Borderline Personality Disorder
OVERVIEW ON BPD
Impulsiveness, distortion, and irrationality are perhaps the most prominent features of someone who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). And because of this volatility, it is one of the most stigmatized disorders as many view those who suffer from it to be completely “crazy" and maniacal, where episodes of extreme anxiety, depression, irritation, and anger can last for many hours and even days; furthermore, these dilemma-like mood swings may have a lasting impact on one’s relationships in life, which is damaging as those who experience BPD since they may have a hard time coping with being alone.
Besides mood swings, some diagnosed with BPD can be extremely fickle with interests and values; trust issues are also present which again, affect the relationships in their life. And with these trust issues, many may seek to cut those out of their life prior to any of their fears coming to fruition. With such instability, many of those who suffer from BPD may self harm, engage in dangerous and impulsive behavior, and may enter long/chronic fits of depression.
LATEST RESEARCH ON BPD AND RACE
Research has shown that “BPD was more prevalent in Native American men and less prevalent in Hispanic men and women and Asian women, compared with other racial and ethnic groups” (Genna). Socioeconomic levels were also taken into account within these studies, where those of lower socioeconomic status suffer higher rates of BDP.
However, the most unsettling findings point to how the healthcare system is built for white individuals versus People of Color who tend to be misdiagnosed and not treated effectively. For example, it is found that “African-American women with BPD may present with more severe symptoms of lack of anger control and fewer suicidal behaviors than those of white women with BPD” (Genna). This can lead to African-American women’s behavior to not be associated with BPD, and thus not get the treatment necessary to get better.
DEVELOPMENTS AND RESPECTIVE TREATMENTS
Borderline personality disorder therapy can develop through many factors, whether it is a close one having a personality disorder, improper functioning of brain regulation centers of emotions and impulses, and traumatic events from one’s environment or challenges coming from one’s own culture.
Psychotherapy is often the most prevalent choice of treatment for those who suffer from BPD, with varying types.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): can be used in individual or group settings; therapists seek to use this cognitive-behavioral approach by teaching patients new skills to cope with and change destructive behaviors and thoughts.
Mentalization-based therapy (MBT): MBT focuses on the immediate thoughts at hand and seeks to address them by providing other thoughts that may be more proactive.
Transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP): TFP is more introspective and seeks to gain insights of one’s qualms and their issues so they can begin to understand one’s emotions. It is mostly projected within the development between you and your therapist.
Schema-focused therapy: this focuses mostly on finding the root causes of certain issues in one’s life and essentially attempting to fulfill them. It often seeks to find the needs in one’s life and how many times, someone may unhealthily fulfilling these needs. It thus attempts to teach patients positive ways to fulfill these needs.
Systems training for emotional predictability and problem-solving (STEPPS): STEPPS is a 20-week treatment which can involve loved ones and significant others within treatment and is often supplemental to other psychotherapies.
No medications are yet to be FDA-approved to specifically target BPD, however, many can use antidepressants, antipsychotics or mood-stabilizing to help with symptoms and prevalent issues faced when one has BPD.
AYANA AND EFFECTIVELY TREATING BPD
When treating BPD, we at AYANA are committed to matching patients with therapists that can actually comprehend their unique backgrounds and thus provide correct diagnoses when taking these factors into account. This stems from the aforementioned research which showed how African-American women were misdiagnosed and not properly treated due to misconceptions on how BPD can manifest itself. And when addressing BPD, it must be taken into account the many socio-cultural factors which cause one to develop BPD; this is integral to treating people from marginalized communities, as well as acknowledging biological factors as well.