People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) have stormy and unpredictable ways of relating to other people. These ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving cause many problems at work, in school, and socially.
Experts believe that BPD may be caused by differences in the brain or nervous system. It might also be related to problems in the family such as abuse, financial stresses, death of loved ones, or mental illness. It usually begins in adolescence or early adulthood. It is estimated that from 1% to 14% of people are affected. It affects more women than men.
There are no blood tests, physical exams, or imaging studies that can diagnose BPD. Your healthcare provider or mental health therapist will ask about symptoms such as:
People who have this disorder may see the world in terms of extremes: good/bad; love/hate; or your fault/my fault. There is no middle ground. Other symptoms include:
This is a difficult disorder to treat, but the following can help reduce symptoms such as impulsive behavior and unstable relationships:
Dialectic behavior therapy is now being used to treat BPD. This type of therapy helps you learn to manage stress, your emotions, and the way that you relate to other people.
Get emergency care if you or a loved one has serious thoughts of suicide or harming others.
People with this disorder may need lifelong treatment with medicine, therapy, or both.
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