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Borderline Personality Disorder: Latest Medical Breakthroughs

Tuesday, 26 Oct 2010 09:04 AM

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) affects about 2% of the population worldwide. But researchers feel that many cases go unrecognized due to the difficulty in identifying the syndrome. There are many people with borderline personality disorder, borderline narcissistic personality disorder, or borderline personality behavior, that don't recognize that they have the disorder.
Signs of borderline narcissistic personality disorder include:
  1. Frequent strong episodes of mental stress where patients imagine being rejected due to an imaginary failure.
  2. Sudden changes in temper and mood, swinging from depression, anxiety, and sadness to happiness and euphoria.
  3. Feelings of victimization and a general lack of identity.
  4. Manipulative and negative behavior that may cross over into suicidal and self-harming behavior.  
The problem with borderline narcissistic personality disorder is that its diagnosis depends on the patient’s reported symptoms and the doctor’s judgment of the symptoms with the help of diagnostic tools. The physician will also have to get detailed information from family members, friends, and co-workers. The detailed list of criteria to diagnose borderline narcissistic personality disorder is outlined in the DSM-IV-TR. Source: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Borderline personality disorder medical breakthroughs:
Although detailed symptoms of borderline personality disorder have been listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the exact cause of the disease still remains unknown, making treatment very difficult. At present, treatment of borderline personality disorder depends on the clinician-in-charge and the extent of the BPD symptoms. Researchers have tried to follow different methods to find a cure for the disease. The latest medical breakthroughs for the treatment of borderline personality disorder in the last three years include:

Most patients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder have been identified to have suffered childhood abuse. Source: Zanarini MC, Frankenburg. "Pathways to the Development of Borderline Personality Disorder." Journal of Personality Disorders, 1997; 11(1): 93-104.

Recently, researchers have found that a widely-used screening tool for borderline personality disorder may not be entirely correct in diagnosing the disease. The mood disorder questionnaire is very widely used to diagnose the disease, but researchers have now asked doctors to use the test with caution, and to substantiate it with clinical findings.

Although the cause of the disease is not really known, research has linked a faulty gene and a malfunctioning body clock to the disease.

Most cases of BPD are treated with psychotherapy and medication. But recently, doctors have found that combining transference-focused psychotherapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and supportive psychotherapy together have achieved much better results.

The consensus is that many patients can carry on with their lives with the help of extensive psychotherapy and medication. Most patients do get better with intensive care, but a few don’t recover at all. And for those struggling few, the search is still on to find newer and better “medication programs” that will help them lead normal lives. 

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