Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is when people have difficulty managing their impulses and emotions, and the way they relate to themselves and others. This can cause significant difficulties with daily functioning, particularly in the context of a person’s relationship with others. Individuals with BPD often suffer from an intense fear of instability or abandonment, and have difficulty being alone. However, if you have BPD, impulsiveness, constant mood swings and anger may cause you to push others away, despite wanting to have long lasting relationships. This can be confusing for those around you and BPD is easily misunderstood. However, therapy can be very effective in minimising the impact of BPD on your relationships.

Some of these symptoms, but not necessarily all, can be experienced by individuals with BPD:

  • Paranoia or emotional detachment
  • Low self-esteem
  • Anxiety about being abandoned, and therefore anxiety about relationships
  • Risky, impulsive behaviour
  • Self-harm, attempting (or threatening) suicide
  • Irritability, moodiness, anger

This condition will often appear worse in young adulthood, however it is symptoms of BPD can improve over time with treatment. If you display some of these symptoms or have previously been diagnosed with BPD, it is important to seek help.

Many of our psychologists are specialised in assisting with BPD in a number of ways, including:

  • Obtaining a comprehensive account of the individual’s history and current experiences to assess whether they may have BPD
  • Providing emotional support for you to release any concerns or negative feelings
  • Educating you on the disorder, its symptoms, and the best evidence-based practices for reducing these
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a common type of treatment which focuses on paying attention to present emotions and was designed specifically for assisting individuals in BPD. DBT assists in controlling intense emotions, helps reduce self-destructive behaviour, improves relationships and can assist in managing distress. DBT seeks a balance between accepting and changing an individual’s behaviours
  • Establishing healthy routines in eating, sleeping and exercising can assist in feeling like you are more in control of your illness
  • If you have been having thoughts about suicide or harming yourself, speak to your therapist who can assist