A personality disorder like borderline personality disorder is characterized by unhealthy patterns of thinking that underlie unhealthy patterns of behavior. Often, people who have this condition may not even realize that something is wrong because their thoughts/behaviors seem quite natural to them. Sometimes, though, a person may come to realize their need for personality disorder treatment, after seeing how their condition negatively affects their life and their relationships with others. When this happens, it helps to know what to look for in treatment and how to find quality mental healthcare. This page will provide an overview.
The Need for Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment
People with borderline personality disorder often feel intense negative emotions like anger or sadness that can last for hours or even days. The varying moods that generally accompany a personality disorder then trigger impulsive actions that tend to have a negative effect on the individual’s stability and well-being. Their behaviors can impact their relationships, finances, and job. Without treatment to manage this condition, people with borderline personality disorder are likely to continue to experience symptoms such as:
- Fear of abandonment and rejection
- Rapid or extreme changes in self-identity
- Impulsive or risk-taking behaviors (i.e. unprotected sex, gambling, overspending, drug abuse, driving recklessly)
- Pattern of unstable relationships
- Stress-related paranoia
- Extreme mood swings that can last for days
- Inappropriate displays of anger
- Making threats of self-harm or suicide
These symptoms can have a profoundly devastating impact on the individual’s own life experience and those close to them. With residential treatment for borderline personality disorder and ongoing management, these symptoms can be reduced or even kept at bay. Psychotherapy and/or medication may be prescribed, depending on the individual’s needs.
Counseling Options in Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment
Counseling is a key therapy in the treatment of borderline personality disorder. There are various methods of psychotherapy, but overall, counseling helps individuals identify problematic patterns of thinking and behaving so that the individual can change them. It takes time to make these changes. Thought patterns can become quite ingrained. While working with a therapist during residential BPD treatment, individuals can develop strategies for making and maintaining those important changes in ways they think and function.
Counseling helps the individual living with a personality disorder to tame the chaos that often erupts as a result of their condition. During individual therapy sessions, the person can begin to establish new ways of thinking and responding to their emotions and the behaviors of others. With treatment and aging, many people find that the unwelcome symptoms of their BPD diminish and, for some, even disappear.
Effective Methods of Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder
There are many different forms of psychotherapy, but residential treatment for borderline personality disorder often involves a few key methods that we’ll outline here:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is featured in the treatment of many different types of mental health disorders. During this type of therapy, a trained counselor works with the individual over several sessions to learn how to more effectively manage their emotions, identify and change their unwanted behaviors, and embrace new perspectives. CBT sessions may be held in an individual or group therapy session.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Similar to cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) focuses on skill building as a means to successfully manage emotions and tolerate stress. The strong focus on building healthy coping skills can lead to the positive changes that are associated with the condition’s improvement and successful management.
Mentalization-based therapy (MBT) features a strong focus on mindfulness and viewing situations through alternative perspectives before acting. Individuals practice taking time to create alternative perspectives, knowing that their initial perspective could be the wrong one. In this way, they learn to take time to think before they react.
Transference-focused psychotherapy places a strong focus on the client-therapist relationship. During therapy, the therapist helps the individual transfer their patterns of thinking to the session so that the therapist gains important insights into the internal world of the person. The therapist can then help the person explore the triggers for their fear or anger, helping them to develop a more realistic view of themselves and others.
Importance of Medical Integration for Borderline Personality Disorder
It’s not uncommon for people with BPD to require medication for anxiety, depression, or some other mental health issue associated with their diagnosis. No drugs have been developed specifically to treat BPD, but there are various medications that reduce the anxiety that so frequently accompanies this condition.
Medications such as antipsychotics (prescribed for those suffering from paranoia) as well as antidepressants (that treat both depression and anxiety) can help alleviate many of the symptoms that people with BPD may experience. When their anxiety is more under control, they often find it easier to employ the strategies they’ve learned for changing their thought patterns and focusing on other strategies for improving their reactions to their thoughts and the behaviors of others.
Types of Medications for Borderline Personality Treatment
Providers may prescribe one or more drugs to help people who have borderline personality disorder. As mentioned, the most common types of drugs prescribed to treat BPD include antidepressants and antipsychotics. These medications can greatly reduce the severity of BPD symptoms—and prevent symptoms from getting worse. They also (often) can reduce the risk of self-harm and improve treatment adherence.
Many people with BPD do experience co-occurring issues with their condition that respond well to medications. As mentioned, anxiety and depression respond well to today’s leading antidepressant drugs. Medications can also be therapeutic for those who have a dual diagnosis of a substance use disorder or an eating disorder.
Can Borderline Personality Disorder Be Cured?
There is not a definitive cure for borderline personality disorder. That said, many people do experience what might be dubbed a “remission” from the condition. It’s not uncommon for individuals who have undergone effective treatment for this disorder to achieve a feeling of being “cured.” In reality, they have learned and practiced new ways of thinking and coping that, over time, have become second nature to them.
Medical researchers have also noted that sometimes the symptoms of BPD diminish once a person reaches middle age or older. There is also ample evidence that inpatient treatment for BPD, in particular, provides a strong foundation for coping successfully with this condition and managing it well. Some individuals remain on medication or continue counseling on an ongoing basis. Others may discontinue these therapies over time, depending on how well they’re managing the condition.
Living with Borderline Personality Disorder
A person with BPD can certainly lead a fulfilling and rewarding life. The key is to manage the condition well. For that, BPD treatment can be essential. During treatment for BPD, individuals learn how to identify their unhealthy ways of thinking and behaving so they can embrace new ones. By practicing those changed patterns of thoughts and behaviors, individuals can witness in themselves and their circumstances an improvement in stability.
At Restore, clients receive therapies tailored to their specific needs. They get the support they need to make the important changes needed to successfully manage borderline personality disorder. If you are experiencing any symptoms associated with this condition or any other type of mental health disturbance, it’s important to seek a diagnosis and then treatment. At Restore, you’ll get the help you need to manage your BPD.