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Facts and Myths about Borderline Personality Disorder

Facts and Myths about Borderline Personality Disorder

There is still plenty of stigma surrounding mental illness, especially misunderstood disorders like borderline personality disorder. People with this illness must deal with a lot of misinterpretations about what their disorder really is and how it affects them. Those with borderline personality disorder are dealing with a lot of inner turmoil and people that don’t understand their illness may see them in a negative way without taking the time to learn about their symptoms.

A person with borderline personality disorder can have profound problems in relationships, in maintaining a stable identity and controlling their impulses. Their symptoms can affect them daily and make it difficult for them to function socially or at work. People often believe myths about borderline personality disorder assuming that it makes someone aggressive and manipulative.

The reality about BPD is that the individual with this disorder is often dealing with a lot of pain and doesn’t know how to manage their feelings. They have deep fears of abandonment and emotional ups and downs that can make it hard for them to get through a normal routine or maintain relationships. Treatment for borderline personality disorder helps them address their emotional sensitivity and learn to cope with it in healthier ways.

Common Myths about BPD

People who have heard of borderline personality disorder but don’t have much experience in knowing someone with the illness may believe certain myths about it. One of the biggest misconceptions about BPD is that the disorder is not treatable and psychiatrists can’t improve a person’s symptoms. The truth is that people with this disorder can get help and start to learn how to manage their symptoms so that they can improve relationships and feel more stable.

There is also a common myth, even in the field of mental health,unfortunately, that people with BPD are always difficult to deal with and are often physically aggressive. The reality is that many people with borderline personality disorder are very sensitive, passionate and intelligent individuals that are simply dealing with very difficult feelings. Behavior related to BPD is usually a reaction to an emotional trigger, and people with this disorder are not trying to hurt others but are trying to cope with intense fear and pain.

Another myth about BPD is that people with the disorder are manipulative and use their emotions to get other people to behave the way they want. The truth is that people with BPD have enormous emotional distress that becomes filtered through disordered coping skills. Their intention is not to manipulate others but to find a way to ease their own pain and to feel safe and loved.

Borderline Personality Disorder Facts

In order to understand more about borderline personality disorder it is important to try to separate the facts from the myths so you can have more compassion for people with the illness. Instead of labeling someone with the disorder as difficult or emotionally manipulative you can try to gain insight into the bigger picture of the mental illness. These are some key facts about BPD:

The disorder develops in adolescence and is often related to trauma. When someone has BPD it is not just that they have bad behavior and can’t handle relationships; there are actually early experiences that cause them to develop these issues. They may have experienced parental neglect, abuse or other types of trauma.
Borderline personality disorder is often co-occurs with other disorders. BPD can become especially complex when it is coupled with other issues like depression, anxiety, substance abuse and eating disorders. Treating each issue simultaneously is crucial in order to improve overall mental health.
BPD causes an elevated risk for self-harm and suicide. The combination of intense emotions and a tendency toward impulsivity can cause individuals with the disorder to consider or attempt suicide in many cases. Self-harm is a frequent coping mechanism because it provides a temporary sense of relief from their emotional suffering.

There are many more issues associated with borderline personality disorder which can help people develop a deeper understanding of the illness. Breaking down stigma and dispelling myths about BPD can help promote more awareness and empathy toward people dealing with this complex issue. People with BPD need lots of support from friends and family members who are committed to helping them recover.

The most important part of treatment for borderline personality disorder is therapy. There are no specific medications that are used to treat the illness other than mood stabilizers or antidepressants. Therapy is key in helping patients learn to regulate their emotions and cope with their ups and downs in healthier ways.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, contact a therapist or treatment center to get help and learn more about treating the illness.

References
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borderline_personality_disorder
http://www.mentalhealth.gov/what-to-look-for/personality-disorders/borderline-personality-disorder