Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental health problem that affects millions of people around the world. While each person who experiences BPD may present different symptoms and signs, research suggests that BPD can be divided into three distinct types. By understanding what these types are and how they are treated, those living with BPD can gain insight into their own disorder and work towards bettering their mental health.
The first type of BPD, called Impulsive BPD, primarily focuses on chaotic and impulsive behaviors. A key feature of this type of BPD is the individual’s erratic and unstable approach to life. People in this category often feel overwhelmed by their emotions, making it difficult for them to control their behavior or think through difficult decisions. Impulsive BPD sufferers may be prone to drug abuse, gambling addiction, reckless driving, overeating, or other such unsafe behaviors. Treatment of Impulsive BPD includes psychotherapy to help the individual identify and acknowledge triggers that lead to impulsive behaviors, as well as medication to stabilize mood.
The second type of BPD is known as Emotionally Unstable BPD. This type of BPD can be characterized by mood swings, irrational anger, and an inability to develop and sustain meaningful relationships. People who have this type of BPD are often very sensitive to perceived slights and will react with emotion instead of engaging in problem-solving. Treatment for Emotionally Unstable BPD includes cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps individuals learn to recognize maladaptive behaviors and replace them with healthier alternatives.
Lastly, Anxiety-Driven BPD is marked by persistent anxiety and fear. People with BPD in this category worry excessively and experience panic attacks that cause physical distress. Anxiety-Driven BPD sufferers may also try to avoid situations that could trigger intense feelings of fear or panic. Treatment for Anxiety-Driven BPD generally involves therapy to help the individual confront their underlying fears and learn to cope with their feelings in a healthier way. Additionally, individuals should talk to their doctor about medications that can help reduce anxiety levels.
It is important to remember that each type of BPD may look slightly different from person to person. If you are suffering from any type of BPD, contact your healthcare provider and find a therapist. With proper help and support, you can learn to cope with BPD and dramatically improve your mental health.