I see a lot of misinformation out there so I wanted to make one thing clear: BPD is treatable, it can remit.
I have found this article about it and also, this article.
The first one is a post from 2004 but still relevant today. It says that clinical trials show promise in treating BPD. It talks about how many people with BPD don’t seek out treatment and the ones who do are likely to drop out of treatment. One of the reasons is the black and white thinking. We start by idealizing our therapist and sometimes, for minor reasons, we start seeing them as bad. I’m guilty as charged, I have dropped out of therapy many times. I’m trying to stick to therapy now, I know it’s very important.
“the therapist needs to appreciate the reality of the client’s emotions. BPD patients require emotional acceptance–a DBT staple–because they often lacked it as children, says Linehan. In an invalidating environment, for example, a child might express anger and be told by a parent that she is jealous. “They never gain a sense that their needs, wants and desires are reasonable,” says Lynch, adding that such circumstances can lead to emotional difficulties and a problematic sense of self. DBT helps these people restore their sense of self, and legitimizes their emotional experience.”
The second article covers the evolution of effective BPD treatment and the prognosis of the condition.
“According to a longitudinal study by Dr. Mary Zanarini, over 90% of patients treated for BPD setting reported remission of symptoms for two years following treatment and 86% reported remission for at least four years. These findings are in line with previous studies that have shown similar results and paint a significantly more hopeful picture of borderline personality disorder prognosis than that typically advanced in popular culture. According to Dr. Jerold J. Kreisman, an associate clinical professor at St. Louis University,”
“It is now becoming clear that most [people with BPD] get better. Indeed, the long-term prognosis of remission of many symptoms is better in BPD than in major depression and bipolar disorder … As we develop better ways to define, treat, and, especially, understand patients with BPD, we will improve the ability to relieve the suffering inherent in this illness.”
So the prognosis is good for us. There is hope.
A combination of psychotherapy (DBT) and medication can help improve symptoms. In my case, DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) and proper medication (including antipsychotics, two anti-depressants, a mood stabilizer and an anxiolytic for sleeping). I stopped being so moody, anger disappeared. I feel more serene and in control. Mental health apps like Wysa have helped me deal with the negative thoughts. They have decreased. Mindfulness meditation (which is the basis of DBT) is now a part of my life and it’s very helpful.
Medication by itself isn’t enough. It’s not going to teach you positive coping skills and strategies for dealing with BPD.
You and I can overcome this, I know it.
Image by ShonEjai, courtesy of Pixabay.