Managing teenage personality disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder: Causes and Symptoms

BPD is one of the most widely studied types of personality disorders. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines BPD as a mental illness characterized by “intense episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety that can last from a few hours to days.
Several risk factors may cause the occurrence of BPD, like genetics, structural differences in the brain, or traumatic experiences caused by environmental, social, and cultural factors.
People with BPD experience mood swings that may sometimes be disruptive in social settings. Other symptoms of BPD may include:
  • Abandonment and commitment issues.
  • Unstable familial, platonic, and romantic relationships.
  • Distorted sense of self-image.
  • Recurring suicidal thoughts and self-harming tendencies, such as cutting.
  • Dangerous and impulsive behaviors, such as substance abuse, reckless driving, and unsafe sex relations.
  • Problems with controlling intense emotions, such as anger.
  • Unjustified distrust towards others.

Risks of Having BPD

According to 2020 studies, at least 1.6% of the population in the United States have BPD. The ratio may seem small, but it actually equates to around 5 million people in the U.S. alone. 
Around 3% of teenagers in the U.S. are affected by this type of personality disorder. Moreover, women are at higher risk of experiencing BPD since about 75% of teenagers with BPD are females.
BPD may also lead to suicide attempts. A study showed that at least 70% of people with BPD had attempted suicide at least once in their lifetimes. In addition, around 8% to 10% of the BPD population take their lives.

Early Signs of Teenage BPD

You have to understand that there is a fine line between teen development and personality disorders. Some behaviors may be misunderstood as BPD since teens usually have intense feelings and opinions. However, you still have to pay attention to your teen’s actions, for they might exhibit the early symptoms of developing BPD, like:
  • Extreme fear of abandonment.
  • Unclear self-image.
  • Unhealthy emotional reactions.
  • Self-harm tendencies and suicidal behavior.
  • Explosive temper and violence.
  • Impulsive, reckless actions.
  • Unstable relationships.
  • Limited social interactions with peers.
  • Substance use or addiction.

If you notice recurring symptoms in your teen’s behavior, it is highly recommended to consult a medical professional, preferably a psychiatrist, for a diagnosis. Symptoms of personality disorders that develop during adolescence may persist up to adulthood, resulting in long-term harmful consequences. Engaging in early teen mental health treatment can be a crucial step towards ensuring a healthy future for your teenager.

Can BPD be Treated?

Most personality disorders are caused by traumatic experiences, such as physical or verbal abuse. However, studies have shown that they may also emerge from medication overuse or abuse.
Psychotherapies have proven effective in minimizing the risks of BPD and other personality disorders. An example of this is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT is a method of therapy that aims to treat suicidal or self-destructive tendencies that may occur with BPD. It is done by undergoing individual therapy, group skills training, and group consultations. Moreover, a high-functioning BPD test can help ease its symptoms.
Taking antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotic and anti-anxiety medications can also help minimize BPD risks. However, these medications must be prescribed by a medical professional before taking them.

You are Not Alone

Having a personality disorder can be very challenging for both the patient and the parents. However, remember that although mental illnesses are complex, medical professionals are continuously finding ways to treat personality disorders. If your teen experiences recurring and multiple personality disorder symptoms, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help you provide mental wellness for your teen, so they can enjoy their life to the fullest with the help of our teen depression treatment, teen histrionic personality disorder treatment, and teen drug rehab.