Identifying Teen Borderline Personality Disorder and Finding Treatment

Borderline personality disorder is a disorder which can be difficult to recognize in teens.   Many of the characteristics that indicate the presence of this disorder, such as impulsivity, moodiness, and lack of ability to maintain long term relationships, are normal teenage behaviors.  It is imperative, however, that teen borderline personality disorder treatment begin as early as possible because of the very serious behaviors which are often a result of this disorder.

Borderline personality disorder is also difficult to treat because of the co-occurring disorders which overlap the symptoms of borderline personality disorder.   Young women are likely to have disorders such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders in addition to the disorder and boy will often have substance abuse disorders.  Unfortunately, borderline personality disorder is often under-diagnosed or misdiagnosed due to these co-occurring disorders, which can mask the symptoms of borderline personality disorder.

Borderline personality disorder is usually treated with psychotherapy or talk therapy.  There are a number of different kinds of psychotherapy that are commonly utilized, and they include the following:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, can help teens with borderline personality disorder identify their core beliefs and thinking errors that underlie their behaviors.  They learn how to correct perceptions of themselves and of others.  They learn how to relate better to others and to manage their moodiness.  CBT is effective in reducing a number of the symptoms of borderline personality disorder including self-harming behaviors.

Dialectal Behavioral Therapy, or DBT, is next.  DBT is a combination of CBT and a mindfulness or awareness of their current situation.  DBT is effective because it teaches the individual to control intense emotions.  Studies have shown that this is an effective treatment for borderline personality disorder and is often the treatment of choice for many mental health practitioners.

Schema-Focused Therapy also mixes CBT with other forms of psychotherapy that focus on reframing the way that the teen views him or herself.

Family therapy is critical during teen borderline personality disorder treatment.   The behavior of the adolescent with this personality disorder can be extremely taxing to family members.  Family members need to be taught which behaviors are a result of the disorder.  They need to learn how to avoid some of the pitfalls which are inherent to working with borderlines, so that they can support their family member.

There are no medications approved for teen borderline personality disorder treatment by the U.S. Food and Drug administration.

If you have a teen with borderline personality disorder, the best course of action is to seek counseling from a therapist who specializes in this disorder.  If your teen suffers from self inflicted violence, such as cutting do not condemn them, but recognize that this too is a symptom of the disorder.   It is important to offer emotional support, patience and understanding for your teen, as this disorder can be very frightening.  Both you and your teen can find comfort in knowing that teen borderline personality disorder treatment is effective and accessible.