Saturday Night Live has tackled many difficult topics with wit and charm, and when cast member Pete Davidson was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, they stayed true to form. He went on their segment, Weekend Update, to let people know about his struggle and the help that he has received. Pete was humble and realistic and vulnerable about his experiences, and the open, honest discussion likely raised awareness and helped many people know that they are not alone. At one point, he directly admonished people who are struggling, saying, “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.” The last piece of advice may not apply to many people, but the first part may. Borderline Personality Disorder has effective treatments, and many people find the help they need by working with a counselor.
Thriveworks Lynchburg offers appointments for BPD therapy. Our mental health professionals have seen the harm that Borderline Personality Disorder can cause, but we have also seen how much healing clients can experience.
Borderline Personality Disorder: Signs and Symptoms
“This heart of mine has just two setting: nothing at all or too much.
There is no in between.”
There are ten disorders that fall under The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5)’s category of personality disorders, and BPD is one of those ten. Maladaptive behaviors characterize any personality disorder—that is these disorders cause behaviors that make people’s personal and professional lives more difficult. BPD, however, has unique symptoms that distinguish it from the other personality disorders.
In particular, volatility is a hallmark of Borderline Personality Disorder. BPD often means people have unstable relationships, emotions, and sense of self. This instability can look like…
- Feeling scared at the idea of being abandoned and going to extremes to avoid perceived or real abandonment.
- Being belligerent: exhibiting bitterness, angry outbursts, using sarcasm, losing one’s temper, starting/engaging in fights, and more.
- A pattern of fractured partnerships, relationships, friendships, and connections.
- Shifting quickly between different identities—changing one’s values, goals, and perceptions on a regular basis.
- Seesawing between emotional extremes: irritability and euphoria, anxiety and happiness, and more.
- Experiencing paranoia—losing touch with reality for a period of time, possibly minutes or even hours or even days.
- An inability to accept criticism or rejection of any kind, including healthy separation or constructive criticism.
- Self-injury, attempted suicide, or threats to harm oneself (particularly when faced with criticism, fear, or rejection).
- Feeling empty.
- Acting impetuously: gambling without restraint, engaging in unsafe sex, reckless driving, drug abuse, and more.
The symptoms of BPD show that it can wreak havoc all by itself, but often, it also leaves people are treat risk for other mental health challenges. In particular, DBP can also co-occur with self-harm, depression, eating disorders, addiction, and substance abuse.
Risk Factors and BPD
Over one percent of the population in the US will develop Borderline Personality Disorder. How it develops and why it develops in some but not others is still a mystery. However, mental health professionals have identified certain factors that may increase an individual’s risk, including….
- Genetic history: relatives to have BPD
- Experiencing abuse or neglect as a child, especially if the perpetrator was a caregiver or parent.
- A hippocampus (the area of the brain that controls stress responses) that is reduced in size.
- Losing a parent or caregiver as a child.
Therapy for BPD
There are effective treatments that may mitigate the destructive effects of Borderline Personality disorder. Skilled therapists can often help people find an individualized treatment plan that address their unique needs and concerns. Often, people can learn how to cultivate a well-adapted life and manage their BPD. One of the most effective therapies for BPD is Dialectical Behavior Therapy. This is therapy that focuses upon healing and coping skills such as…
- Mindfulness is a foundational skill for good mental health. When people practice mindfulness, they simply observe themselves—their emotions, their bodies, and more. Mindfulness emphasizes paying attention without judging.
- Emotional regulation builds upon mindfulness. When emotions are observed, people are able to respond to them (instead of react according to them) with the skill of emotional regulation. For example, they may sense themselves becoming angry and decision to directly address the problem before they lash out.
- Distress tolerance are those skills needed when life goes wrong or is challenging, and challenges, setbacks, and struggles are a guarantee in life.
- Interpersonal effectiveness is all about relationships. These are the skills that allow people to successfully build and maintain healthy relationships in every area of your life—at home, in the office, as friends, within a marriage, as a parent, and more.
Scheduling Appointments for Borderline Personality Disorder at Thriveworks Lynchburg
Thriveworks Lynchburg offers BPD, and we have appointments available. If you recognized some symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder, consider reaching out. When you call our office, a real person will answer (you will not reach a voicemail). Your first appointment may be the following day. We offer evening and weekend sessions, but we do not keep a waitlist. Instead, we want our clients to get help when they need it. We also accept many different insurance plans. Call today.