The author who first introduced the term borderline to psychopathology was A. Stern. At the end of the 1930s, he used it to refer to people whose behavioral symptoms were located between psychotic and neurotic disorders (on the verge of schizophrenia and neurosis).
Borderline personality disorder – causes
Borderline disorder becomes apparent during adolescence or early adulthood. It occurs in about 2-3% of the general population. The incidence in both sexes is similar, but women more often seek therapeutic help.
There are many different theories trying to explain the cause of borderline disorder. It is still impossible to indicate one specific factor. Borderline personalities are believed to be rooted in the interactions of their environment. The early relationship between the child and the parents (weak or cold bond with or neglect on their part), feelings of abandonment due to separation or loss of loved ones, and severe stress caused by physical violence or sexual harassment may be of particular importance.
Read more: Residential Treatment Center for Teens
Borderline – symptoms and diagnosis
According to the DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association’s classification of mental disorders), borderline personality disorder is “a generalized pattern of unstable interpersonal relationships, self-image, and feelings coexisting with pronounced impulsiveness that occurs in an individual in various contexts from early adulthood.” Borderline personality disorder is diagnosed when at least five of the nine following criteria persist for an extended period of time:
- Taking action to avoid an imaginary or actual abandonment (excluding self-harm and suicide attempts)
- Unstable and very dynamic interpersonal relationships consisting in a constant change in the perception of the other person from extreme idealization to extreme devaluation
- Serious identity disorders involving a distorted and persistently unstable sense of self and self-image
- Excessive spending of money
- Risky sexual behavior
- Addiction to psychoactive substances
- Engaging in risky behavior
- Showing self-destructive behavior
- Suicide attempts
- Blackmailing yourself by harming or committing suicide
- High emotional instability resulting from emotional reactivity (e.g. episodes of dysphoria, tendencies to extreme and intense emotions (from irritation to anxiety), usually lasting up to several hours, but not longer than a few days
- Permanent sense of inner emptiness
- Transient, increased dissociative or paranoid disorders related to stress.
- Responses that are inadequate to the situation, manifested by difficulties in controlling anger, including:
- Constantly showing irritation and irritation
- Constant feeling of intense anger
- Visible problems with controlling anger
- Repeated aggressive behavior – fights
Characteristics of the borderline personality
People with a borderline personality diagnosis live in a state of constant and strong mental tension. They feel intense, mostly negative emotions that they cannot deal with in a constructive way. They are characterized by high volatility of moods and a tendency to conflict. They constantly balance between extreme feelings such as:
In a very short time, they can radically change the attitude towards themselves and towards other people – they either love and idealize, or hate and devalue. They create intense and unstable relationships. In a relationship with a partner, they provoke numerous conflicts, partings and returns. They balance between love and hate. On the one hand, they want a relationship with the other person and are afraid of rejection and loneliness. On the other hand, they feel a panic fear of closeness.
Due to the state of constant and strong tension, they may display aggressive behavior (they use physical or verbal violence) or self-aggressive behavior (they attempt suicide or mutilate themselves). Due to their tendency to risky and impulsive behavior, often threatening health or life, they have a reputation for being crazy and unpredictable.
They are characterized by the lack of a stable self-image. It is difficult for them to define who they are, what they feel, what they think and what their needs are. They often look like people they are with or pretend to be someone they are not. They have problems with proper self-esteem – they are characterized by inflated or low self-esteem.
Treatment of borderline disorders
Despite the development of multiple therapies, borderline disorder is still difficult to treat. There are usually two ways of proceeding:
Pharmacotherapy is used to reduce individual symptoms (e.g. anxiety, depression). In turn, the goal of psychotherapy is to provide peace, help in creating a stable image of yourself and other people, and to enable you to build a safe and satisfying relationship. Borderline therapy with proven effectiveness includes:
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
- Therapy based on mentalization
- Schema therapy
Treatment of borderline personality disorder is usually turbulent, and patients frequently switch therapists, miss appointments, do not follow established rules, or try to interfere with the therapists’ private lives.
Resources: Feinberg Consulting
How to live with a person with borderline?
The relationship with a borderline person is not easy. It is an intense, turbulent and unstable relationship. If you love your partner and want to fight for your future together, then:
Get as much reliable information as possible about his disorder. This will tell you how to deal with it. Much difficult behavior is a symptom of a disorder, not an intentional act.
Learn to communicate with your loved ones. Be an understanding and composed listener. Do not ignore your partner, but also do not try to interpret his statements.
Don’t take harsh words personally, as borderline disorders distort your perception of reality. However, remember to learn to distinguish between the behavior resulting from the disorder and the conscious and planned behavior.
Don’t forget about yourself. Define your limits and keep an eye on them. Be firm and consistent. Don’t make excuses and make excuses. Take care of your needs.
You will not force a partner with borderline treatment to undergo treatment, but do not give up trying to persuade him to start treatment. Without specialized therapy, creating and maintaining a satisfactory relationship will be very difficult.
Don’t forget that your partner is not here to hurt you. His life is accompanied by pain and suffering, and the course of action results from a disorder that he would certainly like to get rid of.
Article Submitted By Community Writer