Family Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder in Irvine, CA
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, Alter Behavioral Health can help you and your family to understand and manage the symptoms while discovering the best treatment options for your unique needs. Treatments may include psychotherapy, medication, and family therapy. A borderline personality disorder is often misunderstood, but with our mental health treatment help in Irvine, you can live healthier lives while regulating emotional responses better and maintaining important relationships.
What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?
A borderline personality disorder is a serious, long-lasting mental illness that affects how a person manages their emotions and feelings about themselves and others, which can cause issues functioning normally in everyday life.
Experts believe that BPD occurs because of a combination of genetics, biology, and environmental experiences like neglect or abuse as a child. Symptoms often emerge from late adolescence to early adulthood and may gradually get better with age, and some treatments can help.
Living with BPD involves experiencing long-term emotional pain, which can cause a person to act in ways that do not follow cultural norms and cause additional feelings of distress. Feeling out of control of one’s own emotions can cause impulsivity, which may result in dangerous or unhelpful decision-making. For example, a person may engage in actions like spending sprees, taking recklessly, or binge eating. They may also engage in self-harm or have suicidal thoughts.
Another symptom of BPD is low self-esteem, as it can affect how the person feels about themselves, with shifting goals and changes in self-identity that can cause uncertainty. A person with BPD may feel dissociated or cut off from their own body as well, with a sense of unreality that feels like they are outside, looking in on their own life.
BPD also negatively impacts the person’s relationships with others, as they may feel very close to a person and then instantly swing to strong dislike. A fear of abandonment is also a common symptom, making it feel intolerable to be alone. They will often view people as all good or bad and can shift instantaneously between emotional extremes, making you feel like you have to tiptoe around them to avoid upsetting them. They may also blame everything on you, even when it does not make logical sense.
These issues make it very difficult to maintain friendships, cause instability in relationships and can result in fights and major issues with family members. This is why the role of the family in BPD management is so big. The better a person’s loved ones understand the disorder, the better they can help their loved ones and avoid alienation.
How Does BPD Affect Family Members?
Intense, variable moods are difficult to manage and can cause strain on even the closest relationships. As a family member of a person with BPD, you may be on the receiving end when your loved one has angry outbursts. They may suffer from chronic abandonment fears, acting out in ways that can cause family members to feel helpless or even abused. Your loved one may also act impulsively, taking dangerous risks and being unpredictable, which can stress your life. It can feel confusing, disruptive, and frightening, and some impulsive behaviors like substance abuse, gambling, impulsive spending, or sex issues can cause marriages to fall apart.
If a teenager is experiencing these symptoms, parents and siblings may have to deal with issues like skipping school, drug use, or suicide attempts. If it is a parent with BPD, their symptoms may cause children to experience an unstable home environment, where they find themselves walking on eggshells, uncertain how mom or day will react to them.
Living with a person who is experiencing paranoid thoughts, angry outbursts, irritability, depression, and other serious symptoms can be frustrating. Treatment for BPD with therapy, medication, and holistic strategies for stress management can help your loved one to regain their sense of self, it can reduce their chronic emotional discomfort and can help them regulate their responses, which will, in turn, reduce any chaos and pain caused by BPD.
The importance of family counseling in these situations cannot be understated. If you want to maintain a loving and healthy relationship with this person, understanding the disorder and learning coping techniques as they seek treatment will give you the tools you need to live life as normally as possible.
Techniques used in family therapy for BPD help educate family members, friends, and loved ones on the disorder while giving new strategies for problem-solving, improving communication, and receiving support that will improve the overall marriage or family functioning.
The Importance of Family Counseling Services for BPD Treatment
One of the main benefits of family therapy for BPD in Irvine is regaining a stable, rewarding relationship with your loved one by improving communication and setting firm boundaries. You must recognize that they are not “being difficult” or “acting crazy”, in fact, they are suffering, and their symptoms are simply coping mechanisms that have developed over time to be able to deal with the deep emotional pain they are experiencing. Their actions, words, and behaviors are not occurring to hurt you purposely, they are usually only acting out in an attempt to try and stop their internal pain.
Family counselors who are well-versed in borderline personality disorder family dynamics have strong expertise in relationships, communication, and the impact that BPD symptoms can have on a family. They will teach everybody how to provide support and avoid slipping back into old triggering or enabling habits.
You will learn about active listening, remaining calm, and understanding the emotions behind hurtful words. You will also learn how to take care of yourself. Through strong support, you will learn to manage stress, live your life, and understand that it is not your fault that they feel the way they do. It is possible to live a healthy, full life and maintain a good relationship with your loved one with BPD; family counseling can help.
Other Types of Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder
Along with family counseling services, treating borderline personality disorder usually requires a combination of medication and psychotherapy. For some, spending time in a hospital may also be required, especially if they are experiencing a mental health crisis.
Medications for BPD may include antidepressants, antipsychotics, anxiolytics, mood stabilizers, and anticonvulsants. While they do not solve BPD, these medications can reduce the severity of symptoms, like paranoia, anxiety, and depression, for a more comfortable life.
Some of the most common types of therapy offered for BPD treatment include:
- Mentalization-Based Therapy: Therapy that teaches patients how to recognize their own mental states, thoughts, and feelings, along with those of the people around them (friends and family). Once they can recognize these mental states, they can understand how these thoughts lead to certain behaviors in themselves and others.
- Schema-Focused Therapy: A type of integrative psychotherapy that uses both psychoanalytic theories and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to help address a person’s maladaptive beliefs learned in childhood due to unmet needs. Schema-focused therapists help patients challenge these types of beliefs and behaviors while teaching new ways to think and cope with stress.
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): A form of cognitive behavioral therapy that helps patients understand how their thoughts and beliefs can lead to actions and behaviors. DBT teaches distress management and coping skills to help deal with strong emotions. Mindfulness is also incorporated into DBT, as is interpersonal effectiveness, which teaches how to advocate for oneself, set healthy boundaries, and communicate effectively.
- Transference-Focused Psychotherapy: Therapy that focuses on how the patient transfers expectations and emotions from early relationships onto other people in the present. Through transference-focused psychotherapy, the therapist can learn how the patient relates to others and help them respond healthier and more effectively.
Several self-help tools can help people with this disorder to understand it better, learn healthier coping skills, gain confidence in their ability to handle difficult situations, and express emotions in new ways. Listening to music, exercising, and engaging in an active activity like cleaning or working on a hobby are some good options for a person to ride out the discomfort and strong emotions.
Get Family Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder at Alter Behavioral Health
If you need help finding BPD family therapy services in Irvine, consider Alter Behavioral Health. Our team offers various treatment options, including family therapy, group therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and emotion regulation programs. We may also consider including medication in an integrated treatment plan, depending on each patient’s individual needs.
There are many success stories of family therapy for BPD in Irvine, and at Alter Behavioral Health, we can help you and your family to write your own. If you or a loved one have borderline personality disorder and are looking for treatment options in the Orange County California area, please call our treatment center today. A specialist will be able to guide you and let you know more about the treatment options that are available to you.
Contact Alter Behavioral Health at 866-647-2716 today to learn more about using family therapy borderline personality disorder treatment.