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Advocacy needed for borderline personality disorder

Although BPD was just as frequent, impairing and lethal — if not more — as bipolar disorder, it receives a tenth of the research funding.

Advocacy needed for borderline personality disorder

Dane Wanniarachige, Windsor, Ont.
August 4, 2015

Experts say that lack of advocacy for patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) means it garners scant attention or resources and insufficient funding for research. One family says these shortfalls cost them their daughter’s life.

Four years after her first suicide attempt Sasha Menu Courey was finally diagnosed with BPD and given treatment. People with BPD have poor ability to regulate their emotions, which leads to amplification of all feelings — anger, fear, happiness, sadness — sometimes to unbearable levels.

This emotional dysregulation, experienced by 0.5%–5.9% of the population, according to a 2011 Lancet article, manifests itself in a number of ways. Patients may experience a lack of self-identity, trouble with relationships and a severe fear of abandonment. To be diagnosed with BPD, a person must experience at least five of the nine key symptoms.

Risky, impulsive behaviour such as substance or alcohol abuse, and suicidal or self-injuring behaviour are the most dangerous features. About 75% of patients with BPD self-harm and about 10% eventually end their own lives.

Despite the severity of the disorder, Dr. Mark Zimmerman, a researcher and professor at Brown Alpert Medical School in Rhode Island, said that BPD is under-funded, under-recognized and often misdiagnosed.

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2 comments to Advocacy needed for borderline personality disorder

  • I agree that this needs moref unding. We never know what we are missing or how we can help those suffering from this illness( myself included). On that note this is an issue I would love to get behind! Please let me know what I can do to help bring this to light!
    Niquita Lorett

  • Matt

    I agree. I am very compassionate to the cluster B personality disorders in general but BPD is unique to me when comorbid with one of the other 3 because there would probably be a harder time to them to understand the their role in everything because the other three blame others and borderline it goes to either extreme. Also the behavior that looks the same as many of the other cluster Bs because they overlap and sometimes when comorbidity will ruin the potential for help but they will also have a different lifestyle anyhow. Marsha Linehan even mentions this high function borderline who is the same but have complete denial and can compartmentalize to be different people all over and can hide it better. The case of the borderline is unique because of it’s origin and manifestation. It seems like the extreme time bomb style emotions are what lead to the overlap.

    There are some who respond to treatments too. Sometime NPD cases are brought out and a loss of a job is at risk and they can find an outlet for his narcissism that benefits their ego as well as teaches compassion. I read about a few cases like that because they have their emotional turmoil too but the state they are in constantly are only in bursts with the BPD. NPD is the least likely to see they need to change their ways

    The other two are basically treated by noting their differences and finding ways to just accept some truths and socialize the ones who want to have a less hectic or constantly changing of “lives” and one can have a more consistent, skills building based life. It sucks that one is shallow and the other has no conscience but it is what it is. Alienation of both of them and avoidance is what causes them to create the situations they do. They are the way they are from that. I read a story about one ASPD case who was locked up by her parents and they gave her the reality. Told her she was different and in order to not get locked up again, she has to fake a lot of emotion and learn to socialize with people and prosocial behaviors etc. And being locked up is no fun.

    I also deal with bipolar 1 disorder and because I tend to have a lot of cluster B-ish issues when my manias hit I am often louder and more inappropriate and will call people all hours of the night but that is odd because I feel better than ever and not think anything because I feel high on something. I don’t think there is much wrong but when the 6-9 months is over I tend to have to backtrack to catch it as it progressed. I am also “off” to people, like I was a different person.

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