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Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder is a treatable mental health disorder more commonly diagnosed in women than men. The disorder is most often diagnosed during late adolescence or early adulthood. Symptoms of the disorder include impulsivity, chaotic relationships, strong fears of abandonment, chronic feelings of emptiness, intense and unpredictable mood swings, extremes in thinking, angry outbursts, and self-harm and/or suicidal thoughts or attempts.

Facts about Borderline Personality Disorder

  • Many people diagnosed with BPD also struggle with depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and eating disorders.
  • BPD usually develops during adolescence or early adulthood. Trauma may be a factor in its development. Parental neglect and unstable family relationships also have been shown to contribute to an individual’s risk for developing this disorder. Other studies suggest BPD may also have a genetic component. It is thought that individuals may inherit their temperament along with specific personality traits, particularly impulsiveness and aggression.
According to the National Institutes of Health, 5.9% of the U.S. population has experienced Borderline Personality Disorder– about 18 million people.

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Possible Causes of Borderline Personality Disorder

According to Mayo Clinic:

As with other mental disorders, the causes of borderline personality disorder aren’t fully understood. In addition to environmental factors — such as a history of child abuse or neglect — borderline personality disorder may be linked to:

  • Genetics. Some studies of twins and families suggest that personality disorders may be inherited or strongly associated with other mental disorders among family members.
  • Brain abnormalities. Some research has shown changes in certain areas of the brain involved in emotion regulation, impulsivity and aggression. In addition, certain brain chemicals that help regulate mood, such as serotonin, may not function properly.

Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder

  • Fear of abandonment;
  • Unstable relationships.
  • Unclear or unstable self-image.
  • Impulsive, self-destructive behaviors.
  • Self-harm.
  • Extreme emotional swings.
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness.
  • Explosive anger.
  • Feeling suspicious or out of touch with reality.
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