What do I do if I think I have BPD?
You have to remember with anything, that you can’t diagnose borderline personality disorder by yourself. My recommendation would be for you to find a psychiatrist or psychologist to obtain an evaluation as it would be important especially if you are considering medication as part of your treatment. BPD is often confused or overlaps with other conditions, so you need a mental health professional to evaluate you and make an accurate diagnosis. Try to find someone with experience diagnosing and treating BPD. As BPD is rarely diagnosed on its own because it often co-occurs with other disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder; substance abuse; eating disorders; and anxiety disorders. When BPD is successfully treated, the other disorders often get improve, too. But the reverse isn’t always true. For example, you may successfully treat symptoms of depression and still struggle with BPD. For the assessment, it is good to find out if you have any family members with any mental health issues to ensure that you are provided with an accurate diagnosis especially since BPD is caused by a combination of inherited or internal biological factors and external environmental factors, such as traumatic experiences in childhood. Although many people with BPD take medication, the fact is that there is very little research showing that it is helpful. What’s more, FDA has not approved any medications for the treatment of BPD. This doesn’t mean that medication is never helpful but if you suffer from co-occurring problems such as depression or anxiety, medication will address those problems. There is not a cure for BPD itself. In addition to a psychiatrist or psychologist, you need to find a therapist who is qualified in BPD treatment and recovery. Therapy may serve as a safe space where you can start working through your relationship and trust issues and “try on” new coping techniques. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and/or Schema-Focused Therapy are helpful treatment modalities when addressing BPD. DBT treatment is a type of psychotherapy (talk therapy) that utilizes a cognitive-behavioral approach. DBT emphasizes the psychosocial aspects of treatment. Schema Therapy is an integrative approach to treatment that combines the best aspects of cognitive-behavioral, experiential, interpersonal and psychoanalytic therapies into one unified model. Schema-Focused Therapy has shown remarkable results in helping people to change negative ("maladaptive") patterns which they have lived with for a long time, even when other methods and efforts they have tried before have been largely unsuccessful.