Does your Ex have Borderline Personality Disorder? (Part 1) - The Men's Legal Center


Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental health disorder characterized by unstable moods, behavior, and relationships. Symptoms include emotional instability, feelings of worthlessness, impulsivity, and impaired social relationships. BPD illness centers a person’s long-term patterns of the inability to manage emotions effectively.

The main treatment is a combination of talk therapy counseling and medication. Hospitalization helps if symptoms are severe.

Depending on your symptoms and situation, a counselor may use one of three types of talk therapy. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), a common therapy which helps manage crisis behavior, such as suicidal behavior or self-harm. It helps people present in the moment, based on the concept of mindfulness. This helps the person be aware of their emotions and behavior. Persons with BPD learn skills on how to tolerate negative emotions and communicate effectively. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) focuses on changing what the persons with BPD believe about themselves and others. Schema-Focused Therapy helps people with BPD to reframe negative thoughts about themselves into positive ones. Medication may be used to treat symptoms. Since depression and anxiety can be a big part of BPD, antidepressant and anti-anxiety medicines can be helpful. If persons with BPD experience intense times of distorted thinking, anti-psychotic medication may be helpful.

If cutting and suicide attempts are part of the symptoms, the BPD may need hospitalization and receive treatment in a hospital.

A daily routine is helpful, including regular meals and sleep times.  The BPD should try to exercise daily to manage their thoughts and their stress level. Steer clear of alcohol and drugs. This is especially important for persons with BPD, as it is common for them to attempt to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.

Being in a relationship with a partner suffering from BPD is difficult and full of drama.

Divorce or a family law case brings out the worst in a BPD and the other spouse or parent is the lightning rod for the BPD’s anger, hostility, and psychosis. It is commonly acknowledged in family law matters that a person’s suffering from BPD can elevate the conflict of family law litigation rapidly.

The other party in the family law matter with the person with BPD will need a family law attorney who has experience dealing with high conflict personalities, in order to help navigate them through the family law system.

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