Borderline Personality - Treatment

The treatments described on this page are just some of the options that may be available to a person with borderline personality disorder.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is the first-line treatment for people with borderline personality disorder. A therapist can provide one-on-one treatment between the therapist and patient, or treatment in a group setting. Therapist-led group sessions may help teach people with borderline personality disorder how to interact with others and how to effectively express themselves.

It is important that people in therapy get along with, and trust their therapist. The very nature of borderline personality disorder can make it difficult for people with the disorder to maintain a comfortable and trusting bond with their therapist.

Two examples of psychotherapies used to treat borderline personality disorder include:

 

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT):
  • This type of therapy was developed for individuals with borderline personality disorder. DBT uses concepts of mindfulness and acceptance or being aware of and attentive to the current situation and emotional state. DBT also teaches skills that can help:
    • Control intense emotions
    • Reduce self-destructive behaviors
    • Improve relationships
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy:
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT):

  • This type of therapy can help people with borderline personality disorder identify and change core beliefs and behaviors that underlie inaccurate perceptions of themselves and others, and problems interacting with others. CBT may help reduce a range of mood and anxiety symptoms and reduce the number of suicidal or self-harming behavior.

    Medications

    Because the benefits are unclear, medications are not typically used as the primary treatment for borderline personality disorder. However, in some cases, a psychiatrist may recommend medications to treat specific symptoms such as:

    • mood swings
    • depression
    • other co-occurring mental disorders

    Treatment with medications may require care from more than one medical professional.

    Certain medications can cause different side effects in different people. Talk to your doctor about what to expect from a particular medication.