4 Signs Clinicians Look For When Determining If Your Loved One Has Borderline Personality Disorder
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Whether they are family members or close friends, you strive to help your loved ones thrive. This is not always easy, especially when you’re concerned about your loved one’s mental health. One mental health disorder your loved one might face is borderline personality disorder (BPD). Borderline personality disorder is a Cluster B personality disorder. Cluster B personality disorders are generally associated with unpredictable, highly emotional behavior. 

If someone you know has BPD, helping them seek professional treatment can be important. In some cases, those close to you may need more care than you can provide alone. Is your loved one struggling with a mental health disorder? If so, holistic mental health treatment programs can offer much-needed support. You can also help by taking your loved one’s condition seriously and offering support. Learning more about the risk factors and symptoms associated with BPD can give you more insight into this disorder and how it can be addressed.

Risk factors for borderline personality disorder

Understanding the risk factors for BPD can help with early identification. By identifying BPD early, you can help your friend or family member get treatment before their condition develops further. While the exact causes of BPD are unknown, there are some established risk factors. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) lists the following risk factors:

  • Childhood abandonment
  • Disrupted family life
  • Poor family communication
  • Sexual, physical or emotional abuse

If any of these factors match with your loved one’s lived experiences, they may be at an increased risk for BPD. Understanding these factors and their impact on mental health can offer insight into the mental wellness of your loved one.

Common signs of borderline personality disorder

  • Mood swings — Does your loved one experience frequent changes in mood? If these mood swings are especially rapid or intense, they may signify a greater underlying issue. A person with BPD may shift quickly from happiness to profound sadness or anger. People with borderline personality disorder often think in rigid binary terms, leaving little room for emotional middle ground. Anger, especially, is a common symptom of BPD. This anger often comes as a response to perceived abandonment.
  • Fear of abandonment — People with BPD tend to fear abandonment and rejection. In response, they may seem more “needy” or “clingy” when it comes to interpersonal relationships. They may even fear that you are abandoning them. You can offer support by expressing how much you care for them, but this is not always sufficient. In many cases, compassionate professional treatment is necessary to break through the negative thought patterns associated with BPD.
  • Impulsive behavior — Has your loved one recently started to act more impulsively? This could be a sign of borderline personality disorder. Impulsive behaviors tend to stem from intense, erratic emotions. If your loved one is engaging in impulsive behaviors, professional intervention is important. In many cases, these impulsive behaviors are risky and can cause physical harm. Common impulsive behaviors in people with BPD include reckless driving and substance use. Some also engage in impulsive self-harming behaviors. Intensive treatment in a supportive environment can help your loved one avoid this kind of behavior.
  • Dissociation — People with BPD often feel as if they are disconnected from reality. Borderline personality disorder can make it hard to maintain a consistent sense of self, which can make your loved one feel less grounded in their own identity and the world around them. As a result, they may outwardly express confusion and a disconnection with their emotional state. Mental health professionals work to guide people with BPD through personalized coping techniques designed to minimize dissociative episodes.

Lightfully Behavioral Health provides support for people with borderline personality disorder

At Lightfully Behavioral Health, we help each client get the personalized mental health treatment they need. In addition to other treatment options, we offer process-based therapy (PBT). PBT is a unique form of psychotherapy that incorporates the best aspects of other therapeutic approaches, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and cognitive processing therapy (CPT), as well as compassion-based and somatic therapies to target the drivers behind mental health disorders and symptoms. Our treatments are driven by a clearly defined evidence-based framework. With help from our compassionate experts, your loved one can work to manage their symptoms and make strides toward long-term improvement.

Change is possible. When your loved one is ready to take the next step, reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. We’ll take the next steps together, toward the fullest, brightest version of them.

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