Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder is a life long struggle for those who are diagnosed as well as their loved ones. The treatment process is long, sometimes intensive depending on the severity, and often misunderstood. With it existing on a spectrum, symptoms can vary in severity and presentation. BPD is most commonly diagnosed in women. However, men struggle with this diagnosis as well although it isn’t diagnosed in men due to social norms.
Adolescent Borderline Personality Disorder is stressful for both the parents and the teen. The constant fear of emotions, triggers, and not knowing how to appropriately set boundaries without triggering your teen are just a few anxieties these parents express. In the treatment process, I make it very clear that the parents will be just as present in sessions as the teen is themselves.
I’ve personally never met a teen who presented with BPD features who did not also have some history of trauma, abuse, or attachment issues. It’s important for parents to understand it’s not a matter of blame or bad parenting. It’s a prioritization of helping you and your child understand what’s happening, where it came from, and how you as a family can change it.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is an amazing tool to help those with BPD learn to manage their sensitivities; however, in treatment DBT is only a part of the process. So much of BPD is tied in trauma, attachment, and what was observed in childhood. I encourage clients to prioritize understanding where this programming came from so they can better understand the re-programming process.
Specializing in BPD came naturally after spending so much time working with RAD. The two populations have so much in common, especially regarding the type of family support they need.