Recognizing Borderline Personality Disorder in your Teen
A child with borderline personality disorder rarely manifests any signs or symptoms which are divergent from average adolescent behaviour. Therefore, parents rarely look for signs and symptoms of borderline personality disorder in their child and consider their moodiness or frequent manic behaviour to be just phases of growth. But if you are observing strangely moody and self-destructive behaviour in your child, then gather as much information on borderline personality disorder as possible and seek immediate help.
What is Borderline Personality Disorder?
BPD or borderline personality is a mental disorder wherein a patient suffering from the condition faces extreme mood swings and is prone to depression and suicidal tendencies. On an average, 2-6% of the adult population is affected by the condition and it remains largely undiagnosed. In adolescents, diagnosis of BPD is even more difficult due to their hormonal surges. Borderline personality disorder is more common in women than in men and even in teenagers, girls are known to manifest more BPD related symptoms than boys do. Children suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder often act on impulses and don’t have very positive opinions of self.
Characteristics of Borderline Personality Disorder
- Idealization and vilification in interpersonal relationships, assigning black and white roles to friends and family
- Swinging between extreme emotions such as elation and anxiety or anger
- Poor self-image or distorted sense of self
- Impulsive behaviour getting triggered by various environmental triggers of minor consequence
- Having abandonment issues which eventually leads to show of neediness
- Having bouts of extreme depression which could lead to situations of self-harm or mutilation
- Obsessive or addictive tendencies towards certain behaviours which could be emotionally and financially draining, such as sex, alcohol or drug addiction, shopping addiction or binge eating
Help for Borderline Personality Disorder
You should not hesitate in seeking professional help for treating and mitigating symptoms of borderline personality disorder in your teen. While medical treatments are available, it is crucial to clearly identify the characteristics of BPD before starting a medicinal program. The most effective way of managing BPD in adolescents is, however, therapeutic. A widely accepted treatment route for BPD is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy which increases mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance and interpersonal effectiveness in BPD patients.
Cognitive behavioural therapies and family therapy sessions are known to open lines of communication between parents and child suffering from BPD. This in turn can establish a permanent platform for addressing behavioural concerns and consistently helping your child reach out to you. With focused attention to the condition and the social as well as emotional needs of your child, you can learn to manage BPD with your child and bring her life back on track.