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Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder Can Help Patients Achieve Stability

 

Instability often characterizes the lives of people who suffer from borderline personality disorder, which can lead sufferers to feel confused, insecure, and isolated. However, achieving a healthier, more stable foundation is possible with the help of professionals like Dr. Russell Surasky. Dr. Surasky is a trusted, board-certified psychiatrist practicing in Great Neck, NY, who is dedicated to helping patients overcome the limitations and stigma associated with mental illness. He is passionate about helping patients receive correct diagnoses and may recommend medication to aid in the management of the condition. He can collaborate with your therapist to help you lead a more fulfilling and productive life. 

Although the number may actually be much higher, current research suggests 1.6 percent of the adult population in the U.S. suffers from BPD(2).

What is a Personality Disorder?

According to the American Psychiatric Association, a personality disorder is a mental illness that is defined as a way of thinking, feeling, and behaving that deviates from the expectations of the culture. These deviations must cause distress or problems functioning, and persist over a sustained period of time(1). There are 10 types of personality disorders. 

Diagnosing BPD

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by a pattern of instability in personal relationships, emotional response, self-image, and impulsivity(1). While extensive research is still in progress, data published by the National Alliance on Mental Illness shows that 1.6 percent of the U.S. population suffers from the disorder(2).

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) requires that certain criteria be met to formally diagnose a patient with BPD. These include: 

Impairments in Personality Functioning

The individual displays significant impairments in personality functioning in either their identity or self-direction. An issue of identity may be an unstable or poorly developed self-image accompanied by excessive self-criticism or chronic feelings of emptiness. Impairments in self-direction may include instability of goals, aspirations, values, or career plans. In addition to diminished personality functioning, patients must also demonstrate impairments in interpersonal functioning regarding empathy or intimacy(3). 

Dr. Surasky may recommend medication and can collaborate with your therapist to help you lead a healthier, more productive life. 

Pathological Personality Traits

The patient must also show signs of pathological personality traits, including negative affectivity. This affectivity is characterized by emotional liability (a tendency to overreact to situations), anxiousness, separation insecurity, or depressivity, as well as disinhibition which is characterized by impulsivity, risk-taking, or antagonism(3).

Criteria Regarding Functionality & Traits

The diminishments in personality functioning and personality trait expression must also(3): 

  • Remain fairly consistent at nearly all times and in nearly all situations

  • Not be better understood as normative for the patient's developmental stage or socio-cultural environment

  • Not be solely due to the direct physiological effects of a substance or general medical condition

Dr. Surasky will look at long-term patterns during an extensive clinical evaluation. This will allow him to establish an accurate diagnosis and determine whether an individual solely suffers from BPD or other conditions as well, such as depression, an eating disorder, or substance abuse, as this can affect the recommended course of treatment. This process may even include interviews with friends and family which can provide valuable insight. 

Who Develops BPD?

BPD is considered to be the result of a combination of factors(4) including: 

Genetics - Patients with a first-degree relative with BPD are about five times more likely to develop the condition. Environmental Factors - Traumatic life events, such as physical or sexual abuse, can increase the risk of a patient developing BPD. Brain Function There may be a breakdown in communication between the parts of the brain that control emotions and decision-making in patients with BPD.

BPD Treatment Options

As BPD affects methods of thinking, feeling, and behavior, many patients find psychotherapy to be very beneficial. Therapy can help you better understand your condition and establish sustainable coping mechanisms to reduce the effects of BPD on your relationships and daily life. 

While no specific medication is currently recommended for personality disorders, several groups of drugs have been found to be effective(5). Dr. Surasky has helped patients successfully manage the symptoms of their condition with: 

  • Antidepressants

  • Anti-anxiety medications

  • Mood stabilizers

Depending on the particular manifestation of your disorder, Dr. Surasky and your therapist can work together to develop a plan and help you lead a more productive, fulfilling life. 

Improve Your Quality of Life 

Many patients are under the impression that a BPD diagnosis can mean a hopeless outlook, however, while the disorder cannot be cured, its effects can typically be managed. Call us today at (954) 994-1115 to discuss your condition with Dr. Surasky. He is committed to improving patients' quality of life with effective management solutions. 

References

  1. Definition of a personality disorder - American Psychiatric Association

  2. It is estimated that 1.6 percent of the population has borderline personality disorder - National Alliance on Mental Health

  3. Diagnostic criteria for borderline personality disorder - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition

  4. Circumstances that contribute to development of BPD - National Alliance on Mental Illness

  5. Treatment of personality disorders - American Psychiatric Association

 

New York Office


Dr. Russell Surasky
15 Barstow Rd.
Great Neck, NY 11021