I was diagnosed with Boderline Personality Disorder. I have not yet been prescribed any medication. I am also currently seeing a therapist. The problem is I have terrible mood swings, uncontrollable anger, and now am constantly arguing with my husband. He says he trys so hard to avoid my temper, mood swings or outbursts but says I never understand anything he is saying to me and I take everything he says the wrong way. Sometimes I feel that I do that and other times I don’t. My marriage is on the rocks right now and I don’t want to lose him. please help!
- Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
- Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
- Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
It goes without saying that we cannot save your marriage…or anyone else’s for that matter. However, I do have some thoughts and observations that I hope you will find useful.
It is important for you to know that there is no medication bor Borderline Personality Disorder because BPD has more to do with learned behavior than anything chemical. Now, having said this I can tell you from experience that many people with BPD are helped with medication. You see, with BPD there comes lots of depression, anxiety and loss of sleep, not to mention agitation and even paranoia. Medicines can help with some of that.
The key to BPD is long term psychotherapy, especially what is known as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). In DBT people learn how to reduce their feelings of anger, agitation and anxiety through such techniques as meditation, visualization, deep breating, muscle tension-relaxation and yoga. In DBT these techniques are used with cognitive techniques whereby people learn to recognize unrealistic or distorted thought with realistic and accurate thinking. It is common for people to begin with an individual psychologist using DBT and to then move on to DBT group therapy.
The therapy takes a long time because it takes a long time to unlearn destructive ways of thinking and acting and replace them. However, all the research shows that this is the best way to treat BPD. Medication is used as a way to calm things down enough until the therapy takes hold.
Your husband needs to understand the process and even join you in couples counseling for some of the sessions.
In the mean time, you need to recognize those times when you get out of control and then use meditation, etc. to calm yourself. Check out self help section of the web site to learn some of the calming techniques that I am referring to.