Saturday Night Live is known for making people laugh, even about difficult subjects, and true to form, they recently took on Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Cast member, Pete Davidson was diagnosed with BPD, and he went onto Weekend Update to talk about his struggle. He was honest and genuine and (of course!) funny. He let people know that BPD has caused serious harm in his life, but Pete Davidson also let people know how much better his life has gotten with treatment. He also encouraged others to seek treatment, 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.” Of course, his third point is not part of most treatment plans for BPD, but often, the first two are. BPD can cause people to have unstable relationships, behavior patterns, emotions, and more. However, many people find the help they need to manage the disorder by working with a therapist and going to counseling for Borderline Personality Disorder.
The mental health professionals at Thriveworks Manassas treat BPD. We understand the toll it can take on an individual’s life, but we have also seen the freedom people can experience with treatment. The therapists at Thriveworks have helped many clients find an effective plan for healing.
Borderline Personality Disorder: What Is It?
“This heart of mine has just two setting: nothing at all or too much.
There is no in between.”
According to The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), BPD is one of ten different types of personality disorders. These disorders are characterized by maladaptive behaviors. That is, they exhibit behavior and thinking that is destructive to themselves and to others, and these behaviors are present across a wide range of settings and scenarios. Borderline Personality Disorder, in particular, is characterized by instability. People can experience dramatic and often destructive shifts in their emotions, relationships, and identity. BPD often shows its signs and symptoms when people are entering adulthood. Such signs may include….
- Extreme fear of abandonment and taking extreme measures to avoid real or perceived separation.
- Belligerent behavior—losing one’s temper, bitterness, use of sarcasm, outbursts of anger, starting fights, and more.
- A pattern of broken relationships that often begin by idealizing an individual and then swing to perceiving others as cruel and harmful.
- Easily changing identities—altering one’s goals, values, and perceptions continuously.
- Oscillating between extreme emotions: happiness and irritability, euphoria and anxiety, and so on.
- Losing touch with reality for minutes or even hours at a time—experiencing paranoia.
- Difficulty taking any kind of criticism and rejection.
- Attempting or threatening to attempt suicide or self-injury (especially as a response to fear, criticism, or rejection).
- An ever-present and ongoing feeling of emptiness.
- Acting impulsively and engaging in unnecessary risks like reckless driving, unsafe sex, gambling, drug use, unfettered spending, self-sabotage, binge eating, and more.
DBP can cause many problems for people in and of itself, but it can also leave people at greater risk for other mental health disorders, like self-harm, eating disorders, depression, substance abuse, and addiction.
BPD’s Risk Factors
Almost two percent of people in the US suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder. Three times more women are diagnosed than men, but many in the mental health profession think that men are under-diagnosed, but they suffer at the same rates. How and why BPD develops in an individual is not entirely clear, but there do seem to be certain social, environmental, genetic, and physical factors that raise people’s risk for the disorder. Those risk factors may include….
- A family history of BPD
- Experiencing childhood abuse or neglect, especially at the hand of a caregiver or parent.
- A hippocampus that is reduced in size (this is the area of the brain that controls stress responses).
- As a child, experiencing the death of a parent or caregiver.
These are believed to disrupt the normal attachment process, and they may create maladaptive behaviors in an individual.
Borderline Personality Disorder can cause substantial harm in an individual’s life, but with treatment, many people are able to mitigate the harm and live a well-adapted life. Skilled therapists often create personalized treatment plans that meet an individual’s needs and circumstances, but those plans often involve Dialectical Behavior Therapy, a form of treatment that teaching coping and healing skills like…
- Mindfulness: Helping people becoming more aware and observant of what they are feeling and sensing in their bodies and minds. Mindfulness emphasizes observation without judgment.
- Emotional regulation: These are the skills people need to recognize what they are feeling and respond in an appropriate way.
- Distress tolerance: Life is full of ups and downs, and distress tolerance helps people cope with its inevitable difficulties.
- Interpersonal effectiveness: Relationships are important for an individual’s overall well-being, and interpersonal effectiveness teaches people the skills they need to build and maintain many different kinds of healthy relationships.
Setting Up Appointments for Borderline Personality Disorder at Thriveworks Manassas
Thriveworks Manassas has appointments available for BPD. When you contact our office, you may be meeting with a counselor the following day. We offer evening and weekend sessions, and we accept many different insurance plans. Let’s work toward healing. Call today.