On the Edge: Spotting Signs of Borderline Personality Disorder in Your Teen

On the Edge: Spotting Signs of Borderline Personality Disorder in Your Teen

The experience of being a teenager is one of the hardest times in a person’s life. Your emotions are going completely bonkers, and adults are expecting you to become responsible for your actions. When this rough time is further complicated by a emotional and mental issue like borderline personality disorder, life can seem almost intolerable. That’s why knowing whether or not your teen is struggling with borderline personality disorder is key to their future happiness.

What is borderline personality disorder?

Borderline personality disorder is a serious mental disorder characterized by unstable moods, impulsive behavior and problems with self worth. Teens with borderline personality disorder have an insecure sense of who they are. Their sense of self changes all the time, including their self image and self identity.

They might view themselves in a negative way or might feel like they are no one. This instability causes frequent changes in their friendships, goals, values and, even, future jobs.

borderline personality disorder

Photo Source: Flickr User – sambod

For many teens, borderline personality disorder is disruptive to relationships with family members and friends. Researchers have not yet found the exact cause of borderline personality disorder, but it might be caused by a combination of genetics, brain chemistry and environment.

Signs of the disorder usually begin appearing during childhood. Treatment is difficult and might take years, but most people with severe symptoms can get better over time.

People with borderline personality disorder oftentimes have co-occurring issues such as depression, substance abuse and eating disorders. They are also at a higher risk to self harm, have suicidal thoughts and commit suicide.

Signs and symptoms

According to the DSM IV, if your teen is experiencing an enduring pattern of at least five of the following symptoms, they can be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder:

  • Feelings of severe emptiness and boredom
  • Impulsive, dangerous behaviors such as reckless driving, spending, binge drinking and experimenting with drugs
  • Self harming behavior such as cutting
  • Suicidal thoughts and behavior
  • Extreme behavior in relation to the fear of being abandoned
  • Intense emotions and mood swings
  • Feelings of low self worth
  • Anger issues, including throwing temper tantrums

Getting help

Finding out whether or not your teen has borderline personality disorder is crucial to their future happiness and stability. Sending your teen to a teenage mental health hospital, such as ViewPoint Center, can help them get an assessment for their emotional, behavioral and mental struggles, and will get them the diagnosis and treatment they need to start on their path towards getting better.

For more information about the ViewPoint Center and how we can help assess, diagnose and treat borderline personality disorder, please call us at 801-825-5222.


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