Continuing on, here are some more relevant statistics concerning BPD. I'll most likely take a more in depth look at some of these in future posts.
- 50% experience Clinical Depression
Surprise? Personally I think this statistic is low. Well, depression is different from Clinical depression, so maybe it’s not incorrect. I think the statistics for people suffering from depression are much, much higher. Clinical depression is long term. It doesn’t last a few days, or a few weeks. It last for months and years. Never seeming to dissolve into something normal and pleasant. Fortunately for those that suffer with depression there is medicinal help. Thus far there is no prescription cure all for Borderline Personality Disorder, however it is possible, and recommended, to work on the specific symptoms. I’ve had pretty decent success with the medication I’ve tried in regards to helping regulate my depression and anxiety. I have had trouble balancing the beneficial effects of anti-depressants and anti-psychotics with the resultant side effects. The current medication I’m on does seem to be helping, without any unpleasant side effects, though my psych and I are still working to figure out the proper dose.
- BPD is treatable with medication initially and psychodynamic therapy complimented with dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Therapy without proper medications is not recommended by many Drs. in this field.
From my own experience, one without the other has not been incredibly effective. That's not to say that if only one is available it won't help at all, something is always better than nothing. As I just stated, there is no medical cure for BPD. However BPD generally consists of a lot of co-morbid symptoms. While the overall issue can’t be medicated, things like depression and general anxiety are a result of synopsis in the brain that may not be functioning properly. With medication it is possible to lessen these problems if not correct them completely. While it’s not a total cure, it does make working on the other problems much more manageable. Part of what is absolutely necessary for treating BPD is learning to manage the deeply ingrained psychological behaviors. Especially if there is a history of trauma and abuse, learning to heal from these events and developing mechanisms to allow you to cope in the future is very important. This is the whole point of therapy. Learning and understanding the base motivators for our actions provides the tools to prevent or counteract these problems in the future. Without understanding ourselves, it makes it very difficult to function in a world that doesn’t experience the way we do. I’m not currently doing DBT, my therapist focuses more on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, but that doesn’t change the fact that the work we do is a necessary compliment to my medication.
- Many clinicians refuse to treat BPD/ERD.
People with Borderline Personality Disorder have the stigma of being very uncontrollable and very unpredictable. This coupled with the tendency to display many co-morbid symptoms makes BPD seem like a larger task that will require a greater amount of treatment that may seem insurmountable. But let’s face it, if a clinician is not prepared, incapable, or unsympathetic to the needs of someone with BPD, they are clearly the wrong medical professional for the job. We deserve someone that understands this problem and is not going to stigmatize us as individuals because we may present a challenge or there is general prejudice. It makes me angry that those of us that may need the most help, may also have the hardest time finding the help they need.
I can’t speak for this though. I have had none of these problems, and to me, that is VERY encouraging. From my experience I know that it is very likely and absolutely possible to find doctors and therapists that are more than willing to work with those with BPD. My psychiatrist diagnosed me relatively quickly but was not deterred in the least. He immediately dove into my options, and while recognizing that there was not one overarching medical cure, he is optimistic that we can treat many of the major symptoms. He also strongly recommended that I work with my therapist, whom I see twice a week. I will say I was hesitant to tell my therapist that my psych diagnosed me with BPD. On the one hand I didn’t want to influence her own opinions, and on the other, I was a little worried that she would not want to continue working with me. In the end I recognized that it doesn’t help me, or allow for her to provide me with the best options, if I held back. Again, she was also not deterred. She knew about every single one of my issues and symptoms from the start so adding one more label to things didn’t change anything as far as she was concerned. I haven’t seen my current therapist for too terribly long, but I am confident that I have found people that are willing to work with me and see me through this ordeal. So don’t be discouraged! There is help out there =)