What You Should Know About Borderline Personality And Your Teen

Parents of teenagers often find that being a good parent to their teens is a struggle. This is true of nearly all teenagers. However, when mental health issues are also involved, things can seem a whole lot more dire and difficult. One of the mental health conditions that can affect teens is borderline personality disorder. Learn about borderline personality disorder and the ways it can be treated if it affects your teen. Then, you can be sure you are aware of the symptoms and get your teen the help they need if they have borderline personality disorder.

What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Personality disorders are often quite confusing to people. Essentially, a personality disorder is a pattern or way of thinking, behaving, and feeling that is considered to be "abnormal" or deviant from the norm.

In order to be a disorder, though, this altered state of being has to cause problems for the person in their life and their general functioning. Personality disorders must also last a prolonged period of time, not just occur short-term.

Borderline personality disorder is one of the types of personality disorders. It is mainly defined as causing emotional instability and mood instability. It is also characterized by unstable relationships and self-image.

What Are the Signs of Borderline Personality Disorder?

There are numerous signs of borderline personality disorder to watch out for, all relating to those primary characteristics of the disorder. One of the main signs is unstable moods and often rapidly shifting moods from one extreme to the other.

A person with borderline personality disorder might be in tears one minute and overly elated and happy the next with no apparent cause. Moods shifting can also be a sign of things like bipolar disorder, though, so sometimes borderline personality disorder gets misdiagnosed.

Other signs of borderline personality disorder include unstable relationships or intense relationships that do not necessarily last very long. People with borderline also tend to have very "black and white" thinking and can practically worship someone one day and loathe them the next.

Intense bouts of anger, self-harm behaviors, trouble trusting, feeling empty, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors can also be signs and symptoms of borderline personality disorder.

What Can Be Done About Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline personality disorder can be dealt with primarily through individual counseling services. The counselor will work with your teen to first learn to identify the emotions they are feeling and recognize them.

Then, your teen and their counselor will work on emotional regulation and developing strategies to cope with extreme emotions like rage and depression. Mindfulness is also an important practice to learn when a patient has borderline personality disorder.

Medications can also help your teen some if they are diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. They do not necessarily treat the disorder directly but instead help with symptom management. Antidepressants, for example, can help with bouts of depression. And mood stabilizers can sometimes help as well with mood shifts.

Now that you know more about borderline personality disorder and your teen, you can get them to a counselor as soon as possible if you suspect they might be struggling with borderline.