Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a chronic mental health condition symbolized by emotional instability, problems with relationships, and stress-related changes in behavior. Read along to learn more about treating BPD naturally.
Individuals with BPD may have cycles of anxiety, depression, or anger that may last a few hours or days.
The inappropriate emotional impulsiveness and mood swings resulting from BPD may negatively impact one’s career, education, and relationships.
Studies say that BPD affects an estimated 1.4% of the U.S population —over 4 million people. The study noted that women are more affected by BPD, making up 75% of those diagnosed.
Treating BPD Naturally – Symptoms of BPD
The primary symptoms of BPD include:
- Extreme mood swings
- Unstable relationships
- Fear of abandonment
- Feelings of isolation, boredom, and emptiness
- Self-harm, including suicidal behavior or cutting
- Intense anger
- Self-destructive behavior such as aggressive driving or unsafe sex
- Lack of trust.
BPD individuals also manifest signs of other mental health conditions, including anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorders, or eating disorders.
Many individuals with BPD turn to drugs and alcohol to manage their symptoms. This worsens the symptoms and can later lead to substance abuse.
Treating BPD Naturally – Risk Factors for BPD
There is no known cause for BPD, but there are several risk factors, including:
- Family history. If a family member has BPD, it increases your risk of developing the disease.
- Biological factors. Factors like hormonal imbalances, chronic infections (such as Lyme disease), and immune system issues increase BPD risks.
- Brain differences. Abnormalities in the brain region associated with impulses and emotions can increase the risk of BPD
- Environmental factors. Aspects like traumatic childhood experiences can elevate the risk of BPD
For people with BPD, there is hope as treatment can significantly improve their quality of life. Treatment often includes medications like antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anti-psychotics, or a combination. But there are also natural treatment options.
Natural strategies for people with BPD
Therapy or counseling
Therapy is considered the first line of treatment for people with borderline personality disorder because it helps manage destructive thoughts and behaviors. It involves a patient and a licensed and trained mental health care professional who helps pinpoint the underlying issues and help offer solutions.
Sometimes family members or close friends can attend therapy sessions for emotional support and gain more patience, understanding, and encouragement. This improves relationship skills, thus reducing the chances of rejection or neglect that BPD people face.
There are different therapy options, including:
- Talk therapy. Also called psychotherapy is a process in which a patient attends sessions with a licensed professional, therapist, psychiatrist, counselor, or social worker to talk through their experiences. The psychologist helps individuals process and resolve disorders that may have interfered with one’s daily activities.
- Behavioral therapy. Behavioral therapy is an action-oriented, focused approach to treating mental health disorders like BPD. The behavioral theory believes that some behaviors come from things we learned in the past, which cause distress. Behavioral therapy helps you change your behavioral responses.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a short-term mental health treatment approach. It’s like behavioral therapy, but it also addresses problematic thoughts. CBT sessions work on identifying patterns and how they negatively affect you. With therapist guidance, you’ll learn ways to replace the negative patterns with accurate and helpful ones.
The goals of therapy for treating BPD include learning to:
- Effectively question your thoughts and understand how they affect your behavior and emotions
- Effectively express emotions and feelings
- Maintain healthy interaction with people
- Reduce self-destructive behavior
- Manage stressful situations
- Manage mood swings, anxiety, hopelessness, and depression
- Build skills in healthy eating, goal setting, sleep, and exercise
Nutritional supplementation can help reduce the duration or intensity of the many symptoms resulting from a borderline personality disorder.
Some of these supplements include:
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids. It’s known that omega-3 fatty acids deficiency is correlated with several mental health conditions like bipolar disorder, depression, ADHD, and schizophrenia. Research conducted by Drs. Mary Zanarini and Frances Frankenburg found that supplementation Omega-3 fatty acids was an effective treatment for adults and adolescents with a borderline personality disorder.
Sources of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, cod liver oil, walnuts, hemp seed, and hemp oil, to mention a few.
- Magnesium. Studies show a correlation between very low magnesium levels and BPD symptoms. Studies found that magnesium supplements benefited BPD patients experiencing depression, migraines, and high anxiety.
Sources of magnesium include leafy greens, dark chocolate, avocados, and salmon.
- Vitamin C. BPD individuals with symptoms manifested through anxiety can benefit from vitamin C. Researchers say that vitamin C helps reduce anxiety symptoms.
Sources of vitamin C include dark leafy greens, strawberries, tomatoes, and citrus fruits.
- Vitamin D. Studies show that many people with anxiety and mood disorder are also diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency. Studies showed that vitamin D supplementation improved symptoms of both anxiety and depression.
Sources of vitamin D include; an adequate amount of sunshine, salmon, mushrooms, cod oil, and fortified foods like milk.
Treating BPD Naturally – Treat Anxiety and Depression
Some of the most common symptoms of BPD are those associated with anxiety and depression, such as isolation, hopelessness, emptiness, boredom, and self-harm.
Some of the causes of anxiety and depression include:
- Chronic stress
- Drug use or alcoholism
- Food allergies
- Neurotransmitter imbalance
- Hormonal imbalances
- Traumatic events from childhood
- Lack of sunlight
- Nutritional deficiencies
Identifying these risk factors that cause anxiety and depression can help you or your psychologist develop a suitable treatment plan.
Ways you can naturally treat anxiety and depression include:
- Treating nutritional deficiencies, such as omega-3 fatty acid deficiency, magnesium deficiency, and vitamin D deficiency
- Seeking help from close family and friends for emotional support
- Regular exercising. Exercise is a natural mood lifter and has an anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing effect
- Avoid stimulants like caffeine, alcohol, and drug abuse
- Take adaptogen herbs. These are healing plants that help manage stress and balance hormones like cortisol. They include Rhodiola, ashwagandha, and kava roots.
- Consider using St. John’s Wort, a natural herb for mood-lifting. It works in a similar way as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)