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Men’s Mental Health Month: What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Men's Mental Health Awareness Month is observed every year in June to raise awareness about the mental health challenges and limitations that men face.

One of the many mental health issues faced by men is borderline personality disorder. The condition is predominantly found in women (around 75 per cent), mainly due to sociocultural or biological differences and also due to a lack of addressing the issue or approaching the healthcare expert. [1]

Take a look at the details.

What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a cluster B disease characterised by extreme sensitivity to rejection, resulting in instability in interpersonal relationships, mood, self-image and behaviour. It is one of the four cluster-B disorders: antisocial, histrionic, narcissistic and borderline.

Studies say that borderline personality disorder affects 1.6 per cent of the general population and 20 per cent of psychiatric patients who are under treatment. Also, people with the condition are at increased risk of mortality and morbidity when compared to the general population. [2]

Causes And Risk Factors Of Borderline Personality Disorder

There are many factors that may cause borderline personality disorder. Some of these factors include:

  • Family history (especially in identical twins). [3]
  • Childhood trauma like sexual or physical abuse. [4]
  • History of neglect by parents or senior members of the family.
  • Poor attachment with the mother.
  • Maternal separation due to certain circumstances.
  • Paternal substance abuse.
  • Inappropriate boundaries in the family.
  • Some functional or structural defects in the brain area that regulates emotion.
  • Hardship during childhood.

Symptoms Of Borderline Personality Disorder

Some of the symptoms of borderline personality disorder include:

  • Extreme fear of abandonment by loved ones.
  • Intense emotions that can last for a few days.
  • Feeling extremely happy at one moment and sad at another.
  • Having multiple personalities.
  • Self-harming behaviours.
  • Untstable self-image.
  • Unending feeling of emptiness.
  • Impulsive behaviours like binge eating or engaging in unsafe sexual activities.
  • Intense mood swings.
  • Not trusting others followed by a feeling that someone is trying to harm them.\

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How Does Borderline Personality Disorder Affect Men Differently From Women?

According to a study, there is quite a difference in symptoms of borderline personality disorder between men and women. Men with the condition are more likely to present clinical symptoms related to impulse patterns like substance abuse, intermittent explosive disorder and antisocial behaviors, while women with the same condition present mainly eating disorders. [5]

Complications Of Borderline Personality Disorder

Some of the complications of borderline personality disorder include: [6]

  • Suicidal attemps.
  • Job loss
  • Drug addiction.
  • Physical injury due to engaging in risky behaviours like rash driving or fighting.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases due to engaging in activities like unsafe sex.
  • Problems to bond with someone emotionally.

Diagnosis Of Borderline Personality Disorder

A medical expert may start with asking about the symptoms and family history of any mental health issues. The diagnosis of borderline personality disorder may get difficult sometimes when it occurs following other mental health issues like anxiety and depression, leading to misdiagnosis of the borderline personality disorder.

According to DSM-5, the condition is diagnosed based on four of its primary dimensions: fear of abandonment, extreme emotion, paranoia and suicidal thoughts. [7]

Treatments For Borderline Personality Disorder

Some of the effective treatment methods for people with borderline personality disorder include:

  • Dialectic behavioral therapy: It helps with mood disorders, self-harm behaviours and substance abuse.
  • Mentalisation-based treatment: It helps manage problems related to emotional regulation and improves interpersonal interactions. [8]
  • Transference-focused therapy: It helps patients develop positive behaviours.
  • Medications: It includes medications like antidepressants and antianxiety medications to treat underlying depressive symptoms.

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To Conclude

An effective treatment method can help people with borderline personality disorder live life to the full and make long-lasting relationships. Consult a medical expert if you doubt whether you or your loved ones have the requisite capacity for early diagnosis and treatment.

Mental Health Helpline Numbers

1. COOJ Mental Health Foundation (COOJ)- Helpline: 0832-2252525 | 01:00 PM - 07:00 PM (Monday to Friday)
2. Parivarthan- Helpline: +91 7676 602 602 | 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM (Monday to Friday)
3. Connecting Trust- Helpline: +91 992 200 1122 | +91-992 200 4305 | 12:00 PM to 08:00 PM (All days of the week)
4. Roshni Trust- Helpline: 040-66202000, 040-66202001 | 11:00 AM - 09:00 PM (Monday to Sunday)
5. Sahai Helpline: 080-25497777 / Email at - SAHAIHELPLINE@GMAIL.COM | 10 AM- 8 PM (Monday to Saturday)
6. Sumaitri: 011-23389090 / FEELINGSUICIDAL@SUMAITRI.NET |2 PM- 10 PM (Monday To Friday); 10 AM - 10 PM (Saturday and Sunday)
7. Sneha: 044-24640050 (24 HOURS) / 044-24640060 | Email at- HELP@SNEHAINDIA.ORG |8 AM - 10 PM.
8. Lifeline: 033-24637401 / 033-24637432 | Email at LIFELINEKOLKATA@GMAIL.COM | 10 AM - 6 PM.

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