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Borderline Personality Disorder
Mental health problems are common.
In 2011, about one in five American adults experienced a mental health issue. During this same year, one in 20 Americans lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression. Erasing the stigma of mental health issues is key but understanding them is critical. Borderline Personality Disorder is one condition that is often misunderstood at first.
In fact, NFL player Brandon Marshall of the Chicago Bears and four-time Pro-Bowler is living with BPD himself. He went public while with the Miami Dolphins and has started Project Borderline to fight the stigma of the condition.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental health condition in which a person has long-term patterns of unstable or turbulent emotions. These inner experiences often result in impulsive actions and chaotic relationships with other people.
It’s important to understand that BPD is diagnosed based on a psychological evaluation that assesses the history and severity of the symptoms. Only an appropriately trained and licensed mental health and/or medical professional can give a credible diagnosis.
The exact cause of borderline personality disorder is unknown but genetic, family, and social factors are thought to play roles in the diagnosis. Known risk factors for BPD include:
- Abandonment in childhood or adolescence
- Disrupted family life
- Poor communication in the family
- Sexual, physical, or emotional abuse
During a press conference this weekend, Miami Dolphins Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall revealed that he has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, a serious emotional disorder which leads to severe depression.
Psychotherapy is the standard treatment for BPD. The standard recommendation for individual psychotherapy involves one to two visits a week with an experienced clinician.
There are also medications used in the treatment of BPD. These drugs have been proven to be very helpful in stabilizing emotional reactions, reducing impulsivity and enhancing thinking and reasoning abilities in people with the disorder. And some BPD medications are effective in treating other emotional disorders that are frequently associated with borderline disorder such as depression and anxiety.
The group of medications that have been studied most for the treatment of BDP are neuroleptics and atypical antipsychotic agents. At their usual doses, these medications are very effective in improving the disordered thinking, emotional responses and behavior of people with other mental disorders, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
See your health care provider if you or someone you know has symptoms of borderline personality disorder. It is especially important to seek help right away if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide. For more detailed information on Borderline Personality Disorder, click here.