Is there a cure for borderline personality disorder?

Emily Doe
Author: Emily Doe Medical Reviewer: Rychel Johnson Last updated:

What is BPD?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental health disorder that affects the way you think and feel about yourself and others, causing problems functioning in everyday life.

Someone suffering from BPD will have difficulty managing their emotions and behavior, and often exhibit a pattern of unstable relationships. Other common symptoms of BPD include intense feelings of insecurity, fear of abandonment, and difficulty being alone [1].

Is there a cure for BPD?

While there is no definitive cure, someone with BPD can be treated to help them manage their symptoms and go on to live a stable, fulfilling life. Effective treatment for BPD can help to equip you with the tools to cope with your disorder. With the right treatment, the symptoms of BPD can be managed, reduced, and sometimes eradicated completely [2].

It’s important to note that treatment for a disorder like BPD will be extensive and require time and patience, and it will often be a lifelong commitment to learning to manage your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Although many people will experience improvement in symptoms, you may always suffer from symptoms of BPD [3].

Treatment for BPD is ultimately focused on improving your ability to function daily, feel good about yourself, build relationships with others and improve your quality of life.

How is BPD treated?

Psychotherapy

Borderline personality disorder is most effectively treated using a type of talking therapy called psychotherapy. This treatment aims to help you to focus on your ability to function, practice managing your emotions, improve your ability to observe the feelings of others and recognise your own feelings, and improve your interpersonal relationships.

The various approaches to psychotherapy include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Schema-focused therapy (SFT)
  • Mentalisation-based therapy (MBT)
  • Transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP)
  • Systems training for emotional predictability and problem-solving (STEPPS)

Medication

In some instances, doctors may prescribe medications to treat certain symptoms of BPD:

  • Mood stabilisers – to reduce anger and aggressive behavior
  • Antipsychotics – to reduce hostile, impulsive, and psychotic behavior
  • Anti-anxiety medication and antidepressants may be prescribed if co-occurring mental health conditions are present.

Co-occurring Conditions

Research has shown that most people suffering from BPD will suffer from at least one other mental health disorder, whether it be a mood disorder, personality disorder, major depressive disorder, or substance abuse [1].

Although co-occurring disorders are common, they can make diagnosis and treatment more complex. When someone is diagnosed with more than one condition the condition with a higher likelihood of treatment success will usually be treated first [1].

Hospitalization

In severe cases, a doctor or mental health professional may recommend hospitalization if your safety is believed to be at risk.

Resources
  1. NAMI. (2017, December). Borderline personality disorder | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness. Nami.org. Retrieved 28 November 2022, from https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Borderline-Personality-Disorder
  2. Ng, F. Y. Y., Bourke, M. E., & Grenyer, B. F. S. (2016). Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder: A Systematic Review of the Perspectives of Consumers, Clinicians, Family and Carers. PLOS ONE, 11(8), e0160515. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0160515
  3. National Institute of Mental Health. (2017). Borderline Personality Disorder. Www.nimh.nih.gov. Retrieved 28 November 2022, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/borderline-personality-disorder
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Emily Doe
Author Emily Doe Writer

Emily Doe serves as our accomplished writer, a skilled communicator with 8 years of experience in the non-profit sector.

Published: Feb 2nd 2023, Last edited: Oct 23rd 2023

Rychel Johnson
Medical Reviewer Rychel Johnson LCPC

Meet Rychel Johnson, our expert medical reviewer. Rychel is a licensed clinical professional counselor who specializes in anxiety treatment and social skills.

Content reviewed by a medical professional. Last reviewed: Feb 2nd 2023