Borderline personality disorder is one among the many personality disorders, namely characterized by a prolonged disturbance of a person's normal functioning and very pronounced mood changes. This disorder usually affects people older than the age of eighteen, and manifests in extreme emotional instability, overwhelming stress and other mental problems. Borderline personality disorder is one of the most controversial diagnoses in psychology since many experts believe it is just a particular manifestation of posttraumatic stress disorder. According to this belief, some of the experts believe the borderline personality disorder occurs when a traumatic event results in identity and relationships disturbance.
Symptoms of borderline personality disorder
People suffering from the borderline personality disorder typically have extremely distorted self-image. These patients commonly feel worthless and incomplete. They express extreme anger, usually are very impulsive and suffer from serious and frequent mood swings. People with borderline personality disorder typically desire to accomplish stable and loving relationships with others but, at the same time, they constantly push the others away by acting violently or being self-destructive. These patients are typically very insecure about who they are, and often they feel like they do not even exist.
Their typical behavior often reflects in frequent changes in jobs, shifting of the goals and values, and unstable friendships. Lacking the sense of identity, people with borderline personality disorder are more likely to engage in risky behavior such as illegal drug abuse or unprotected sex. Their difficulty to control motions often escalates in anger and physical confrontations. Despite their rough image, these patients are basically afraid of being alone. Their difficulty to create healthy relationships often leads to feelings of anxiety and depression, and sometimes even ends in suicidal attempts.
Causes of borderline personality disorder
Like many other mental disorders, the borderline personality disorder still remains the mystery, to some extent. Most of the experts agree that this condition occurs as a result of childhood trauma, abuse or neglect. Basically, the borderline personality disorder is some kind of a post-traumatic stress disorder, but many other factors are also possible: genetic predisposition, neurobiological factors, environmental factors or brain abnormalities. People having a close family member affected by this condition are at a higher risk.
Many individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder have been abused as children. It seems like there is a strong link between child’s abuse (and especially sexual abuse) and borderline personality disorder. Other recognized risk factors for the borderline personality disorder include abandonment in childhood or adolescence, disrupted family life, poor communication in the family, and severe deprivation or neglect during childhood.