In the past several decades, we’ve watched the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) evolve from a virtually hopeless status with no clear answers as to what may work, to a far more sophisticated and hopeful array of possibilities (see our earlier blog on Increasing Hope for the Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder). Have you ever wondered or worried that you might have BPD? The actual, current approach to diagnosing BPD is quite complex, but the four components that most folks with BPD demonstrate include:
If this description seems to fit you, please see a licensed mental health professional for a diagnosis. Although we see the mental health diagnostic system as highly flawed, there’s enough value in understanding the nature of your problems that we do recommend you get yourself checked out.
But if you discover that you have something like BPD, what should you do next? First, try not to blame yourself. BPD has a wide variety of causes including genetic, learning history, family issues, and traumas among others. No one asks to get BPD and frankly, BPD causes serious hurt and anguish to those who are afflicted with it. So what you do next is seek treatment, preferably from someone skilled in treating BPD with an approach that’s supported in the empirical literature. As we blogged previously, the primary approaches that have shown real promise in that literature include:
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Mentalization-Based Therapy (MBT)
Transference-Focused Psychotherapy (TFP)
Schema Therapy (ST)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) tailored specifically to BPD
Although DBT has the most support at this time, the others have been receiving increasing scrutiny and have exciting potential. Interestingly, they also do not seem especially incompatible with one another. One approach we’ve found particularly exciting is Schema Therapy, developed by Jeffrey Young, Ph.D. We’ll discuss that therapy in a later blog.
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Last reviewed: 9 Jan 2010