Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is often categorized — in short — as a mental illness where the survivor exhibits explosive anger, impulsive behaviors, and unstable relationships — with romantic partners, as well as friends and family. Due to the destructive nature of these symptoms, BPD has almost become a bad word in the mental health community. As an MSW, I have come across professionals who won’t work with individuals who have been diagnosed with BPD due to the stereotypical “abusive” nature of the disease. However, the symptoms listed above provide an overgeneralized assumption of the disorder based on only three out of nine possible symptoms — and all symptoms are frequently linked to trauma. This overgeneralization of BPD marginalizes survivors of the illness by belittling or oversimplifying their experience — particularly those who don’t fall under the assumed criteria. Furthermore, it makes finding help extremely difficult, let alone receiving an appropriate diagnosis. There are four types of Borderline Personality Disorder that all exhibit differently, and to be diagnosed with BPD, one must exhibit five out of nine possible criteria. The variation of symptoms then puts the survivor on a sliding scale of 256 possible representations of the disorder. Because of this, no one person fits 100% into any one of the four categories of BPD due to the number of possible variations. Survivors often exhibit symptoms that put them in more than one category — and sometimes all four — but the categories help survivors, loved ones, and professionals better understand Borderline Personality Disorder, possible causes, and treatment options.
How many times have you beat yourself up over something that happened in the past or behaviors that you previously had? How many times have you wished that you did something different, or that you could go back and change those circumstances?
Trauma. How many times have you heard or been told what trauma is, or what counts as trauma and what doesn’t? Everyone has their own perspective of trauma based on what they know, think they know, or what they have experienced; however, trauma affects each person differently. The following are five truths about trauma that I have learned from my personal experience and from my experience in social work.
Art therapy was established in 1942 by Adrian Hill, who found painting and drawing soothing while healing from tuberculosis (Team, 2016). Since then, art therapy has grown as a profession and has been utilized in the treatment of anxiety, depression, PTSD, cancer, eating disorders, and numerous other conditions. Art therapy is no longer limited to only painting or drawing as various other forms of visual art are utilized in this form of therapy – such as sculpting or collage making. The beauty about art therapy is that it allows individuals to express themselves in a non-verbal format, and the process of creating art has a soothing effect.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a frequently overgeneralized condition.