Pete Davidson’s job is to make people laugh, and he has a big audience as a cast member on Saturday Night Live. But recently, he has used is platform for a different reason: he has been talking openly and honestly about mental health. Pete Davidson was recently diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), a serious mental illness. BPD alters the way that people see themselves and others. It can cause severe disruptions in relationships, erratic behavior, acute emotions, and extreme impulsiveness. Pete Davidson spoke openly about the harm the disorder has caused in his own life, but with wit and charm, he encouraged others that help is available. He told audiences, “first of all, if you think you’re depressed, see a doctor and talk to them about medication, and also be healthy. Eating right and exercise can make a huge difference. And finally, if you are in the cast of a late-night comedy show, it might help, if they, ya know, do more of your sketches.” Of course, Pete was joking about that third piece of advice, but he was very serious that Dependent Personality has treatments and that going to therapy can bring relief.
Thriveworks Knoxville offers therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder. We have seen the harm that it can cause when undiagnosed and untreated, but our mental health professionals have helped many people with BPD find the help they needed.
What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) outlines the diagnostics for Borderline Personality Disorder and acknowledge it as one of ten personality disorders.
“This heart of mine has just two setting: nothing at all or too much.
There is no in between.”
When people have BPD, the illness causes them to exhibit maladaptive behaviors across different life situations. It is characteristics by instability in relationships, sense of self, and feelings. If often begins in early adulthood, and people affected with the disorder are at increased risk for other mental health problems like depression, eating disorders, self-harm, and substance abuse.
Symptom of BPD may include…
- An extreme dread of being abandoned—going to extremes to avoid perceived or real separation.
- A history of intense, unstable relationships—often wavering between idealizing an individual and believing they are cruel.
- Quickly changing between identities—shifting one’s values, goals, and perceptions easily.
- Experiencing periods of paranoia wherein people lose touch with reality—these can last for minutes or hours.
- Feeling tender about criticism and rejection.
- Engaging in risky and impulsive behaviors that put themselves in danger—gambling, daredevil driving, drug use, unsafe sex, self-sabotage, spending sprees, binge eating, and more.
- Threatening or attempting self-injury or suicide—particularly when afraid of rejection, or criticism.
- Swinging between emotional extremes: irritability and happiness, anxiety and euphoria, et cetera.
- A continuing feeling of emptiness.
- Outbursts of anger or being belligerent—lost temper, sarcasm, bitterness, and more.
How Does BPD Develop?
Borderline Personality Disorder affects almost 2 percent of the US population, and women are three times more likely to be diagnosed as men. Many mental health professionals believe that men are affected at the same rate as women, but they are underdiagnosed. There are several things that can raise an individual’s risk of developing Borderline Personality Disorder, including environmental, social, genetic, and physical risk factors such as,
- A history of childhood trauma (particularly emotional, sexual, or physical abuse by a caregiver).
- A genetic history of BPD
- A reduced hippocampus size (region of the brain that regulates stress responses and emotion).
- Death of a caregiver as a child.
Treatment for BPD
There are a number of treatments available to those with Borderline Personality Disorder. There is no cure, but there are ways to manage the mental illness, and often, people who seek treatment experience improvement in their daily life. It may be important to work with a mental health professional who can personalize a treatment plan, but often, that treatment plan involves a form of therapy called Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).
Dialectical Behavior Therapy focuses upon healing skills such as…
- Emotional regulation is an individual’s ability to identify, process, and respond to difficult feelings.
- Distress tolerance allows people to build up their resiliency to difficulties in life. It equips them with skills that empower them to face life’s ups and downs in a healthy way.
- Mindfulness means that people begin to pay attention to their mind and the emotions in a non-judgmental way. People begin to observe themselves. This skills is a foundational skill for emotional health.
- Interpersonal effectiveness equips people with the skills and expectations they need to build healthy relationships of all kinds—as friends, as family members, as romantic partners, and more.
Scheduling an Appointment at Thriveworks Knoxville for Borderline Personality Disorder
As you read through the symptoms and risk factors for BPD, did you recognize anything in your own life? If so, it may be time to reach out. The therapists at Thriveworks Knoxville offer treatment for BPD, and we have appointments available. When you contact our office, your first appointment may be the following day. You will not reach a voicemail, but a scheduling specialist will help you find a session. Weekend and evening sessions are offered, but we do not keep a waitlist, so you will never be put on one. We also accept many different insurance plans. Let’s work on healing together. Call today.