Borderline Personality Disorder In Teens

QUESTION: As a parent, how do I cope with borderline personality disorder in teens?

ANSWER:

Coping with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) in a child “causes distress for both the individual who has the disorder and all of the people who interact with him” says Gwen Morrison author of “Walking on Eggshells.”

In her article, Morrison brings to light the dilemma of parents who not only battle the disorder but obtaining a correct diagnosis for their child to begin with. Morrison tells the story of one parent who claims her child had been diagnosed with ADD early on, then later with bipolar disorder and finally, possible BPD.

In a very young child (toddler age), possible signs of BPD may be clinginess, difficulties with set restrictions, and possibly developmental issues. As the child grows toward their early teens you may see extreme mood swings and rage. Parents may also witness depression and destructive behaviors at this stage as well as increasing distrust in others and intense anger. This is also a time when self-mutilation and substance abuse may begin.

This is part of the difficulty in receiving an accurate diagnosis, as some of these symptoms are indicative of other disorders and to some degree, standard in becoming a teen. However, these actions are more intensified in BPD and they are often a response to stressful situations. It is difficult to diagnose BPD in young teens and some doctors are hesitant to do so until the victim reaches their late teens or early 20s. At this time when most are striving for independence, BPDs rarely travel alone due to their insecurities and intense distrust of others.

Many parents report that antidepressants, coupled with therapy and a lot of prayer, helps. However, even at this age, children’s medications should be monitored since many teens are not compliant with the regime for taking them as prescribed.

As a parent of a Borderline Personality Disorder victim, you may feel despair. But there is an increasing amount of knowledge about BPD and you are not in it alone. God is the answer to despair. Psalm 43:5 says, “Why am I discouraged? Why so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again -- my Savior and my God!” “That is why we never give up” (2 Corinthians 4:16).

Give your burdens to the Lord and trust Him to lead you to the right doctors and counselors. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Learn More About Borderline Personality

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