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Symptoms & Diagnosis

How to Prevent a Misdiagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder

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BPD misdiagnosis preventionBorderline Personality Disorder (BPD) can sometimes be misdiagnosed, or not diagnosed at all. But in order to get the right kind of Borderline Personality Disorder treatment, you need to make sure you get a correct diagnosis of BPD.

Open up about Your BPD Symptoms

The best way to prevent being misdiagnosed by a mental health professional is to be as open and honest with them as possible when discussing your symptoms. Many people suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder symptoms carry shame associated with their behaviors. Seeking professional help is a huge step in the right direction, but some people are reluctant to be fully honest about their BPD symptoms when initially meeting with a therapist.

Borderline Personality Disorder therapy is an important step in healing from the worst aspects of the disorder, but effective BPD treatment can only be undertaken when your symptoms and inner thought processes are revealed. Prior to your first appointment with a therapist, it may behoove you to write down some of your most troubling symptoms:

  • What is the quality of your interpersonal relationships? Are they fraught with conflict?
  • Do you ever entertain thoughts of suicide?
  • Do you engage in impulsive or self-destructive behaviors?
  • Do you have a substance abuse problem?
  • Do you always feel misunderstood or ignored?

Preparing a list of what issues you want to address, what BPD symptoms you are manifesting, what your thoughts are like, and what your goals are in therapy will help you get your Borderline Personality Disorder treatment off to a good start. The more honest you can be with your therapist, the better.

Doctors and therapists are not mind readers. Yes, they may have years of practice diagnosing and treating patients effectively, but without your help, they cannot make the most accurate diagnosis.

Don’t Be Ashamed

It is difficult to see oneself clearly to begin with. None of us can be objective when we see ourselves and our world through our own unique lens. If you are suffering with symptoms that have caused difficulties in your interpersonal relationships, it may be hard to accept that your own behavior contributed to the problems. Sometimes we resist taking blame or responsibility for fear that admitting our culpability will shame us or paint us in a bad light.

If you hold back out of fear, denial, or shame from telling your doctor or therapist about the full gamut of your symptoms, you are more likely to be given an inaccurate diagnosis. Many BPD symptoms are common to a host of mood and personality disorders, and reporting a partial list of your issues can easily result in misdiagnosis.

If you are initially misdiagnosed, it can take a good deal of time to figure out that you may actually have Borderline Personality Disorder. You may be prescribed medications that are not as suitable as others or you may opt for a therapeutic approach that is less effective than ideal based on wrong assumptions about your core issue.

Borderline Personality Disorder therapy and treatment is a joint effort that is most successful when both patient and therapist are equally invested in the recovery process. You can start off on the right foot by being prepared to ask your own questions and coming to your therapist’s office with a thorough list of your BPD symptoms, ready to be as honest as possible.

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