Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month
By: Andre Amaro, Masters Level Intern
Suffering from a personality disorder can be an extremely difficult thing for anyone to deal with, as it can leave people feeling sad, depressed, hopeless, and feeling unmotivated in life due to the issues they cause in their daily lives. Personality disorders involve abnormal or unhealthy patterns of thinking, functioning, and disrupts a person’s ability to regulate or control their emotions. There are many different types of personality disorders a person could have and they are grouped into three different categories, or clusters. For example, cluster A is associated with personality disorders that involve “odd”, “weird”, or “eccentric behaviors” such as paranoid personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, and schizoid personality disorder. Then there is cluster B, which is associated with personality disorders that involve “dramatic”, “erratic”, or “unpredictable behaviors” such as antisocial personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and borderline personality disorder. Lastly, there is cluster C, which involves personality disorders with excessive levels of anxiety and fear. These are avoidant, obsessive-compulsive, and dependent personality disorders. While there are other personality disorders that I did not mention yet; these are the 10 most common and recognizable ones mentioned in the DSM-5. The reason I wanted to take the time to talk to everyone about personality disorders for this month, is because the month of May helps bring awareness towards one specific disorder mentioned in cluster B. This is regarding borderline personality disorder (BPD). In case anyone did not know, the month of May is Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month.
So, what is BPD and what does it look like? BPD is when a person is unable to regulate and manage their emotions effectively, and because of this, end up struggling with almost all their relationships with people. People diagnosed with BPD not only have trouble establishing healthy relationships with others, but also struggle with the relationship they have with themselves. Due to the lack of control people with BPD have regarding their own emotions; what also happens is that they sometimes have lack of control over their behaviors as well, and see high increases in impulsivity. This means people with BPD will sometimes engage in reckless behaviors, such as fighting, substance use, self-harming behaviors, intense screaming, yelling, and so much more. People with BPD will have severe mood swings and their feelings about others and themselves are constantly changing. As a result of these constant changes, this is why people with BPD have trouble maintaining heathy relationships and sometimes cause issues for others as well. Sometimes BPD often gets confused with bipolar disorder, due to the two disorders having similar symptoms in regards to constant mood swings, signs of depression, and impulsivity; however, some key differences between the two disorders is that despite having some of these similar symptoms, people with bipolar disorder are able to achieve periods of stability and are able to maintain healthy relationships whenever their symptoms are under control, while those with BPD are not. This is an unfortunate circumstance because people with BPD do not always intentionally mean to act, feel, and behave in these negative ways, they just do have full control over themselves. So why should we all be concerned about BPD and for the people who suffer from it? Because BPD affects 5.9% adults and about 14 million Americans at some point in their lifetime according to according to statistics mentioned in the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEABPD).
As previously mentioned, the month of May is Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month. If you, or someone you know is suffering from BPD, please do not hesitate to ever reach out for help. Encourage people with BPD to talk to the people they trust the most, so that they can get some help and support for all the difficult challenges that they may come across every day, and if they do not have anyone they can talk to, encourage them to reach out to a mental health related professional for help. It is important to educate ourselves about BPD in order to eliminate the negative stigma that surrounds the disorder, but more importantly so we can make sure we do not make people with BPD feel ashamed for having the disorder, which can then prevent them from ever reaching out for help. Finding ways to show love, care, support, and helping people with BDP bring out their inner strengths can help them towards feeling safer and more comfortable in society, and can even help them feel more better about themselves as a person. Therefore, let’s all please try our best to spread awareness about BPD for the month of May! Thank you for reading my post and hope everyone has a great rest of the month!!!