Borderline Personality Disorder (also sometimes referred to as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder) is characterized by a disturbance of normal personality and function seen in unusual levels of depth and variation of moods. Borderline Personality Disorder often involves heightened levels of black and white thinking, idealization and devaluation episodes and discontent with the sense of self.
Borderlines often have unstable relationship brought about by their issues with self image and identity. Marked changed in mood can be triggered by perceived rejection, isolation or failure. Borderlines are frequently hypersensitive to correction or criticism, and their feelings toward others are subject to rapid shifts and changes. They often exhibit risky and impulsive behavior and a sense of recklessness that may be tied to feelings of worthlessness.
Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder is primarily therapy based, with medication normally not part of the protocol. Among the different types of treatment that have been used with some measure of success are cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy and psychodynamic therapy. Because of the nature of borderline disorder, the therapist may find the patient reaching conclusions about his judgment and feelings or projection the internal sense of rejection onto the therapist. It is not uncommon for borderline patients to refuse to continue treatment, because they feel it is not working quickly enough.
Families of patients with Borderline Personality Disorder face special challenges. They may find the affected family member difficult to deal with because of the rapid switch between idealization and devaluation. What was praised as wonderful yesterday may be judged as awful today. Most therapists do not diagnose a patient as borderline prior to age 18, but the symptoms frequently begin to manifest themselves in early adolescence and worsen as the child ages.
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