If you are just learning about Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), whether you have been diagnosed or whether a loved one has, you will undoubtedly want to know whether it can be cured.
When we discuss BPD, we generally refer to a person recovering from the disorder rather than being cured of it. There is no known “cure” for Borderline Personality Disorder. You cannot eradicate it with antibiotics or surgically remove it. The bottom line is that a person with BPD can successfully recover to a degree that they may display no BPD symptoms, and that can only be seen as a huge success.
People addressing substance abuse problems often refer to their journey as “being in recovery” as opposed to seeking to “cure” themselves of their addictions. This may be a useful way to think about BPD treatment as well: you hope to alleviate all of the troubling symptoms of BPD knowing that the underlying root causes remain.
Road to Recovery from BPD
Borderline Personality Disorder was once believed to be extremely difficult to treat, but now successful recovery from BPD is more common. New developments in how BPD is treated have brought us to an era where there are many therapeutic techniques that offer clients proven methods of eliminating or greatly reducing the symptoms of BPD.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is the most effective evidence-based treatment available for Borderline Personality Disorder. Developed at the University of Washington by Dr. Marsha Linehan, DBT studies have shown that the treatment has high rate of success in helping people with BPD overcome their most troubling symptoms. DBT focuses on teaching clients mindfulness, emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and distress tolerance skills.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy is only one form of BPD treatment. Other effective treatments include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Schema-Based Therapy, and Transference-Focused Therapy. Any course of Borderline Personality Disorder treatment requires dedication to a complete recovery on the part of the therapist and the client.
Staying Committed to BPD Recovery
It takes time to adopt entirely new ways of thinking. The way people respond to emotional triggers is usually an entirely unconscious thing, so learning to react differently takes time and practice. It’s not at all unusual to experience setbacks during BPD therapy. The primary ingredient to success is the client themselves, and their ongoing commitment to practicing the skills developed in BPD treatment.
The earlier a person enters treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder, the better. BPD is difficult to treat and, for some, the skills taught in therapy are difficult to put into practice. The sooner the process begins, the sooner real change and healing can take place.
Recovering from BPD is a long-term goal and will be challenging work at times, but huge improvements in quality of life for those suffering from BPD are more possible today than ever before. Family members and friends of the person in treatment for BPD can assist in the recovery process by becoming educated themselves and participating in family therapy or BPD support groups to develop a deeper understanding of the psychiatric disorder and what can be expected from the therapeutic process.
All of these elements combined can lead to a long-term and successful recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder.