a woman suffering from borderline personality disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder: 7 Terms to Know

Borderline personality disorder, or BPD, is serious mental disorder that is characterized by unstable moods, relationships, and behavior. If you or a loved one has just been diagnosed with this disorder, you probably have some questions circulating in your mind. This article may answer some of your questions by familiarizing you with the following borderline personality disorder terms:

  1. Borderline
    Psychologists labeled this disorder a borderline disorder because they used to think that it was atypical and held partial, or borderline, characteristics of other disorders. Currently, experts agree that this is not good term for this disorder, but no new term has been established. 
  2. Psychotic Episode
    People with BPD are said to have psychotic episodes. Psychotic episodes include extreme reactions to everyday situations, tumultuous relationships with friends and family, thoughts or attempts to self-harm, and impulsive behaviors like substance abuse and reckless driving.
  3. Self-Harm
    Many times, people with BPD engage in self-injurious behavior. Examples of self-harm are biting, hitting, cutting, burning, head banging, hair pulling, and any type of harm one can do to oneself.
  4. Coexisting Conditions
    The word "coexist" means that other illnesses occur alongside BPD. The main illnesses that tend to occur at the same time as BPD are depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. Men tend to have substance abuse or antisocial personality disorder. 
  5. Psychotherapy
    Psychotherapy is a type of talk therapy. Therapy can be one-on-one with a licensed therapist or in a group setting. There are also many different types of psychotherapy to choose from. 
    STEPPS stands for Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving. This is a type of therapy that consists of 20 two-hour sessions with a social worker. When coupled with medication and other therapy, STEPPS has a high success rate for relieving depression and reducing problem behaviors associated with BPD.
  7. Mood Stablilizer
    Many people with BPD need medication in the form of a mood stabilizer. A mood stabilizer is a medication that treats mania and prevents psychotic episodes.
Last Updated: March 02, 2015