Personality Disorder

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Psychology ・MLA ・5 Sources

A severe mental health illness that is prevalent in today's culture is borderline personality disorder. It is correlated with the failure of the individuals affected to properly control their feelings. In the United States, it is estimated that, at some point in their lives, 14 million adults suffer from the disease. Furthermore, 50 percent of the state's population has a pre-existing psychiatric disorder such as schizophrenia, bipolar and Alzheimer's disease. Research shows that about 75% of people diagnosed with BPD are women, although a new study indicates that men are similarly affected. An age rise leads to a dramatic reduction in the symptoms. However, lack of treatment leads to the affected become isolated , depressed without any relationships at their place of work and lack relationship histories.

Majority of the people with BPD experience problems in regulating their thoughts, emotions and as a result end up having unstable relationships as well as reckless behavior.  As a result, these individuals experience difficulty in relating to people both at their place of work, in their families and intimate relations (Teplin, 2012). They rarely trust other people, and while relating to others, they often experience, they experience emotional outbursts of anger and disagreements. Suicidal attempts are common among people in their early adulthood of 20-30 years.There is no primary cause of BPD; however, its occurrence is associated with a combination of factors such as stressful childhood and teenage experiences as well as genetic factors. There is no particular gene that is associated directly with causing BPD; however, research studies show there is a high hereditary link. Development of the condition is more common among people who have a first degree relative with the disease than others.  Research shows that some of the childhood experiences resulting to BPD include the problematic or traumatic experiences while growing such as chronic fear or distress, family disability such as living with alcoholism, sexual or physical abuse as well as neglect increases the risk of developing BPD (Teplin,2012).

BPD is associated with reduced self-esteem, a feeling of emptiness, emotional detachment anger, moodiness, and irritability, also, there is anxiety about relationships and individuals often make efforts to avoid abandonment (Wilks and Chelsey, 2017). The affected persons engage in risky behavior and frequently involved in activities leading to self-harm, and at times they attempt suicide. The rate of suicidal threats and attempts are usually typical among people with BPD. Also, events of self-harming acts are ordinary ranging from cutting and burning themselves. The disease is generally characterized by emotional turmoil. In this case, the affected person experience which lasts for more extended periods and often finds it hard to return to the stable state.

There is no specific medical test for diagnosis of BDP, and also, its diagnosis is not based on a single sign and symptom. Diagnosis of BDP is based on a comprehensive psychiatry assessment which includes previous medical evaluations as well as gathering information from both family members and friends. For the diagnosis of BDP to be made, it requires that the patient have more than five signs and symptoms (Gunderson and John, 535).

The treatment of BPD has been proven to be effective over time. Unlike other mental health conditions where medication is the primary treatment, in BPD, the primary treatment is through the behavioral and support strategies (Oldham and John, 2010). Research shows that the aforementioned interventions have proven to be the cornerstone of the management of people experiencing this form of illness. Management of people with BDP requires a combination of therapies including psychotherapy, medications as well as support from both the parents and the family members. The aim of treatment is to help in addressing co-occurring symptoms. Patients with BPD often present with anger, depression, anxiety which affects a person’s way of life (Oldham and John, 2010). These symptoms can be managed through the use of antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, antipsychotics as well as the mood stabilizers. Some of the symptoms such as core symptoms such as a feeling of self-unworthiness decreased self-esteem, and identity disturbance is managed through the use of psychotherapy. They include the dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and metallization based treatment (MBT).

 Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a form of psychotherapy which was initially developed for women who are a risk of harming themselves; however, it is currently implemented for the overall management of Borderline personality disorder. This form of therapy helps individuals in gaining control of their own behavior and actions (Bateman, 2010). The goal of the treatment is to assist in reducing the life-threatening behaviors, addressing the practices that may be interfering with the treatment process and finally modifying the actions that may alter the clients’ quality of life (Oldham and John, 2010). The program may last for up to one year among at reducing binge eating, substance use, self-harm a reducing the suicidal behaviors. In addition, it helps the affected people in defining their life goals and therefore, works towards them. This form of therapy has been previously implemented both at individual and at the group level.

Another form of psychotherapy is the Mentalisation –based therapy (MBT) which aims at creating awareness of one’s thoughts and their impact on their actions. Further, it as well helps the affected to differentiate the different responses to ideas. This form of therapy is based on the fact that problems which are experienced at early age prevent the affected people from learning and understanding their own thinking and feeling (Bateman, 2010). The treatment period is up to 18 months including both the individual and the group therapies. The cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is also a therapy which is implemented in the management of BPD. The primary aim of this form of treatment is to enable the affected patients to handle common difficulties through the problem-solving techniques (Wilks and Chelsey, 2013). In this case, the negative thinking patterns are replaced with the positive trends. As such the CBT therapy takes into account the previous experiences which might have impacted on the fundamental beliefs as well as the way of thinking of a person.

Borderline Personality Disorder remains to be one of the serious mental health illnesses requiring a variety of therapies. The symptoms experienced by the individuals often lead to significant functional alterations. Over the past few decades, there has been a radical change in the treatment of this condition leading to an improvement in the recovery of the affected individuals. Despite this entire milestone, there remains no particular specialized treatment for BPD. The management of this condition requires psychological treatment and support. Therefore, through the incorporation of the family members as well as the friends leads to significant health outcomes.

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Works cited

Bateman, Anthony, and Peter Fonagy. Mentalization-based treatment for borderline personality disorder: A practical guide. OUP Oxford, 2010.

Gunderson, John G. "Borderline personality disorder: ontogeny of a diagnosis." American Journal of Psychiatry 166.5 (2009): 530-539.

Oldham, John M., et al. "Treatment of Patients With Borderline Personality Disorder." (2010).

Teplin, L. A., Abram, K. M., McClelland, G. M., Dulcan, M. K., & Mericle, A. A. (2012). Psychiatric disorders in youth in juvenile detention. Archives of general psychiatry, 59(12), 1133-1143.

Wilks, Chelsey R., et al. "Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills for Families of Individuals With Behavioral Disorders: Initial Feasibility and Outcomes." Cognitive and Behavioral Practice 24.3 (2017): 288-295.

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