. This is very problematic as dissociation is characterized by a person’s inability to connect to their own feelings, memories, actions, and thoughts. Because of this these extreme episodes have been known to completely disrupt a person’s ability to function.
Many people who are diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) first began experiencing symptoms of the disease when they were in adolescence. Although many therapists have found that it is important not to diagnose people until they are over eighteen because the symptoms of BPD can lessen over time as a person develops psychologically. If someone is to be diagnosed with BPD before they are eighteen it is important that the symptoms be present for at least one year or longer in order to ensure that they are actually experiencing problems with BPD and not anything else.
Symptoms for borderline personality disorder are a combination of several different factors. Some of these include extreme efforts for the patient to avoid perceived rejection or abandonment, unstable interpersonal relationships, impulse behavior (i.e. sex abuse, spending recklessly, binge eating, etc.), feelings of vacancy, intense periods of anger, paranoia, and periods of mood instability. It is the specific combination of these symptoms that psychiatrists look for when they are determining whether or not to diagnose someone as suffering from BPD. Since it takes a professional to find out for sure whether or not someone has BPD, it is important that you consult them immediately if you suspect that you or someone you love might be afflicted with this problem.
One of the most important things that people who are suffering with borderline personality disorder have difficulty coping with is their perception of abandonment. This can often result even when there is no rejection apparent. For example, someone with BPD could find that they panic when someone has to leave for work or go on about with a daily chore that might not involve them. The idea that people are living a life outside of the person’s range can cause them to go into anxiety and panic. They perceive this as abandonment, and sometimes with this sense of abandonment they feel that it is punishment for something that they have done wrong.
This main symptom is one that often interacts with other problems commonly associated with borderline personality disorder, and some researchers believe that these strong feelings of abandonment and rejection form the basis of the problems with BPD. The correlating symptoms may develop as a result of this feeling. For example, a person with BPD might experience severe fluctuations in self-image as they might experience feelings of positive outlook, followed shortly by feelings of inadequacy and self-destructiveness because they do not view themselves as good enough. Because of the anxiety, depression, and fear of abandonment, many psychiatrists believe that childhood trauma is usually one of the main contributors to the development of BPD in individuals who might already be genetically predisposed.
One thing about borderline personality disorder is certain, and that is that this is a complex psychological disorder. When it was first recognized and diagnosed many psychiatrists were uncertain as to how to effectively treat it, but now there are several different methods of psychotherapy that have been developed specifically to deal with individuals suffering from BPD.
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