Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment Sydney

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What is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?

a girl needing help from borderline personality disorder specialists in SydneyBorderline personality disorder is a personality disorder that can disrupt a person’s thoughts and emotions, as well as the way they behave. Due to the intensity of the emotions they feel, it can generally be more difficult for people with BPD to cope and function. 

The intense emotions can make them distressed and angry. They have trouble with relationships and can have a distorted view of themselves and the world. In addition, they can often act impulsively or harm themselves to handle these feelings.

Borderline personality disorder can be one of the more misunderstood conditions. However, it is quite common, present in around 2% of the population. It occurs mostly in women and symptoms generally start to show in teenage years to early adulthood. BPD is diagnosed after age 18.

BPD Symptoms

There are a variety of symptoms of borderline personality disorder. Each person can experience different types of symptoms and they can range from mild to extreme. It is also worth knowing that like many mental health issues, the disorder varies on a spectrum and many people can identify with some of the symptoms which vary in degree.

  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment (for example avoiding breakups)
  • Impulsive and reckless behaviours – taking drugs, alcohol, dangerous driving, unsafe sex etc
  • Intense emotions that can be triggered and brought on quickly and are hard to control
  • Feelings of overwhelm
  • Distorted self-image 
  • Feelings of dislike and self-hatred
  • Idealisation and devaluation – loving someone extremely one minute, and then tearing them down in hatred the next
  • Confused sense of identity 
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Self-harm such as burning and cutting
  • Dissociation – feeling disconnected and detached from reality
  • Feelings of worthlessness 
  • Continued accompanying anxiety and depression
  • Series of broken and chaotic relationships, and difficulties with friends and family

What Causes BPD?

It is not entirely known what causes borderline personality disorder but it is believed to be a combination of genetics, environment and likely trauma. 

When it comes to genetics, it is unknown exactly how much is contributed to BPD. However, it appears to be a personality disorder with more heritability than the others.

Environmental factors such as upbringing have been thought to play a large role in the disorder. For example trauma, abuse and neglect in early development is thought to be a large factor. In fact 80% of people who suffer from BPD experience trauma in early life. 

Another additional cause has been attributed to a combination of those with a neurotic temperament (proneness to negative emotion) and their emotions not being validated by their parents. For example, their emotions and feelings weren’t acknowledged or recognised when they were young in moments when they needed them to be in order to feel safe and calm.

By and large, however, there are many unknown factors. You can have two people with similar temperaments and life experiences where one develops BDP and the other doesn’t.

Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment

balancing rocks signifying emotional stability after bpd treatment in sydneyBorderline personality disorder is treatable. It can also lessen with age as people get more life experience and mellow out somewhat. But early intervention with long term psychological therapy can help a lot. In fact, many who undergo continuous regular therapy will no longer have the diagnosis.

There is a therapy that was created precisely to treat BPD called dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT). It essentially involves a range of distress coping techniques that can help a person replace unhelpful long term thoughts and behaviours with more realistic and practical ones.

Another therapy called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has also proven to be effective in treating BPD which involves challenging unhelpful thoughts and behaviours and coming up with strategies to better cope.

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Borderline Personality Disorder Specialists Using DBT In Sydney:

If some of the above rings true and you need some help, we are clinical psychologists in North Sydney who help treat BDP with dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Get in touch to find out more.

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