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Borderline Personality Disorder

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Central to Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is abandonment. The unresolved abandonment trauma of what is a central core wound of abandonment. This abandonment wound, according Dr. Hoffman's power point lecture, are unhealthy thought patterns, based upon beliefs created around experiencing negative "feelings" emerge from the formative years and the profound experience and/or perception of abandonment that is so central to the development of Borderline Personality Disorder (M. Hoffman, PhD personal/lecture communication, April 4, 2011).

Abandonment trauma arrests emotional development. The legacy of this arrested emotional development for those diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder means that they are living emotionally and psychologically profoundly painful lives; lives that often involve an unstable sense of self, intense and frequent anger or rage, and a seemingly never-ending fear of abandonment. According to cognitive behavioral therapy, the schema of a person who has borderline personality disorder might be something like, other people will always leave me (or hurt me), and as a result, the person thinks, I need to do whatever it takes to make them stay (or accept me).

Unhealthy thinking, in people who go on to be diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, are created by experiences and perceptions that form the foundation of core beliefs ;the negative core beliefs of borderline cognitivitely distorted thinking that is firmly fixed or set often by 3-7 years of age. As with many mental disorders, the causes of borderline personality disorder are not fully understood.

Research literature reports the following factors as likely to play a role:

Genetics, Some studies of twins and families suggest that personality disorders may be inherited; Environmental factors, Many people with borderline personality disorder have a history of childhood abuse, neglect and separation from caregivers or loved ones; Brain abnormalities, Some research has shown changes in certain areas of the brain involved in emotion regulation, impulsivity and aggression. In addition, certain brain chemicals that help regulate mood, such as serotonin, may not function properly.

Studies also indicate that Psychotherapy is the core treatment for borderline personality disorder. Two types of CBT that have been found effective are: Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), DBT was designed specifically to treat borderline personality disorder. Generally done through individual, group and phone counseling, DBT uses a skills-based approach to teach you how to regulate your emotions, tolerate distress and improve relationships. Transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP), TFP centers on the relationship between the patient and their therapist--in an effort of helping one understand the emotions and difficulties that develop in that relationship.



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