How is borderline personality disorder treated?
Psychotherapy forms the foundation of treatment of borderline personality disorder. Medications may be used to treat mood instability, depression, or disordered thinking. Although borderline personality disorder can be difficult to treat, many people improve with therapy. A type of psychotherapy designed specifically for the treatment of borderline personality disorder, called dialectical behavior therapy, has shown promise in clinical trials.
Types of psychotherapy commonly used to treat borderline personality disorder
Different types of psychotherapy may be used to treat borderline personality disorder including:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy to work on thought patterns and behavior
- Dialectical behavior therapy to work on acceptance, problem solving, skill development, thought patterns, and behavior
- Family therapy to help develop familial support and understanding
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Psychodynamic therapy to work on discovering and understanding past issues and their relationship to current behaviors and actions
Medications that may be used in the treatment of borderline personality disorder
If there are coexisting psychiatric conditions or symptoms, such as depressed mood, unstable mood, or psychosis, medications may be used in addition to psychotherapy. Medications commonly used include:
- Antidepressants to treat depression or depressed mood
- Antipsychotics to treat psychoses or disordered thinking
- Mood stabilizers to treat bipolar disorder or unstable moods
What you can do to improve your borderline personality disorder
In addition to engaging in psychotherapy and taking medications if recommended, you may be able to improve the likelihood of success of your treatment by:
- Avoiding alcohol or illicit drugs
- Avoiding making decisions based on emotions
- Getting enough sleep
- Getting regular exercise
- Seeking help immediately if you feel like hurting yourself or others
What are the potential complications of borderline personality disorder?
Complications of untreated or poorly controlled borderline personality disorder can be serious, even life threatening in some cases. You can help minimize your risk of serious complications by following the treatment plan you and your health care professional design specifically for you. Complications of borderline personality disorder include:
- Abuse of drugs or alcohol
- Difficulties maintaining relationships
- Eating disorders
- Legal or financial problems
- Problems at work
- Strained familial relationships
Borderline personality disorder. PubMed Health. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001931/. Accessed May 28, 2011.
Borderline personality disorder. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/borderline-personality-disorder-fact-sheet/index.shtml. Accessed May 28, 2011.
What is borderline personality disorder?
Borderline personality disorder is a condition characterized by long-term mood instability that can disrupt relationships and lead to frequent changes in goals, values and self-identity. People who have borderline personality disorder have a tendency to see things as all bad or all good, and their views about specific people and conditions can fluctuate from one extreme to the other. Suici... Read more about borderline personality disorder introduction
What are the symptoms of borderline personality disorder?
Long-term mood instability, which can disrupt relationships and lead to frequent changes in goals, values, relationships and self-identity, is a common symptom of borderline personality disorder.... Read more about borderline personality disorder symptoms
What causes borderline personality disorder?
The cause of borderline personality disorder is not known. It is more common in people whose childhood or adolescence involved abandonment, neglect, separation, disruption, physical or sexual abuse, or poor communications within their families.... Read more about borderline personality disorder causes