Borderline personality disorder, or BPD, is characterized by quick changes in mood, unstable self-image, and erratic behavior. People with BPD often act impulsively and have difficulty in forming healthy relationships. They may be prone to intense anger, depression, or anxiety. People with BPD tend to view things and people as either all good or all bad. What’s more, their assessment may changes very quickly. So a friend who is perfect and wonderful one day may be treacherous and evil the next. This, understandably, makes relationships difficult for people with BPD. People with BPD are often anxious about abandonment and will go to extremes to avoid it. They may rush into commitment, or abruptly end a relationship to avoid the possibility of being rejected. They may have a distorted or unstable self-image. They may be prone to impulsive behaviors, such as substance use, reckless driving, unsafe sex, or self-harm. They may have mood swings, with moods lasting several hours or several days. This is relatively short compared to bipolar disorder, which may cause depression or mania that lasts for weeks or months. People with BPD often feel empty or cut off from others, or even cut off from reality. They may feel intense anger, which they may be unable to control. They often have a difficult time trusting people. BPD is often thought of as a disorder that primarily affects women, but it now appears that it affects men and women equally. Despite this parity, women are far more likely to be diagnosed with BPD, and possibly even overdiagnosed, while men appear to be underdiagnosed. This may have to do with gender stereotypes. Women are often characterized as needy and hysterical, unable to control their emotions, and thus BPD seems to be a good fit for women with a certain cluster of problems. Men with BPD are often misdiagnosed as having anger control issues, narcissism, or substance use issues. As with depression, cultural expectations may affect how various aspects of BPD are expressed and interpreted by others. Some problems caused by BPD, such as substance use and promiscuous sex are often considered more acceptable for men. What’s more, women are more likely to seek help for problems with relationships and emotional regulation. Men are less comfortable opening up like that, and may prefer to continue self-medicating or avoiding relationships because they fear being abandoned. The perception that BPD is a condition that mainly affects women also makes men more reluctant to seek help. Although BPD is a challenging condition, it is treatable. It is typically treated using dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT. DBT is an intensive form of therapy that involves meeting individually with a therapist and working with a group. It’s a subset of cognitive behavioral therapy, but it focuses more on acknowledging and regulating difficult emotions as well as improving interpersonal skills.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or borderline personality disorder, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.