Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder - added by Caitlin Padick

Borderline Personality Disorder is often observed in children, diagnosed in young adults and is characterized by extreme emotions. It is a mental health condition that manifests itself in relationship problems and transient self image. Due to this conflicted and unstable self esteem, people diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder often also have other emotional disorders. They may self-injure, be depressed or suicidal. A person with Borderline Personality Disorder can be reckless and act with impunity and intent to be destructive. These actions and reactions often stem from fear of rejection and abandonment. It is difficult to treat a person with Borderline Personality Disorder due to the complexity of the behaviors and the refusal to acknowledge illness and the widespread nature of the manifestations. However treatment does result in improvements for most individuals.

What would a child with borderline personality disorder act like in your classroom? Many behaviors can indicate bpd however it is the persistence and intensity of the behaviors that indicate borderline personality disorder. A student may present with difficulty controlling their emotions, including anger and sadness, and may interact with students in overly intense or emotionally unstable ways. This child would always want to be part of the "in-crowd" and be part of any class activity. Not only would the student want to be a part of everything, he or she would also be anxious about possibility of being abandoned or not included. Because all children exemplify these behaviors at some point or another, these behaviors must be consistent over a long period of time in order for a diagnosis to be made.

This fear of abandonment is not usually without basis. Many people who have borderline personality disorder were the victim of a violent act or suffered the loss of a parent or separation from a parent at an early age. Borderline personality disorder also appears to run in families but its cause is not completely understood.

What should you do if you have a child with bpd in your classroom? Most often borderline personality disorder is treated with medications such as anti-depressants and counseling, these should be taking place for the child. In order for the child to manage their emotions in a more balanced way, you should ensure that they are receiving enough sleep at home and eating balanced meals. In addition exercise and athletic activity often helps to stabilize moods. Most importantly the child must have a place to vent and manage their anger in a controlled way. This may take place in a journal or you and the child may have a signal for when they just need to take a walk or go to the bathroom to calm down. Children should learn to recognize when they are feeling irritable or anxious. As a teacher you should also be aware of the relationships that child has with other students in your classroom and monitor them. Finally persons with borderline personality disorder often have thoughts of suicide or partake in suicidal actions.

WebMD. May 2005.