Navigating the Emotional Rollercoaster: Insights into BPD

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UK based mental health charity, MIND, says that 2 in every 100 people will have a borderline personality disorder or BPD in their lifetime.

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), sometimes referred to as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD), is a condition that affects the way an individual thinks and feels – normally regarding their relationships with themselves or others.

Some with BPD find that the condition seriously affects their lives in many ways with characteristics including self-destructive behaviour, self-harming behaviour/tendencies, and unstable moods, to name a few.

Borderline Personality Disorder Indicators

  • Feeling intense emotions
  • Unstable relationships with others
  • Feelings of being “empty”
  • Disassociation
  • Anger or Rage
  • Feelings of suicide
  • Loneliness
  • Issues with sense of self
  • Significant stress

Causes of BPD

There is no definitive cause of BPD. There is evidence to suggest many ideas and theories that could contribute to the mental health condition. However, medical professionals are yet to settle on absolutes.

However, some physical and emotional factors are thought to impact an individual and increase their likelihood of living with BPD.

  • Trauma or stress
  • Brain development
  • Genetic elements

Diagnosis of BPD

This process can be lengthy and sometimes stressful. It is not something that tends to be completed overnight.

However, once it’s complete, the support and services available to someone living with BPD can be invaluable.

Start with your GP

If you feel like you have symptoms of BPD, have a chat with your GP.

They will take a look at how the behaviours and impulses are affecting your life. This isn’t because they don’t believe you – it’s so other more common mental health illnesses such as depression or bipolar can be ruled out.

Once other mental health conditions have been ruled out, your GP may refer you to a Clinical Psychologist for a specialist assessment to look at life with BPD in more detail.

Assessment of BPD

When assessing BPD, a professional, normally a Clinical Psychologist or Psychiatrist, will follow internationally recognised criteria for diagnosing someone with BPD.

Assessment can normally be carried out as part of an individual’s treatment with their community mental health team (CMHT) or by contacting a Clinical Psychologist privately.

During an assessment, the healthcare professional will delve into symptoms, how they affect your everyday life, and family and personal life history. This will enable the assessor to get a full picture of your life and the run-up to exhibiting symptoms.

Most professionals agree that those with BPD will experience 5 or more of the symptoms or experiences listed above.

Treatment of BPD

There are many talking therapies for borderline personality disorder, depending on how severe it is in an individual.

Use Your Team

Some individuals with BPD find it helpful to choose over the professionals who will be offering support and contact mental health professionals in private practice. Seeing a mental health professional in private practice also help you avoid the lengthy waiting times in the NHS for getting a diagnosis and accessing the right support.

Others may find their GP refers them to their local CMHT.

This network of professionals and services work together to help a person keep their life independent whilst giving them access to help if needed.

These include psychologists, social workers, mental health nurses etc.

Talk About It

Talking therapies, including Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), are said to benefit those with BPD as one works on emotions, the other on examining mental state of mind.

Professionals recommending these therapies include the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Medicines for BPD

It is very unlikely those with BPD are given medicine for the condition itself, as there is no medical treatment for the condition.

However, a professional may give drug treatment for other mental health issues, such as depression, that may be affecting or enhancing the BPD symptoms. If medication may be required, a Clinical Psychologist will liaise and ask you to have a consultation with a Psychiatrist.

If you have more questions regarding Borderline Personality Disorder, feel free to get in touch so I can assist you with your mental health queries.

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