Information for affected and their Familiy
 
Borderline Syndrom
What is the borderline personality disorder?

The borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a psychiatric disorder that is characterized by both, severe psychological stress situations and a feeling of inner emptiness. In their social relationships, so-called “borderliners” show impulsivity and instability to a high degree.

The unbearable tensions borderliners suffer from appear often abruptly and without obvious reason. Patients then feel the inner force to hurt themselves, mostly by self-inflicted cuts with knifes or razorblades, or to risk their health and life through irresponsible actions in order to cope with the massive inner pressure.

Recent studies found that borderliners have a lower sensation of pain than healthy people. The reason for this is an active suppression of the perception of pain in the patient’s brain. The perception of heat was tested with the result that borderline personality disorder patients perceived a heat stimulus of 43 degrees Celsius as less painful as healthy individuals.

Different statements say that 1-2 % of the people are affected while some authors estimate the numbers a little bit higher. The spread blurs due to the varying specifications of the disorder. 70-75 % of the patients are female.

For a long time, therapy was considered difficult for patients with borderline personality disorder. In the meantime, experts have developed psycho-analytic methods that match the requirements of borderliners. A specific treatment program is for example a so-called dialectical behaviour therapy that combines several behaviour therapy models and methods.

An important component of the therapy is the acquisition of certain abilities that are aimed to strengthen the patient by completing the five modules inner attentiveness, stress tolerance, conscious handling of emotions, interpersonal abilities and self-confidence.

 

It is difficult to diagnose the borderline personality disorder due to its various symptoms. Therefore criteria have been defined in order to alleviate the diagnosis and a form of therapy that changes the disorder-based persistent burden.

The difficulty in diagnosing the borderline personality disorder is the fact, that all typical symptoms can also occur with healthy individuals. A borderline disorder cannot be defined by a small number of signs that match every patient’s individual case but rather by very different criteria that do not necessarily occur.

What is the borderline personality disorder?

The mental-health problem “borderline” is also being called borderline personality disorder (BPD) and is a psychiatric disorder that is characterized by both, severe psychological stress situations and a feeling of inner emptiness. In their social relationships, so-called “borderliners” show impulsivity and instability to a high degree. If symptoms like these can be observed during a certain time period, a borderline test should be accomplished in order to find adequate therapy measures.

The unbearable tensions borderliners suffer from appear often abruptly and without obvious reason. Patients then feel the inner force to hurt themselves, mostly by self-inflicted cuts with knifes or razorblades, or to risk their health and life through irresponsible actions in order to cope with the massive inner pressure. Borderliners experience extreme and instable emotions that cause frequent mood swings and emotional crises as well as agonizing and diffuse conditions of tension, alternated by feelings of inner emptiness and depressions. In order to escape from the feeling of an emotional vacuum, extreme situations are being provoked like drug abuse, self-harm or risky driving behaviour.

Definition of the borderline personality disorder

Originally, health professionals defined the borderline personality disorder (BPD) as a disease established between a neurosis and a psychosis. Due to the fact that the disease shows various symptoms, it is hard to border, so that the term “borderline” was chosen. It became obvious that the disease is a serious personality disorder that is defined by impulsivity and instabilities in personal relationships, moods and self-perception. The borderline personality disorder is often caused by persistent sexual abuse, physical violence or rejection or a combination of these in the childhood. The coherence between a traumatic origin and the development of a borderline personality disorder is scientifically proven.

Life with a borderline personality disorder

Reliable numbers that show the commonness of the BPD do not exist. Health professionals expect that 1-2 % of the population suffer from the disorder. Borderline personality disorder does occur more often than schizophrenia. Although “borderline” has become a popular term, the disorder itself and its reasons are rather unknown and there exist several prejudices. Even experts have not found a common answer to some questions dealing with the borderline personality disorder.

Borderliners suffer from severe psychological strain. Conversations about the disorder are only reasonable in settled situations and not during actions of self-harm or aggression. Conversations including “I-phrases” like “I do not feel well if you cut yourself. How can we cope with that in the future?” are recommended. Relatives must not forget that borderliners do not want to cause irritation but suffer from extreme tensions outsiders cannot comprehend.

Barbara Kliem

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