Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition as a chronic, mental disorder. As defined by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), “borderline personality disorder is an illness characterized by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, behavior, and self-image.” It is highly common for individuals with BPD to lack the ability to foster and maintain meaningful, lasting relationships. Every individual is unique, and each will require a customized treatment plan that is often comprised of a variety of treatment methods. To accommodate all the needs of an individual diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, a treatment plan could include one or more psychotherapeutic modalities, such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), schema-focused therapy, mentalization-based therapy (MBT), and more. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve a medication explicitly designed to treat borderline personality disorder. There are, however, certain medications that can help to alleviate and/ or reduce some of the symptoms arising from BPD or co-occurring disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety, etc.). Common examples of types of medication prescribed as a component of one’s BPD treatment plan include:
- Antidepressants: Many individuals diagnosed with BPD experience anxiety, emotional reactivity, and low mood. Antidepressants were developed to treat individuals with major depressive disorders, alleviating some of the same side effects. Common examples: Celexa (citalopram), Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Anticonvulsants/ mood stabilizers: are used to treat impulsive behaviors that can manifest as a symptom of borderline personality disorder. Common examples: Topamax (topiramate), Lamictal (lamotrigine)
- Anti-anxiety medications/ anxiolytics: are used to reduce anxiety, but it has been reported that certain types of anxiolytics may worsen BPD symptoms for some people. Therefore, anti-anxiety drugs are often prescribed with caution. Common examples: Lexapro (escitalopram), Zoloft (sertraline)
- Antipsychotics: have been known to reduce paranoid thinking, minimize anxiety, lessen anger and/ or hostility, and reduce impulsivity in patients diagnosed with BPD. Common examples: Zyprexa (olanzapine), Lamictal (lamotrigine)
Although BPD is a chronic condition, there are a variety of treatment options available for a person diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder. Treatment for BPD will help an individual learn strategies, techniques, and tools to effectively manage the symptoms associated with borderline personality disorder, reducing the severity of symptoms experienced and increasing one’s quality of life.
Further Information and Support
Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At Upwell Advisors, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process.
If left untreated, substance abuse, addiction, and/ or mental illness can result in long-lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to leading happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. Please do not hesitate to reach out for guidance. We welcome the opportunity to discuss how we might best be able to help you or your loved one in the recovery process.