What is Borderline Personality Disorder? Expert explains

Approximately 1.4% of the population suffer from borderline personality disorder, most in conjuction with another mental illness. In this video, Clinical psychologist Dr. Ali Mattu explains what BPD is and how it can be treated.

Video Transcript


ALI MATTU, PHD: Borderline personality disorder has four main problem areas. The first is about identity, understanding yourself, who you are. And number two, it's about relationships, a long pattern of difficult relationships. Number three, difficulty managing intense emotions. And number four, sometimes doing things that are impulsive, like self-injury or sometimes substance use. We know borderline personality disorder emerges out of a combination of biology, environment, and experience.


Depression is a mood disorder. It's about feeling low, and in the case of bipolar depression, feeling low or feeling high, feeling fast and slow. Borderline personality disorder is a little bit different, and it's this longer pattern of problems. And why that's an important distinction, different treatments work for depression and different treatments work for borderline personality disorder.

One of the most effective treatments is dialectical behavior therapy. In this treatment, you learn more about yourself, how you've been experiencing borderline personality disorder, and skills to overcome the problems it produces. For a long time, we didn't have any treatments that worked for borderline personality disorder, but we do now. There are a number of effective treatments available, and there is help and there's hope.


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