Dialectical Behavior Therapy (BPD)

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Mental illnesses are more readily labeled today than at any other time in history. Today it is estimated that approximately 26 percent of the American adult population suffers from some mental illness. Growth in this number will likely skyrocket as a younger generation grows out of the category of the age of onset ‘teens’ into young adults. When it is commonplace for patients to hesitate before questioning their doctors, the possibility of becoming overwhelmed in a sea of side effects that are worse than the threat they encounter from the disorder grows. While it is difficult to narrow medicine down to a one size fits all answer, a look at a specific personality disorder, in which the patient is often misdiagnosed or labeled as normal …show more content…
The diagnosis can be considered a series of personality flaws and the patient may be stigmatized as chronically difficult. Until recent studies began to show an increase in successful treatments from Dialectical Behavior Therapy, medications were often and still are prescribed to control symptoms of BPD. Music therapy, canine therapy, and recreational therapies are all excellent inclusions to Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Stephanie Fitzgerald uses a case study of a teen named Abby to outline examples of symptoms. Fitzgerald states, “people with BPD … can’t seem to handle the intensity of their feelings [and] often end up doing self-destructive things such as drinking, taking drugs, having sex with many partners, or physically harming themselves.” These behaviors appear to be attention seeking, but often are a result of an inner struggle to fill a void that is all consuming. Most often attention from others is not the driving force behind the behaviors. Lack of healthy coping skills, and a desperate need to be complete result in extreme behaviors that could potentially leave the patient in a state of crisis. “Abby was hospitalized but found little relief from medication. ‘She was like a zombie’ her mom recalls” and she was not alone (Fitzgerald). In a study that compared the use of neuroleptics, antidepressants and placebos, it was found that although “haloperidol produced modest improvements in psychotic symptoms, depression, and several other areas; there was no difference between amitriptyline and placebo, but a few patients actually became worse when given the antidepressant, say the researchers” (Bower, ‘Borderline’ Drugs). Due to the nature of this disorder, it must be considered that there is no single solution for treatment. Bower notes, “Many borderline personalities tend to slip into a short-lived psychosis under stress or the influence of drugs. When compared

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