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Borderline Personality Disorder

Posted May 21 2010 9:24am




Borderline Personality Disorder often co-occurs with other mental illnesses. For many, the associated behaviors develop as coping mechanisms to deal with inherent symptoms of an existing, biologically-driven illness. NAMI spokespoeple have said this about the cause of BPD:

“At this point in time, clinical theorists believe that biogenetic and environmental components are both necessary for the disorder to develop.  These factors are varied and complex.  Many different environments may further contribute to the development of the disorder.  Families providing reasonably nurturing and caring environments may nevertheless see their relative develop the illness. In other situations, childhood abuse has exacerbated the condition. The best explanation appears to be that there is a confluence of environmental factors and a neurobiological propensity that leads to a sensitive, emotionally labile child.”  

Just two days ago, representatives from some of the nation’s premiere mental health research and advocacy organizations met on capitol hill to share new information regarding Borderline Personality Disorder. Here is an excerpt from a  NAMI press release regarding that session:


The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder co-sponsored a congressional briefing on Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) on May 19.

Borderline Personality Disorder affects more than two million people and is just as common as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. People living with BPD can face additional challenges due to the complicated nature of symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. The high risk of self-injury and suicide make proper treatment all the more urgent.

Do your part to end the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder-
Leading mental health experts, including Thomas Insel, M.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and John Oldan, M.D., president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), spoke with the congressional group about the challenges people living with BPD face and treatment options.

At the briefing, NAMI Executive Director Michael Fitzpatrick said:

Borderline Personality Disorder is a serious mental illness that can cause a lot of challenges, carries a significant risk of suicide and requires an accurate diagnosis along with targeted treatment.

We know that treatment works, but too often stigma discourages people living with mental illness from getting the help that they need. Untreated mental illness has significant personal, social and economic implications. We urge Congress to increase funding of research, treatment and services for those living with BPD and their families.

For even more information, click here for a downloadable PDF pamphlet.

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