Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

  • Medical Author:
    Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD

    Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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How can someone find a specialist who treats borderline personality disorder?

DBT Therapists
http://behavioraltech.org/resources/crd.cfm

What are borderline personality disorder complications?

The presence of BPD often worsens the course of another mental condition with which it occurs. For example, it tends to change the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder and to worsen depression.

Individuals with BPD are at risk for self-destructive behaviors like self-mutilation, as well as for attempting or completing suicide. While cutting and other forms of self-harm, as well as suicidal behaviors seem to be associated with alleviating negative feelings, it is thought that self-mutilating behaviors are more an expression of anger, punishing oneself, distracting oneself, and maladaptively eliciting more normal feelings. In contrast, suicide attempts are thought to be more often associated with feeling survivors will be better off for their death. People who engage in self-mutilation are more likely to commit suicide compared to those who do not self-mutilate.

Although most individuals with a mental disorder do not engage in violent behavior, those who suffer from BPD have a somewhat increased risk for such behaviors. That risk is also increased for individuals who suffer from narcissism, antisocial personality disorder, have a history of previously engaging in violent behavior, frequent use of sedative medications, or experience several changes in their psychiatric medications in general.

Complications of BPD also often involve families of the person with the disorder. For example, a parent with BPD is vulnerable to having depressive symptoms in their children.

What is the prognosis of people with borderline personality disorder?

Improvement in any personality disorder is not the same as being cured. And the symptoms of BPD do tend to diminish with time. But how well or poorly people with BPD progress over time seems to be influenced by how severe the disorder is at the time that treatment starts, the state of the individual's current personal relationships, whether or not the sufferer has a history of being abused as a child, as well as whether or not the person receives appropriate treatment. Simultaneously suffering from depression, other emotional problems, or a low level of conscientiousness have been found to be associated with a greater likelihood of the symptoms of BPD returning (relapsing). Conversely, having steady employment or school status once symptoms of BPD subside (remit) tends to protect BPD sufferers from experiencing a future relapse.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/7/2016
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