Please Note: The following information is copied and reproduced here from a US web site unfortunately the site is no longer available however the information is very good.

Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder is sometimes referred to as "Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder", is common characterized by the lack of ability to properly control emotions and emotional response. Things are very black and white, with little room for middle ground gray areas.

Sufferers of borderline personality disorder generally have very unstable relationships with others, inconsistent self-image and very unstable moods including radical mood swings.

This creates, with the sufferer, the lack of ability to maintain relationships on a personal level, work or in social settings. It is also very common for these people to have more than one mental illness condition present. Very frequently this disorder appears alongside other mood, anxiety and eating related disorders, which can seriously complicate accurate diagnosis.

Common symptoms of borderline personality disorder are described as the following (not a complete list, as described by a couple books I read):

Extreme methods to avoid real or imagined abandonment.

A pattern of unhealthy, unstable relationship on personal and professional levels usually caused by extremes up and downs.
Very inconsistent self-image, suicidal tendencies and chronic feeling of emptiness or loneliness.

A couple of areas where the person is VERy impulsive to a self damaging degree (drugs, spending, gambling, sex, etc)

Inappropriately placed and very intense fits of anger. Not always violent, but intense just the same.

Attempted and successful suicide can be a frequent outcome for sufferers of borderline personality disorder that goes untreated.

Common emotional issues experienced by the sufferer include feelings of destructiveness or self-destructiveness, feelings of victimization, lack of personal identity, or the lack of understanding it, as well as simple extreme feelings regardless of context of the feelings.

The suicide rate of sufferers ride around the 10% mark, and suicidal tendencies or self-harming behavior is a key diagnosis criteria of borderline personality disorder. The most recognized form of self injury is cutting of the arms, though legs, chest and other areas of the body have been noted as well. Self injury is very common but is not necessarily a true attempt at suicide. These self injury incidents with low likelihood of death are often brought on by relatively minor emotional incidents and is a way, in their minds, of releasing the pain caused by those incidents.

Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder are a mix of therapy and drugs, and is currently under aggressive study to find better treatment.

Dealing With a Person With Borderline Personality Disorder

Many times people want to be a befriender, it's human to want to help, to listen and to be a friend. In the case of a borderline it is often not helpful to the borderline, as the pain and misery they share will never end, it's a bottomless pit, and will only server to further weigh on you as the borderline increasingly counts on you for that shoulder to cry on it will come more often and when you choose to pull it away they could react in extreme anger, even violence, and further influence their already suicidal tendencies or feelings of loneliness and emptiness.

Above all you must protect yourself and any involved dependents from the situation. You must communicate this with the borderline as well. You can listen, you can try to help, but you can not internalize it or be expected to do anything, and whenever raging starts, you must leave, you must take children or other dependents with you and most importantly you must indicate you are taking them until the borderline calms down and gets a grip on themselves. Most of all, indicate you will talk later, once a calm is again achieved.

You must figure out your limits, what you are willing to put up with from the borderline, and clearly state it to them. Obviously, as with any personality disorder, you can not ask the sufferer to change their feeling, but you can ask (or demand) that they change their behavior.
Borderlines can have devastating impact on the people around them, if you are not already legal involved with one (married or whatever) don't. Do not have children do not marry unless they are at least fully aware of the problem, and the limits you will need to impose.
Treating Borderline Personality Disorder

The understanding and treatment of borderline personality disorder has improved greatly in recent years. However, treatment is still an imperfect science, as it is with many personality disorders. Group and individual psychotherapy has proven at least partially effective, and in the past decade or more, a new psychosocial treatment termed dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has been used and researched with great interest.

Any medicating of the patient is carefully monitored as they are prescribed differently for each patient depending on the primary characteristics that need the most stabalizing for each individual. Anti-depressants, mood stabilizers and anti-psychotic drugs are often mixed and matched to suit the individuals symptoms as needed.

Some large scale studies of borderline personality disorder have been conducted starting in the early 1990's and the results of these studies are hopefully going to bring forth a lot more data regarding the effectiveness of different kinds of treatment in an effort to learn more about this very tricky mental disorder.

Parenting With Borderline Personality Disorder

An undiagnosed, or unaccepting Borderline Personality Disorder sufferer will be the cause of untold damage to their children. During manic periods their lives will be controlled by feeling of fear and confusion. It is imperative that any suspected Borderline get treatment as soon as possible, and it's just as imperative for the family to have resources to help with parenting when a manic episode appears.

It is better for mom or dad to be out of site while dealing with their personal demons and come back happy and healthy, than it is to try to fight through those episodes while trying to be a parent. Kids are not stupid people, they see and know what goes on around them even if they do not know what exactly it is.

One of the best lessons we can teach our children is how to deal with adversity. If your children know you are ill, and they know you work to better it, that is a good lesson. If they just know every now and then they see signs of mom or dad about to become incredibly angry, insulting, condescending and uncaring, that will be a very bad lesson, and create a very unhappy home life for the entire family.

Continuing your role as a parent while untreated has been proven to cause BPD, passive-aggressive disorders and anti-social personality disorders in the children being raised by the BPD parent. It only continues the cycle of instability.

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