Borderline personality disorder and its treatment

Vaiva Būgaitė1

1Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania


Borderline personality disorder is a difficult and complex mental illness seen in about 1.7% of the general population. It is characterized by emotional dysregulation, impaired perception of oneself and impulsive and sometimes aggressive behaviour. Many difficulties arise from self-harm and suicidal behaviour – 10% of the people with this disorder commit suicide. The treatment of this illness is hampered by additional disorders, such as alcohol dependence and drug addiction. The disorder is believed to be caused by genetic factors linked to the bipolar spectrum, as well as harmful environmental factors, such as domestic violence and neglect.

Borderline personality disorder usually surfaces during adolescence. Its symptoms manifest in a wave-like pattern, but with appropriate treatment methods, good results can be achieved. Studies have shown that even though pharmacological treatment does not affect all symptoms of borderline personality disorder, it combines well with psychotherapy. The five main scientifically proven methods of psychotherapy for borderline personality disorder are dialectical behaviour therapy, mentalization-based therapy, schema therapy, transference-focused therapy and Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving.

Aim: To analyze borderline personality disorder and its treatment methods described in various scientific literature.

Methods: Pubmed was chosen as the source of literature. Specific keywords such as borderline personality disorder, psychotherapy, a treatment were used to find relevant information. A total of 150 articles were carefully reviewed and sifted accordingly to remove articles with indistinguishable information, abstracts and titles unrelated to the topic at hand as well as articles older than 5 years. Either full articles or only their abstracts were analyzed with a final remaining count of 26 suitable articles.

Keywords: borderline personality disorder, psychotherapy, treatment.