What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

People with BPD often feel their emotions more strongly, and have a more difficult time calming down. BPD sometimes makes it hard to maintain happy, healthy relationships. Other common symptoms include depression, a feeling of emptiness, and fear of abandonment. Sometimes, people with BPD hurt themselves (called self-injury) or threaten to commit suicide. These serious symptoms demand immediate attention.

Some people have BPD traits, without having the full disorder. In either case, BPD related symptoms usually begins during adolescence or early adulthood. BPD is very common, affecting more than 5% of adults. It is more common than Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. It is also a very serious condition. About 20% of persons admitted to psychiatric hospitals have BPD.

Where does the term borderline come from? Psychologist used to describe disorders as being neurotic or psychotic. BPD was thought to lie somewhere in the middle, on the "border" between the two. Today, those terms are used differently, and the term borderline has acquired a negative stigma. When clinicians use the term, they are simply using it to describe a common condition where people have difficulty regulating strong emotions. Mental health professionals should never judge someone for having BPD. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to treat BPD, and many therapists lack the training and experience to do it effectively. We also suggest getting BPD treatment from a BPD expert, like the providers in our DBT program. Our BPD therapists work primarily with people struggling with BPD, so they are all very experienced at treating this difficult diagnosis.

The best borderline personality disorder treatment is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). DBT was designed to treat BPD. Are you ready to seek help for borderline personality disorder? Contact us today to learn if we can help.


Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms

BPD is primarily a disorder of emotional dysregulation, which means that it is difficult for people with BPD to control and regulate negative feelings.

Many people with BPD have intense moods and struggle to control their anger, anxiety, or sadness. Some people self-injure, think about killing themselves, or have a history of suicide attempts. Often, individuals with BPD have trouble forming satisfying relationships, and struggle with trusting others. They may engage in problematic behaviors such as lying, threatening to hurt themselves, or abusing drugs or alcohol. Usually, these are people’s attempts to solve a problem. Unfortunately, these attempted solutions often make situations worse.

Many people with BPD have a very difficult time with therapy. Often, they try to seek help but quit when it does not seem to be working. If you think you have BPD, you might be frustrated and think that nothing will be able to help you.

Borderline personality disorder treatment starts with a thorough evaluation, to determine if the symptoms the client is experiencing really are caused by BPD. Only a professional can make a diagnosis of BPD. At FRTC, our BPD therapists are experienced at making this assessment.

Common symptoms of BPD include:

  • Difficulty or discomfort in intimate relationships

  • Fear of abandonment

  • Impulsivity

  • Self-destructive or dangerous behaviors

  • Risky drug use or sexual behavior

  • Self-injury, such as cutting or burning

  • Thoughts of Suicide or Suicide Attempts

  • Mood swings

  • feelings of emptiness

BPD Therapy

Intense Emotions

Do you do things in anger that you later regret? Do you often act without thinking, or constantly fight with loved ones? Do you ever cry uncontrollably?

Everyone experiences intense emotions in response to difficult, emotional situations. Some people experience intense emotions more often and feel those emotions stronger than others. Intense emotions are a common feature of many problems, including depression, substance abuse, Borderline Personality Disorder, or a history of trauma. No matter the reason, intense emotions can prevent us from building a life worth living.

When someone experiences especially intense emotions they feel like they cannot control, they may act in extreme and harmful ways in an attempt to deal with the pain. For example, they may engage in self-harm, or struggle with suicidal thoughts or attempts.

Our clinicians are experienced in working with intense emotions. We only use techniques backed by research, which means that you are more likely to get the results you hope for. Contact us today for a free phone consultation, or to schedule an appointment with a clinician.

BPD Therapists

Self-Injury and Suicide

Are you struggling with suicidal thoughts, or have you tried to end your life? Have you ever harmed yourself on purpose?

Thoughts of suicide are a common feature of many problems, including depression and Borderline Personality Disorder. Self-injury is when someone intentionally hurts themselves but is not trying to kill themselves. People are most likely to have thoughts of suicide or commit self-injury when they are very upset. They are both very serious symptoms. Help for borderline personality disorder is available.

Our clinicians are experienced in working with suicidal thoughts and self-injury behaviors. We only use techniques backed by research, which means that you are more likely to get the results you hope for. Contact us today for a free phone consultation, or to schedule an appointment with a clinician.

If you are thinking about hurting yourself, please call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

BPD Psychologists

Relationship Problems

Are you worried about your relationship with your partner or family? Do you have trouble making or keeping partners or friends? In relationships, do you often experience conflict or have difficulties with trust?

Relationship problems are one of the most common reasons persons seek therapy. Sometimes, people have interpersonal differences that must be worked out in order to improve the relationship. Other times, the relationship problems are a symptom of a larger underlying issue. Relationship problems are a symptoms of many problems, such as depression, substance use, or a history of trauma. However, in borderline personality disorder relationship problems are very common.

Our clinicians are experienced in identifying and treating the cause of relationship problems. We only use techniques backed by research, which means that you are more likely to get the results you hope for. Contact us today for a free phone consultation, or to schedule an appointment with a clinician.


Causes of Borderline Personality Disorder

BPD Therapists

Borderline Personality Disorder is thought to result from a complex interaction between individual factors (biological, genetic and temperamental) and environmental factors (ones childhood, parents, and home environment). One major and common environmental factor is childhood trauma, abuse and neglect. When someone with certain genetic or biological vulnerabilities experiences abuse, they may respond by developing certain habits and personality traits. This process is normal and adaptive- it helps one to survive in a very difficult situation. However, once that person leaves home and must interact with the rest of the world, those helpful traits become a hinderance. These traits may be adaptive in the moment, and allow the person to survive and avoid negative feelings. Those personality traits get reinforced, and deeply engrained. Later in the life, however, those personality traits may cause trouble. For example, they may make it hard to be close to and trust other people.

Here is a simple example: when a child is bitten by a dog, they may learn to avoid all dogs. By avoiding dogs, they never learn dogs are generally safe. By adulthood, they deeply believe dogs are dangerous, and avoid them at all costs. What helped as a child has resulted in a misconception as an adult. In BPD, the process is much more complicated and subtle, and it usually involves the character of one’s relationship with other people.

If you are suffering and think BPD may be the cause, help for borderline personality disorder is available. Contact us today to speak to one of our BPD therapists, to learn if DBT is the right treatment for you.


Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment at FRTC

BPD Treatment

Do you struggle to maintain stable relationships, or fear abandonment? Do you experience intense moods, and have a hard time calming down? Do you engage in risky, impulsive behaviors to try to feel better? Do you struggle with self-harm (such as cutting) or suicidal thoughts)

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) was specifically designed to help people with BPD build a life worth living. Research shows DBT is the best treatment for BPD. If you've tried other treatments and they haven't worked, it's time to consider DBT. Our experienced BPD therapists have extensive training in DBT, and receive ongoing training in BPD and DBT.

DBT involves individual and group sessions where clients learn to spot negative patterns and apply new skills in order to be more effective. The core skills you learn in DBT Skills Group are:

  • Mindfulness: learning to be aware of our internal states without being controlled by them.

  • Interpersonal Effectiveness: learning how to build healthy relationships.

  • Distress Tolerance: learning to weather difficult emotions and situations.

  • Emotion Regulation: learning self-control, and how to self-soothe in productive, healthy ways.

FRTC offers a DBT program in the Denver Tech Center area of Denver, CO. As a DBT treatment center, we use only clinicians trained in DBT. Contact us today for a free phone consultation, or to schedule an appointment with a trained BPD therapist today.


Supporting Those Who Love Someone with BPD

BPD Family Support

Sometimes, persons with BPD don’t want to seek treatment. Even if they are, their loved one’s often need support for themselves.

At FRTC, we can offer education and support to persons who love someone else suffering from BPD. Our BPD therapists are experienced at working with not only clients with BPD, but those that love persons with BPD. We can help you learn to interact with them more effectively, improve your relationship, and stop getting hurt time and again. Learn more how we can help, or contact us today to speak to a BPD therapist for a free consultation.