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- Borderline personality disorder facts
- What is borderline personality disorder (BPD)?
- What other disorders often occur with BPD?
- What causes borderline personality disorder?
- What are the risk factors for borderline personality disorder?
- What are borderline personality disorder symptoms and signs?
- How do health-care professionals diagnose borderline personality disorder?
- What is the treatment for borderline personality disorder?
- How can someone find a specialist who treats borderline personality disorder?
- What are borderline personality disorder complications?
- What is the prognosis of people with borderline personality disorder?
- Is it possible to prevent borderline personality disorder?
- Where can I get more information on borderline personality disorder?
What causes borderline personality disorder?
Although there is no specific cause for BPD, it is understood to be the result of a combination of biological predispositions, ways of understanding the world, and social stressors (biopsychosocial model). Biologically, people with BPD are more likely to have abnormalities in the size of the hippocampus, in the size and functioning of the amygdala, and in the functioning of the frontal lobes, which are the areas of the brain that are understood to regulate emotions and integrate thoughts with emotions. Although some research indicates that people with BPD seem to have areas of the brain that are more and less active compared to individuals who do not have the disorder, other research contradicts that.
While BPD is not thought to be genetic, it can somewhat run in families. Psychologically, BPD seems to make a person more vulnerable to having unstable moods, particularly impulsive aggression. Socially, this disorder predisposes sufferers to developing insecurity, to be more likely to excessively expect to be criticized or rejected and negatively personalize disinterest or inattention from others. These tendencies result in BPD sufferers having significantly impaired social relationships. In addition to these problems, people with BPD are more likely to have suffered from childhood abuse or neglectful parenting.
What are the risk factors for borderline personality disorder?
Adults who come from families of origin where divorce, neglect, sexual abuse, substance abuse, or death occurred are at higher risk of developing BPD. In children, the risk for developing this disorder appears to increase when they have a learning problem or certain temperaments. Adolescents who develop alcohol abuse or addiction are also apparently at higher risk of developing BPD compared to those who do not.