Parental Conflicts with Teen Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder is difficult both for the individual and for the teen’s family.  Symptoms including extreme moodiness or mood dysregulation, extreme impulsivity, and unstable relationships with other people, including family can cause significant parental conflicts with teen borderline personality disorder.

It is not just the primary symptoms of the disorder that can be difficult, but also the co-occurring disorders which also cause conflict between teens and their parents.  Individuals with the disorder are also much more likely to have depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and substance abuse disorders.   Eighty percent of teens with borderline personality disorder also have suicidal behaviors or problems with self-inflicted violence, most often in the form of “cutting.”

Parents who see their talented child’s grades and performance failing due to their extreme moodiness and impulsivity are often frustrated and easily angered.  It is difficult for parents to understand the teen, especially when they are told by well meaning friends and relatives that it is “just teenage behavior.”  Because they believe that they “should” be able to help their son or daughter with his or her behaviors, parents are often resistant to seeing professionals.

Borderline personality disorder is treatable.   Studies have shown that it can effectively treated using several types of psychotherapy.  There are no medications available for borderline personality disorder, however sometimes the co-occurring disorders can be treated with medications. In spite of parental conflicts with teen borderline personality disorder, the families who are affected by the disorder can hang on to hope for the future.