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The bottom line is that BPD is not a life sentence: Many people recover and sustain their recovery, and effective treatments exist. Despite these reasons for hope, one major challenge facing BPD sufferers and their loved ones is that effective treatments are often hard to find and access. That said, there have been some promising developments around the province.

Progress is happening, but many people with BPD still suffer and cannot find adequate help. I am hoping that this issue of Visions will highlight some of the existing resources for people with BPD and get the word out that people with BPD need more available, accessible services. This is a major problem that we need to solve. Another major problem to solve is that of stigma.

People with BPD often suffer from stigma from the community at large, people in their social networks or professional settings, and even from the treatment providers who are supposed to be helping them. Most of these assumptions are simply incorrect. If we are blinded by our stereotypes and assumptions about people with BPD or any other mental illness , we might not even notice the many strengths and positive assets they have to build upon. People with BPD are among the most intensely suffering groups in the mental health community. They need compassion, understanding and help.

Therefore, I urge readers to put aside biases and assumptions about those with BPD, figure out how you can help, listen and react to people with BPD with an open mind, and reach out to do what you can. For more on the DBT Centre, visit www. Skodol, A. The borderline diagnosis I: Psychopathology, comorbidity, and personality structure. Biological Psychiatry , 51 12 , American Psychiatric Association.

Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders 4th ed. Washington, DC: Author. Zanarini, M. Time to attainment of recovery from borderline personality disorder and stability of recovery: A year prospective follow-up study. American Journal of Psychiatry , 6 , Linehan, M. Cognitive-behavioral treatment of borderline personality disorder.

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New York: Guilford Press. Robins, C. Dialectical behavior therapy: Current status, recent developments, and future directions. Journal of Personality Disorders , 18 1 , Bateman, A. American Journal of Psychiatry , 5 , Giesen-Bloo, J. Outpatient psychotherapy for borderline personality disorder: Randomized trial of schema-focused therapy vs. Archives of General Psychiatry , 63 6 , Clarkin, J. Evaluating three treatments for borderline personality disorder: A multiwave study.

Lieb, K. Pharmacotherapy for borderline personality disorder: Cochrane systematic review of randomised trials, British Journal of Psychiatry , 1 , They may act as if they have an inflated sense of their own importance and show an intense need for other people to look up to them. Someone with a cluster C personality disorder fears personal relationships and shows patterns of anxious and fearful behaviour around other people.

Others may be withdrawn and reluctant to socialise. A person with avoidant personality disorder appears painfully shy, is socially inhibited, feels inadequate and is extremely sensitive to rejection. Unlike people with schizoid personality disorders, they desire close relationships with others, but lack the confidence and ability to form them.


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A person with obsessive compulsive personality disorder is anxious about issues that seem out of control or "messy". They are preoccupied with orderliness and ways to control their environment, and may come across to others as a "control freak". This personality disorder differs from obsessive compulsive disorder OCD , a related mental health condition, in several important ways:. Treatment for most personality disorders usually involves a course of psychological therapy.

This normally lasts at least six months, often longer, depending on the severity of the condition and other co-existing problems. The aim of all psychological therapies is to improve people's ability to regulate their thoughts and emotions. Some therapies, especially group therapies, help people understand social relationships better.

Psychological therapies can be effective for many personality disorders. However, they should only be delivered by a trained professional who has experience of working with personality disorders and other clinical conditions. This is because personality disorders are serious conditions that can be associated with high-risk behaviours, such as self-harm.

The Reality of Recovery in Personality Disorder

As well as listening and discussing important issues with you, the psychotherapist can suggest strategies to resolve problems and, if necessary, can help you change your attitudes and behaviour. They can be broadly classified into three types of therapy, outlined below. These experiences cause patterns of distorted thinking and beliefs that may have been understandable in childhood, but do not work in adult life.

The goal of therapy is to explore these distortions, understand how they arose, and find effective ways to overcome their influence on your thinking and behaviour. Both individual and group psychodynamic therapy may be helpful for personality disorders, especially borderline personality disorder BPD.

A particular form, called mentalisation-based therapy, is recommended for BPD.

Borderline Personality Disorder: Misconceptions vs. the Reality

In turn, our actions can affect how we think and feel. Therefore, it is necessary to change both the act of thinking cognition and behaviour at the same time. DBT is designed to help you cope better with emotional instability, while at the same time encouraging you to behave in a more positive way.

Interpersonal therapy IPT is based on the theory that our relationships with other people and the outside world in general have a powerful effect on our mental health. During IPT, the therapist will explore any negative issues associated with your interpersonal relationships and how these issues can be resolved.

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Therapeutic communities TCs are a form of group therapy, in which the experience of having a personality disorder is explored in depth. TCs are an intensive form of therapy. They have been shown to be effective for mild to moderate personality disorders, but require a high level of commitment.

No medication is currently licensed for the treatment of any personality disorder. However, medications may be prescribed to treat associated problems, such as depression , anxiety or psychotic symptoms.


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  8. For example, if you have moderate to severe symptoms of depression that make it difficult to approach your therapy with confidence or enthusiasm, you may be prescribed a type of antidepressant called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor SSRI. Home Illnesses and conditions Mental health Personality disorder. Personality disorder See all parts of this guide Hide guide parts Introduction Signs and symptoms of personality disorders Treating a personality disorder. Introduction Personality disorders are conditions in which an individual differs significantly from an average person, in terms of how they think, perceive, feel or relate to others.

    Cluster B personality disorders A person with a cluster B personality disorder struggles to regulate their feelings and often swings between positive and negative views of others. Cluster C personality disorders A person with a cluster C personality disorder struggles with persistent and overwhelming feelings of fear and anxiety.

    How many people are affected? Personality disorders are common mental health problems. Signs and symptoms of personality disorders The different types of personality disorder that might need treatment can be broadly grouped into one of three clusters, called A, B or C.

    The Reality of Recovery in Personality Disorder

    The main personality disorders in this category are listed below. Paranoid personality disorder A person with a paranoid personality disorder is extremely distrustful and suspicious.

    BPD 113: How To Recovery From Borderline Personality Disorder Works

    Antisocial personality disorder A person with an antisocial personality disorder sees other people as vulnerable and may intimidate or bully others without remorse. Symptoms include: lack of concern, regret or remorse about other people's distress irresponsibility and disregard for normal social behaviour difficulty in sustaining long-term relationships little ability to tolerate frustration and to control their anger lack of guilt, or not learning from their mistakes blaming others for problems in their lives The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence NICE has published guidelines on how people with antisocial personality disorders should be treated.

    Borderline personality disorder A person with borderline personality disorder is emotionally unstable, has impulses to self-harm, and has very intense and unstable relationships with others. Histrionic personality disorder A person with histrionic personality disorder is anxious about being ignored.