Get Help for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)!

At Innate Ambitions, we teach principles focusing on biblical guidance and DBT skills that give someone solid ground no matter what life experiences they may be going through.

Difficulty with ups and downs in life?
Do you have a roller coaster of emotions that change so quickly that you don’t know how to react and the after math is too difficult to deal with; or even what triggers the reaction in the first place?

Do you have feelings that seem out of control to you or others? Do you spend money as a distraction? Do you use sex to feel connected? Is it easier to deal with physical pain than emotional pain, to the extent that you have to self harm?
Do you feel subjected to reactions instead of actions?

Does no one understand you or get where you are coming from? Do you feel alone even in a crowded room, or experience fears of abandonment and being unlovable? When you feel alone do you cause those around you to withdraw or do you withdraw yourself?

Do you suffer from emotional dysregulation or have difficulty calming your emotions?
​Do you find it hard to manage your emotions in times of stress?

​Do you know who you are, what you stand for and how to attain it?
Do you feel like you don’t belong or truly fit in?

Have you ever been accused of being unstable or called Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?
What does anger look like to you? Do you see red quickly, or rage instantly? Do you feel you need or have you been asked to seek anger management?

Do you often feel everyone blames you or find yourself blaming others for life’s mishaps?
Do you feel situations should be black and white, all or nothing or use words like always and never?

Do you feel obligated to take advice regardless of how you feel about the situation?
Are you indecisive or feel that you are limiting yourself to what choices are available to you? Do you know how to balance work, relationships, and your personal or social life?

Does it ever feel hopeless?

I am here to show you there is hope!

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Copyright 2011: Innate Ambitions | Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. All Rights Reserved. 
Borderline Personality Disorder
What is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?

Borderline personality disorder is an emotion regulation disorder; meaning, these individuals have extreme difficulties managing their emotions. People with BPD often experience problems consistent with fear of being abandoned, extreme mood shifts, intense anger, impulsivity, suicide attempts, self-harm, chaotic relationships, lack of stability, and prolonged feelings of emptiness.   This instability often disrupts family and work life, long-term planning, and the individual’s sense of self-identity.   Equally divided between men and women, it is estimated that roughly 6% of the popoulation or 14 million American adults have BPD .  This exceeds the number of people diagnosed with Schizophrenia or Bipolar. 
What are the symptoms of BPD?

According to the latest research from the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA-BPD), they describe the symptoms of BPD as follows:

People with BPD often have highly unstable patterns of social relationships. While they can develop intense attachments, their attitudes toward family, friends, and loved ones may suddenly shift from idealization (great admiration and love) to devaluation (intense anger and dislike). Even with family members, individuals with BPD are highly sensitive to rejection, reacting with anger and distress to such mild separations as a vacation, a business trip, or a sudden change of plans.

Distortions in thinking and sense of self can lead to frequent changes in long-term goals, career plans, jobs, friendships, gender identity, and values. Sometimes people with BPD view themselves as fundamentally bad, or unworthy. They may feel unfairly misunderstood or mistreated, bored, empty, and have little idea who they are. Such symptoms are most acute when people with BPD feel isolated and lacking in social support, and may result in frantic efforts to avoid being alone by acting out; i.e. impulsive behavior or suicide attempts.

1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.

2. Pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.

3. Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.

4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g. spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating).

5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures or threats, or self-mutilating behavior.

6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood.

7. Chronic feelings of emptiness.

8. Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger.

9. Transient, stress, related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms. (DSM IV)

To meet criteria for the disorder, one needs to have five of the nine criteria listed above. Having several symptoms however, can also create problems in living and a sense of suffering.

Co-occurring Disorders
(BPD) rarely occurs alone; usually it is accompanied with other co-morbid (co-occurring) diagnoses including bipolar, depression, anxiety, self injurious behavior, substance abuse, eating disorders, OCD, schizophrenia, as well as, other personality disorders. If you have a loved one with BPD or BPD like symptoms, I can help!  Research has shown, Major Depressive Disorder is found in over half of BPD sufferers. When depression and BPD co-occur, the depression often does not lift with medication until the borderline personality disorder symptoms improve.

There are no medications approved to treat BPD. People with BPD are often prescribed medications to treat their symptoms, which have been shown to be moderately effective for anger, impulsivity and depression; additionally, many will lose their effectiveness after prolonged use. Medications are to be used in addition to therapy and not as a substitute. Those with BPD can be to be quite sensitive to the side effects of the medications and it is important to discuss all side effects and efficacy with a doctor before deciding which medications to start or discontinue. 

In the past two decades, a number of new treatments for BPD have been developed.  The most researched and the most well-known are Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Mentalization Based Treatment (MBT), both of which have been  shown to be effective in reducing the symptoms of BPD.  There are a few other forms of treatment including Transference Focused Therapy (TFT), Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Schema Focused Therapy, and STEPPS (used in addition to other treatments, this is not a standalone treatment).

What should I consider when seeking treatment for BPD?

The agency/institution/hospital:

License to operate:

a. By whom?

b. For what?

c. Date of most recent licensing?

How many years has the agency been actively treating persons with BPD?

Maximum number of clients in program(s)?

Number of staff and their disciplines and level of education?

Client/staff ratio?
Facilities and services:

What are the criteria for admission to the program? Who provides the referral information?

What kind(s) of treatment(s) are available: individual therapy, group, family, residential, medication?

How often is each type of therapy offered per week?

Treatment orientation? e.g. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT); Psychodynamic?

What kind of training has the staff had to specifically treat persons with BPD?

Anticipated length of stay?

Handbook of rules: program expectations, i.e., days absent, if outpatient; visiting hours, if inpatient.

What kind of family involvement: sessions, family group, contact with staff?

Are there any support groups in the area?

Is there any contact maintained with most previous treater (e.g., community psychiatrist)?

When does planning for discharge start and who is included in the discussions?

Does the agency take responsibility to identify the possible aftercare options?

If someone signs themselves out of the program, who is notified?

Financial aspects:

Cost: Flat charges? Extra charges? How often billed? Terms of payment?

What funding is accepted: Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, self-pay?

Is an agency financial counselor available to explain charges and billing procedures? For example, is SSI affected?