BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER
Borderline personality disorder is defined as a very severe mental disorder which is identified by a series of ongoing instability in behavior, functioning, moods and self image. Individuals with borderline personality disorder usually encounter severe episodes of anxiety, anger and depression that normally last for several days or hours. Such encounters usually lead to unstable relationships and uninhibited actions. This disorder mostly focuses on the inability of individuals to effectively control their emotions. It normally commences in early adulthood or during adolescence. Borderline personality disorder exists in the relationship setting and at times only one relationship is affected and sometimes all kinds of relationships are usually affected. Most individuals with this disorder suffer from difficulties of controlling their thoughts and emotions and sometimes uninhibited behavior. Individuals also with this disorder are at a higher risk of suffering from substance abuse, anxiety disorders, personality disorders and also eating disorders (Gunderson, 2011).
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Borderline personality disorder has been in existence and affecting individuals long before it was formally diagnosable in the year 1980 when it was recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders DSM-III. In 1993, dialectal behavior therapy was introduced by Marsha Linehan as an effective treatment. Further definition of Border personality disorder diagnosis was established in the published DSM-IV. The month of May was declared as the month of national borderline personality disorder awareness by the House of Representative in the United States in 2008. Research still continues with regards to the advancement in the field related to borderline personality disorder.
Prevalence in the United States shows that borderline personality disorder affects an estimated 14 million people at some point in their lives. Approximately 20percent individuals admitted to psychiatric hospitals are also affected with this disorder. Scientists agree that environmental and genetic influences are involved as risk factors and causes of this disorder. The disorder is also likely to be caused by social factors like interaction of an individual with friends and family particularly during early development; genetic and biological factors; and also psychological factors which involve the personality of an individual designed by their surrounding and skills learned to be able to cope with stress. All these factors in their nature and complexity together are responsible for the disorder and not just a single factor. Individuals with this disorder can pass the disorder to children and therefore their children are at a high risk for the disorder. During childhood particular events may also be responsible for the development of this disorder like sexual, emotional and physical abuse. Bullying, neglect and loss also contribute to the development of the disorder in childhood.
Borderline personality disorder has symptoms which include emotional instability, relationship instability, identity disturbance, feelings of emptiness, intense anger and also impulsivity symptoms. This disorder is primarily diagnosed by psychologists who are trained mental health professional as they are no blood or any other laboratory tests that are utilized in the diagnosis of this disorder. Borderline personality disorder diagnosis is done through comparison of the life history of an individual and the symptoms, and mental health professionals are responsible for conducting these comparisons to establish a determination on whether the symptoms presented meet the necessary criteria for diagnosing an individual with borderline personality disorder. More research is being conducted to determine more ways to ensure improvement in diagnosis of borderline personality disorder in the future (Kings and Queens of Chaos, 2017).
Many individuals with this particular disorder do not consider seeking treatment until the disorder begins to essentially disrupt or influence the life of an individual. Historically borderline personality disorder has been considered as very complicated and challenging to treat. In recent times, proper and redefined methods of treatment for this disorder have been established with most individuals experiencing the disorder with less serious symptoms. It is essential that individuals with this disorder and their families to get adequate support especially during treatment because most influencing factors affect the period of time it takes for improvement of symptoms once treatment commences. Psychotherapy is considered as the most effective form of treatment for individuals with this disorder as it is known to alleviate related symptoms. In the primary treatment of the disorder, it is not recommended to use medications however a mental health professional in some cases may recommend use of medication to ensure treatment of particular symptoms like depression and mood swings. Extra caution should be exercised by health care practitioners when prescribing medications due to high suicide risks among individuals with the disorder. In the event of an overdose in the prescribed medicine, the effects may be very fatal. More than one medical practitioner may be required in the treatment with medications. For different individuals with the disorder, particular medications can lead to various side effects (Winston, 2000).
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