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Hi, my brother was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). He changes his moods very often. The mood swings last only couple of hours, or at most a day. He can be very aggressive, and my mother and I are very concerned about him. What are the chances of recovering from borderline personality disorder?

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Borderline personality disorder is a mental disorder characterized by mood instability and interpersonal relationships. A person with borderline PD often has anger and anxiety attacks, which last from few hours to one day. Self-injuries are not rare, so as alcohol abuse. They often change friends, jobs, ambitions and values. This leads directly to lack of self-respect, and to sense of unworthiness. They start to avoid other people because they feel misunderstood and mistreated. A person with borderline PD behaves impulsive and easy gets into troubles. Chances of recovery from borderline PD are better nowadays, then they were before. There is a new psychosocial treatment termed called dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which is created specifically for this disorder, and it improves the chances of recovery.
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The reality of BPD is that you never "recover" it is like Anorexia, someone who has BPD is always going to have BPD and some of even the best therapists/pychologists will tell you the truth of that. There are ways to control it, and learning about it will help that along. However the person who has BPD has to be willing to work on their behavior, and learn to recognize it.

A big thing about BPD is that to a person with the disorder sees everything as "Black or White" they lack the ability to "see" the gray areas that "normal" people know are there. They lack the ability to balance themselves. They lack the ability to learn to control spending habits, and are unable (and sometimes refuse) to control their emotions or behaviors.

A great book for anyone dealing with BPD or a loved one with BPD is called "Get Me Out Of Here". There is a follow up to it as well, and it gives great insight to the disease and the thoughts of someone with BPD and how to cope.
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I suffer from BPD and I do not agree that one cannot recover from it. I know people who have recovered from it and do no longer have the disorder.
Therapy for BPD (depending on the severity) will take min 2 years.
DBT is a very good approach for treatment
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While DBT seems actually be one of the best therapies as of date. "Recovering" from BPD is more about "controlling" the emotional rollercoaster, it isn't that people stop having the mental illness (no matter how long they are in therapy). In most cases "recovery" is defined by the persons ability to live "healthy and happy". Which is extremely possible, but even the best adjusted person who has BPD can be great for many years then slip back.

Read the book "Get me out of here", and the follow up. They are written from the prospective of a woman with BPD who is going through therapy and her journey there of.
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Isnt that what all human beings do? Controlling their emotions to some extend?

I see that as human and when I will get to that place where I am able to regulate my emotions 'good enough' I will no longer suffer from BPD. That doesnt mean I will not sometimes fly off the handle again etc. I think even people without BPD fly off the handle sometimes. People without BPD get extremly upset at times etc. Controlling those emotions to a certain extend and regulating them is the key.

To get the tools and to know how to use them. One big factor of BPD is that the child has not been given those 'tools' to regulate emotions.



Anyway, that's of course just my opinion



All the best

Sluagh
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I think the only way to help a person "control" or cope with BPD is to help understand (if possible) what originally sparked it.
I have BPD, and for a long time I didn't think some of the traits associated with it applied to me. The main one I believed to lack was fear of abandonment. I always considered myself to be very headstrong and independent. I think a common problem with understanding many disorders is the way traits are commonly worded.
I began to take a very close look at the first time my romantic relationships were affected by BPD, and found that it was the relationship directly after (chronologically speaking- it was several years after however) my first relationship flopped. My first boyfriend was very negligant, unloyal, and not trust-worthy. I think this was were the seed for BPD was planted.
The serious relationship after that crumbled on behalf of BPD, and to be honest, it was because it was going all too perfectly. I pushed my partner away once I realized how attached I'd become, and began to hate and manifest different little things he would do.
Now that I have seen this repeated time and time again, I am able to see the pattern which I was unable to realize during these relationships. If I am too attached to someone my subconcious defense mechanism is to identify things to dislike about them. I don't realize during this process that it's a defense mechanism and not their "flaws" being presented now that I'm getting to know them more so.
So it was not until this recent self-analysis that I realized I do indeed have a fear of abandonment. It is infact the very route of what my BPD revolves around.
I think it would be nearly impossible for me to begin addressing this problem had I not tried to peel back the layers. It was a very long, and very painful process. All of my fears and pains that I had repressed from my first relationship had to surface and be examined in detail, and it was not an easy procedure. But it's the ONLY way to heal.
If you truly want to know how to help a loved one who suffers from BPD, they have to be willing to look at possibly painful memories of how it started. If they analyze long enough they can find answers.
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I have heard from several quarters that BPD is a mishmash, vague diagnosis when very often health professionals dont know whats wrong with someone and tend to label anyone who is depressed, anxious, has behavioural or relationship problems or is distressed or usually with a mixture of all these things under this diagnosis. Having a sister who was diagnosed with this and then being told by another professional a couple of years on that she didnt, it does seem that this diagnosis may depend on who was doing the assessment. I think if this diagnosis is valid (and thats dubious!) then there is certainly over-diagnosis.

The trouble is once diagnosed, the label is twice as hard to shift and of course, other causes are ignored because its all down to the "condition"
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Actually BPD is one of the few Mental Illnesses that are less recognized. And a mis diagnosis of one professional shouldn't implicate that everyone is. BPD is a real illness, and there are strict guidelines when doing so. It isn't just "well this person has this because they have a hard time with relationship or their behavior is wrong" it is not just that, most BPD sufferers are "private cutters" meaning they will cut and no one will know. They are suicidal, and have a lack of personal identity. They have difficulty coping with adult situations, and the list goes on and on. BPD is also not an illness that is genetic or physically caused like things like bi-polar. It is enviromental and is strongly influenced and linked to childhood and the behaviours witnessed in the care givers of a child. Personally my father has bi-polar, my mother BPD, and with the things I experienced as a young woman and a teenager, as well as the influences in my household, i got both.
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The problem is that in psychiatry out patients are only seen for a very short time each session and diagnosed almost straight away to perscribe drugs to them. Most psychiatrists do not spend enough time with their patients to get to know them properly. Another reaon why BPD is difficult to understand for people is because it contains differnt symptoms which can also be found in other personality disorders as well as those symptoms being quite 'normal human' behaviour to some level.

And that is why diagnosing BPD should be done with great care I believe. The level of serverity of symptoms in BPD is very very importtant. As well as the duration (when this behaviour started) and how many symptoms there are (out of the nine)

BPD is very real, yet for someone who is not suffering from BPD it is very difficult to understand how it feels like. It is impossible!
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I could not agree more with you on all of your points. That it shouldn't be diagnosed lightly, and that it can be mistaken as other personality disorders (just like BPD can be mistaken as others just the same). We've heard of those being "misdiagnosed" as well for the negative and the positive. Anyone who has BPD knows that medication isn't the sole answer to the problem. It is only a matter of helping the therapy towards the repair of the issue. BPD, like most mental illnesses, is difficult for anyone to cope with. Both the affected and those that love the affected have to learn to cope and work towards resolution. And those who don't have any understanding that mental illnesses aren't a choice have even a harder time understanding how difficult it is for those who aren't them.
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