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Personality refers to the enduring and habitual patterns of behaviour, cognition, emotion, motivation and ways of relating to others. In simpler terms, it's the persona we have for the world to see and interact with. If these patterns or ways of relating with others become nonadaptive or pathological, a personality disorder develops.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is such a disorder of personality that causes mood swings, self-esteem issues, impulsive behavior and recurrent self-harm behaviour. It is very difficult to lead a normal life with these varied psychological issues.
The symptoms begin to appear from early childhood but they take a serious form only when one reaches adulthood. Issues with behavior and emotion are difficult to treat, people suffering from this illness should be willing to spend a lot of time and be dedicated towards his/her recovery. Through treatments and therapies, they do make significant improvements over time.
The exact cause of borderline personality disorder is not known but various reasons have been hypothesised as possible aetiology. Neuro-chemical disturbance in the brain, genetic vulnerability, some kind of childhood trauma like abandonment, death, neglect and/ or sexual abuse are probable causes of the disease. Prolonged and chronic stress/ anxiety may also lead to triggering of BPD symptomatology in vulnerable individuals later in life.
- Prolonged dysthymia/ sadness
- Feeling lonely/ misfit
- Emotional dysregulation or Frequent mood swings
- Significant interpersonal issues
- Self-Injurious behaviour like making cuts in skin, burning, pricking etc
These symptoms are warning signs of borderline personality disorder and should be paid attention to:
- Abandonment issue - People suffering from BPD have serious abandonment issues. They have an intense fear that they would be left alone and often act out to restrict their love ones from leaving. Sometimes their strategy is to not get too close to protect themselves from being left alone, so they appear aloof.
- Disturbed self-image - People have self-esteem issues, they sometimes love or hate themselves or see themselves as evil. They have unclear goals, views, beliefs and often end up changing their friends, lovers, jobs, sexual identity frequently.
- Dysfunctional relationships - It is very difficult to maintain a normal relationship for people with personality disorder. They tend to have quick short-lived relationships and get put off very easily which leads to a lot of heartbreak.
Suicidal tendencies and frequent self-harm behaviour like cutting skin using blades/ sharp objects are common.
Drugs and alcohol abuse, eating disorders and sexual promiscuity are other forms of self-destructive behaviour commonly encountered in this population. Extreme aggression, delusions, transitional Psychotic states are other possible symptoms of BPD.
Love and support from family and friends are crucial for patients suffering from this disease. Prolonged counseling sessions, therapies and the effort to break away from the chronic gloomy thoughts will definitely lead one to a better life.