If you find yourself asking, “Do I have borderline personality disorder?” it’s time to see a licensed mental health professional. Personality disorders such as borderline personality disorder (BPD) often require long-term treatment to keep your symptoms under control.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, personality disorders cause individuals to feel, think, and behave in ways that cause distress and problems functioning. If your mental health makes it difficult for you to function daily, it’s time to seek help. Port St. Lucie Hospital can provide you with a diagnosis and the right treatment according to your symptoms.
What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?
Before you can answer the question, “Do I have borderline personality disorder?” it’s important to learn more about this complex mental health condition. Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental health disorder primarily characterized by difficulty regulating emotions. People with borderline personality disorder tend to view themselves and the world around them in extremes.
BPD falls under the Cluster B personality disorders, which are characterized by dramatic and erratic behavior. This contributes to the common black-and-white thinking that significantly affects the self-image and relationships of those with borderline personality disorder. For example, they may feel loved by their partner when they’re together, then feel abandoned when they’re apart.
It’s important to note that despite the association and some overlapping BPD shared with bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder is a completely different mental health condition. This distinction is crucial in getting the right treatment to manage your symptoms.
Do I Have Borderline Personality Disorder?
Asking “Do I have borderline personality disorder?” can be the first step in getting the help you need. However, a licensed mental health professional is the only person who can provide you with a diagnosis. When you seek professional help, they will conduct a physical and psychological evaluation to determine what is causing your symptoms.
There isn’t a test that individuals can take to determine if they have BPD. However, mental health professionals use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to diagnose patients. These internationally recognized criteria outline symptoms to differentiate BPD from other conditions.
With that said, diagnosing BPD can be challenging because the symptoms are shared with other mental health disorders. Aside from bipolar disorder, some symptoms overlap with anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. Since it can be difficult to diagnose, finding an experienced and licensed mental health professional is crucial.
Signs and Symptoms of BPD
People with borderline personality disorder experience a variety of symptoms that primarily affect their daily thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Some of the most common symptoms of BPD include:
- Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment by loved ones
- Unstable interpersonal relationships due to “splitting“
- Distorted self-image that affects beliefs, values, mood, and relationships
- Intense depressed mood, irritability, or anxiety that lasts hours to a few days
- Chronic feelings of emptiness or boredom
- Impulsive behaviors, such as binge eating, unsafe sex, substance abuse, or reckless driving
- Intense and uncontrollable bouts of anger often followed by feelings of guilt
- Paranoid thoughts and dissociation in response to stress
- Suicidal behavior, including self-harm or threats
Keep in mind that not everyone diagnosed with BPD will experience every symptom. Moreover, borderline personality disorder is believed to stem from a combination of genetic abnormalities, environmental factors, and adverse childhood experiences. Therefore, everyone’s experiences with borderline personality disorder are unique.
Ways to Treat Borderline Personality Disorder
If left untreated, borderline personality disorder can be distressing and impair your ability to function. As a result, diagnosing and treating your symptoms can give you the help you need to live a happier life.
BPD often co-occurs with other disorders such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, substance use disorders, as well as other personality disorders. Therefore, you will need a comprehensive treatment plan to address all of your symptoms.
At Port St. Lucie, we help patients struggling with their mental health through a variety of programs that are part of our adult mental health program. This program provides the highest quality assessment, diagnosis, stabilization, and evidence-based treatment to help you recover at your own pace.
It’s not uncommon for people with borderline personality disorder to experience a mental health crisis. As a result, Port St. Lucie Hospital also offers crisis care services. If you need immediate crisis intervention, our experienced team can de-escalate the crisis and help you return to a more comfortable state of mind.
By working with our licensed mental health professionals, you can find the right treatment methods for your symptoms. Below are two of the most common types of treatment methods that are effective in helping adults with BPD recover.
For many adults struggling with their BPD, the goal of treatment is improving emotional regulation. To achieve this, you will learn coping mechanisms and ways to manage core symptoms through different types of therapy.
Effective therapies available at Port St. Lucie Hospital include:
These psychotherapy methods help patients improve their understanding of their disorder. Moreover, it provides a space for individuals to learn and grow as they work to improve their relationships with themselves and others. Adults struggling with borderline personality disorder as part of a dual diagnosis can also utilize these therapy methods during recovery.
Medication can be instrumental in your recovery. However, no single medication exists to treat the core symptoms of BPD. Instead, a combination of medications is used to treat different symptoms. For example, antidepressants and mood stabilizers are commonly used to regulate mood swings and dysphoria. Some individuals may even take anti-psychotic medication to manage symptoms such as disorganized thinking.
Medication evaluation and management is a process that includes trial and error. Your care team at Port St. Lucie will work with you to find the right medications for you. If you are struggling with major depression or suicidal ideations, 24/7 supervision provided by our residential treatment may be ideal to keep you safe and your symptoms under control.
Get Help at Port St. Lucie Hospital Today
Our goal at Port St. Lucie is to help patients create a foundation for long-term recovery. Our care team will provide you with the support and resources you need to overcome your mental health challenges.
If you’re ready to receive an answer to the question “Do I have borderline personality disorder?” get in touch with our admissions specialists today. You can either call us at 772-408-5871 or submit a confidential contact form online. With our help, you can learn to manage your BPD symptoms one day at a time.