Is borderline personality disorder a disability? May is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) month. This makes it a great time to spread awareness of this mental health condition.
So many people with this disorder struggle with daily expectations in their relationships, personally and professionally. As a result, they develop poor habits in order to cope, such as drugs, alcohol, or food. Stability, no matter how hard it is sought, is tough to maintain. And feeling things emotionally means feeling them intensely.
This is just the surface of BPD.
This disorder can be crippling enough to lead to job loss and the inability to maintain steady employment. Does that mean borderline personality disorder is a disability?
What is Borderline Personality Disorder?
Borderline personality disorder is one of several personality disorders that millions of people struggle with every year. It is characterized by emotional instability, poor self-esteem/self-image, impulsive behavior, and broken relationships. Simply put, BPD influences the way one thinks and feels about themselves and those around them.
Having difficulty managing emotions makes it difficult to get through day-to-day tasks, leading these individuals to seek ways to self-soothe. In turn, they become at greater risk for substance abuse disorder and/or eating disorders, too. And 10% of those who are diagnosed will die by suicide.
Living with untreated borderline personality disorder can be difficult so professional intervention is highly recommended. Those who undergo the right treatment are able to find ways to successfully cope with their feelings and begin to manage their symptoms.
Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder
It can be hard to love and care for one’s self as well as relate to others when dealing with borderline personality disorder.
Is borderline personality disorder a disability? To break it down, let’s take a closer look at the signs and symptoms of this mental health disorder:
- Variable mood swings that can last from hours to days, such as anxiety, shame, happiness, frustration, irritability, and more
- Engaging in impulsive or risky behaviors, such as binge eating, gambling, promiscuity, overspending, reckless driving, alcohol or drug abuse, sabotaging healthy relationships, jobs, or schooling
- Intense anger or sarcasm
- Fear of abandonment (including separation or rejection)
- Changes in identity, often involving changes in goals, career paths, values, and so forth
- Poor self-image, often seen one’s self as bad, unworthy, or nonexistent
- Thoughts of suicide or behavior – may even include suicide attempts
- Feelings of emptiness and loneliness
- Paranoia or otherwise loss of touch with reality – this often results due to high levels of stress or extreme fear of abandonment
In other words, those with borderline personality disorder have a high risk of suicide, exhibit severe mood swings, engage in self-destructive behavior, and have unstable relationships.
A true diagnosis of borderline personality disorder must come from a mental health professional based on the criteria set forth in the DSM.
Is Borderline Personality Disorder a Disability?
Is borderline personality disorder a disability? According to the Social Security Administration, borderline personality disorder is a mental health disorder classified as disabilities. Though, in order to qualify for the benefits, specific criteria need to be met.
The individual will need to be able to show that they have the symptoms of the disability and that it has been a disruption to normal life.
Struggling to be able to maintain a healthy life due to BPD is not always easy to prove which is why applying for relief can be quite tedious. You will need to have enough work credits, make no errors on the application, and be professionally diagnosed.
Causes of Borderline Personality Disorder?
While there is no definitive cause of borderline personality disorder, mental health professionals believe that this disorder may be caused by one or more of the following:
There is evidence that those with a history of BPD in their family will be at an increased risk for developing the disorder.
Trauma or other environmental factors
Past trauma or child abuse can lead to an increased risk of BPD. In fact, a large percentage of those who have been diagnosed with the disorder have experienced some type of trauma as a child, such as sexual, emotional, or physical abuse. Maternal separation, poor family boundaries, and parental substance abuse are also found to be linked with BPD.
There has been some research that shows the brain misfires and doesn’t communicate properly which can impact behavior and emotional control.
Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline personality disorder can almost always be successfully addressed when the right treatment is sought. Those who are struggling with it often find that once they have the right tools and skills to be able to gain control over their emotions and impulses, they are better able to manage the condition.
One of the most effective treatments for BPD is behavioral therapy. This often gives the client exactly what they need, improving their mood and outlook while helping them to regulate their emotions. Behavioral therapy may include one-on-one therapy sessions that allow them to undergo intensive exercises and create a long-term treatment plan.
With the help of a therapist, clients will be able to tackle all the struggles that come with BPD, including:
- Getting rid of impulsive behaviors
- Replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts and emotions
- Empowering one’s self
- Working on interpersonal communication skills
A borderline personality disorder isn’t always severe. It can dissipate as time passes and, with the right tools, many of these individuals will go on to lead happy lives with healthy relationships.
Borderline Personality Disorder at Amend Treatment
Is borderline personality disorder a disability? Borderline personality disorder is a disability that can disrupt your entire life. From the inability to maintain employment to a long list of broken or damaged relationships, this disorder can make life complicated and miserable. It can also lead to additional issues, such as eating disorders or substance abuse problems.
So, again, is borderline personality disorder a disability? Absolutely.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with BPD – or may be struggling with some of the symptoms – then it is time to seek professional help.
At Amend Treatment, we use behavioral therapy combined with different modalities to help you gain the tools and strength needed to find a fulfilled, joyful life.
Contact us today to learn more.