Usually not diagnosed officially in those under the age of 18, it is a personality disorder characterized by unstable relationships, extreme "black and white" thinking, and inconsistent moods that are never neutral. Because someone in need of Borderline help and treatment sees themselves in a flawed way, they often deem themselves as unworthy, "not good enough" and, therefore, not worthy of the very treatment they need. Life is hard for those in need of Borderline Personality Disorder treatment, and it can be equally as hard for those who live with that person.
Coping behaviors are necessary for a person with Borderline Personality Disorder. In order to deal with this world of pain, many cut on themselves or find other ways to self-harm as a means of releasing pain, some have eating disorders, some self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, and some develop other addictions such as sex. In every case, these behaviors are secondary to the real, underlying cause-the mental illness. Frustratingly, many mental health professionals often focus time and money on treating the coping behaviors instead of focusing on the core issues that are driving these behaviors. The result is a needless waste of resources that the families trying to help a patient can't afford to lose.
Yet make no mistake: those in need of help can find it today. Outstanding residential treatment options exist today with a great deal of sophistication around Borderline Personality Disorder treatment. These combine excellent psychiatric support, lots of intense therapy, skills training to help the sufferer to learn how to better emotionally regulate, and provide the peer and social group where important clinical lessons are taught. This new type of intervention can give families who live with people with Borderline Personality Disorder hope that the future can be better than the past.
Indeed, outcome studies today now demonstrate the efficacy of residential treatment as the best way to offer Borderline help. Helping those in need to find these kinds of programs should be a key priority for those in mental health today.