Borderline Personality disorder treatment center - MIAMI, FL

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What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

The National Alliance for Mental Illness highlights that borderline personality disorder is one of the most stigmatized mental health conditions within our society (Fruzzetti, 2017). Individuals who experience borderline personality disorder are oftentimes exposed to judgments, discrimination, shame, blame and negative assumptions about their struggles and diagnosis (Fruzzetti, 2017). One of the most damaging myths surrounding BPD is that it is not treatable and that individuals suffering from this disorder can’t have quality of life and functionality (Fruzzetti, 2017). However, borderline personality disorder in fact can be very effectively treated by using evidence-based approaches and with the effective support from a treatment team (Mayo Clinic). As a result of these myths and the way individuals with BPD are portrayed in media outlets as well as misinformation surrounding this diagnosis a lot of adolescents and young adults are reluctant to discuss the symptoms (Fruzzetti, 2017). This leads to more silent suffering and further exacerbation of symptoms such as dysregulation, emotional disturbance, and impulsive behaviors (Fruzzetti, 2017). In addition, borderline personality disorder is oftentimes misdiagnosed as other mental health illness due to the similarity in symptomatology with disorders like Bipolar, Anxiety, Substance Abuse and Depression (Fruzzetti, 2017). Although these disorders can co-occur with one another the focus is oftentimes not on borderline personality disorder symptomatology leading people to be misdiagnosed and mistreated (Fruzzetti, 2017).

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders describes borderline personality disorder as being characterized by a marked pattern of instability in relationships with self and others (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). It also affects a person’s self-image, affect, and ability to control impulse (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).

An individual struggling with borderline personality disorder experiences an intense fear of abandonment (real or imagined) which oftentimes leads them to engage in unsafe behaviors as a form of avoiding abandonment.  Although it’s not uncommon for a person to display borderline personality disorder tendencies in adolescence, borderline personality disorder is diagnosed in early adulthood. The National Educational Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder stated that 5.9% of adults (14 million Americans) are affected by borderline personality disorder throughout their lifetime. BPD also affects 20% of patients that are admitted to a psychiatric hospital and affects 10% of people in outpatient mental health treatment. (National Educational Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder).

Diagnosing Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Per the DSM- V, in order for an individual to be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder they must display a pervasive pattern of unstable interpersonal relationships, affect, self-image, and marked impulsivity beginning in early adulthood and affecting multiple environments (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). The individual must also have five or more of the symptoms outlined below (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).

  • Pattern of unstable relationships (i.e., going from idealizing and loving a person to experiencing the person negatively as someone who doesn’t have the best intentions or does not care).
  • Intense fear of abandonment (real or imagined) and going to extreme lengths to avoid real or imagined separation and rejection.
  • Drastic and rapid changes in self-identity and image. Some of these changes include shifting goals, values, seeing self in negative manner, or as someone who is inexistent.
  • Experiencing periods of stress-related paranoia and loss of contact with reality that could last from a few minutes to a few hours.
  • Engaging in impulsive and risk-taking behaviors such as: gambling, reckless driving, spending sprees, binge eating, drug abuse, unsafe sex, sabotaging success or positive opportunities.
  • Suicidal behavior (ideation/attempts/threats) & Self-injurious behaviors oftentimes in an attempt to cope with fear of separation, abandonment, or rejection.
  • Drastic mood swings that can last from a few hours to a few days. These mood swings can include emotions like irritability, intense anger, intense happiness, shame, or anxiety.
  • Inappropriate or intense anger seen in the form of losing one’s temper, being bitter/sarcastic and engaging in externalized behaviors such as physical aggression.

Borderline Personality Disorder Risk Factors

Some of the risk factors that contribute to the development of borderline personality disorder are:


Environment (i.e., history of abuse and neglect, stressful environments)

Genetic Predisposition

Genetic predisposition is another risk factor that contribue to the development of borderline personality disorder. (i.e., family members struggling with personality disorders and brain abnormalities (i.e., certain areas of the brain involved in emotional regulation, impulse control, inhibition, and aggression). (Mayo Clinic, 2019).

Side Effects of Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality disorder can severely impact a person’s daily functioning in many areas of their lives such as professional, educational, personal, social, interpersonal, intrapersonal (Mayo Clinic, 2019). Some of the consequences of the challenging behaviors displayed by an individual suffering with borderline personality disorder range from legal issues due to reckless behavior, academic and professional struggles, conflictive relationships, self-injurious behaviors, suicidality, and health issues (Mayo Clinic, 2019). Borderline Personality Disorder is known to be comorbid with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, PTSD, CPTSD, substance misuse/abuse, ADHD and other personality disorders (Mayo Clinic, 2019).

Generalized Anxiety Disorder Treatment Options

With the appropriate treatment, the prognosis for individuals with BPD has shown to be very positive and promising. If the person is engaged in treatment, they tend to see a reduction in symptoms and improvement in quality of life and functionality.  The most common forms of therapy used to treat BPD are:

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

A treatment modality that primarily focuses on acceptance, mindfulness, change and motivation to reduce self-injurious behaviors and suicidal tendencies (Mayo Clinic). DBT combines the use of acceptance-based techniques that promote acceptance of the client and their emotional state at the moment primarily through the use of validation (Dewan, Steenbarger & Greenberg, 2018). Given the concerning array of problematic beliefs and behaviors that clients enter therapy with, DBT also uses change-based techniques to support patients with new skills and positive behaviors. (Dewan, Steenbarger & Greenberg, 2018). In addition, at the core of DBT is implementing problem solving skills through effective behavioral assessment, exposure, cognitive modification, and skills training. (Dewan, Steenbarger & Greenberg, 2018). DBT can be in the form of group therapy and individual therapy specifically focused on the treatment of BPD (Mayo Clinic, 2019). DBT uses a skill- based approach that supports clients with learning how to manage their emotions, improve relationships and tolerate distress (Dewan, Steenbarger & Greenberg, 2018).

Schema-Focused Therapy

A form of talk therapy that can be done in a group setting or individually (Mayo Clinic, 2019). This approach supports clients in the process of identifying unmet needs that have resulted in the formation of negative life patterns. These patterns have aided with survival but tend to be negative/hurtful in their lives. Schema-Focused Therapy supports with the development of skills that aid with meeting needs in a healthy manner and attunes to a person’s emotions. (Mayo Clinic, 2019).


In combination with therapy there are medications that are effective to support with some of the BPD symptoms (Mayo Clinic, 2019). In addition, medication particularly helps when there is the presence of a co-occurrence disorder in combination with BPD (Mayo Clinic, 2019). Medication options usually prescribed to individuals with BPD are anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, and/or mood stabilizers (Mayo Clinic, 2019).

If you are wondering what Borderline Personality is and whether or not you might have it, it is important to seek clarity regarding what it is, the symptoms, and seeking professional advice for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Getting Treatment for Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Miami, Florida

Galen Hope, a mental health treatment center in Miami, Florida, provides comprehensive services for a wide range of diagnoses and related conditions, including: Eating Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Borderline Personality Disorder, Dependent Personality Disorder, Mood Disorders, PTSD/Trauma, Psychosis, Thought Disorders, and Schizoid Personality Disorder. Our treatment integrates the best concepts of residential programs, partial hospitalization programs, and community psychology in order to provide an experience that not only feels uniquely meaningful to the client, but also breaks the cycle of repeated hospitalizations, over-institutionalization, and isolation from community and family.

To learn more, or to join our community, contact us below.


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).

Dewan, M. J., Steenbarger, B. N., & Greenberg, R. P. (2018). The art and science of brief psychotherapies: A practitioner's guide. American psychiatric Association publishing.

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2019, July 17). Borderline personality disorder. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved September 10, 2021, from  disorder/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20370242.

Nea.bpd. (2011, July 8). The family connections program. National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder. Retrieved September 10, 2021, from

Why borderline personality disorder is misdiagnosed. NAMI. (2017). Retrieved September 13, 2021, from

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