According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), borderline personality disorder is “a serious mental illness characterized by pervasive instability in moods, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and behavior. This instability often disrupts family and work life, long-term planning, and the individual’s sense of self-identity.” More simply, personality disorders represent a consistent and long-term pattern of problematic thinking, feeling and actions. The staff at National Therapeutic Services specializes in borderline personality disorders co-occurring with a substance abuse or chemical dependency. NTS uses multiple treatment methods to combat this dual-diagnosis including group therapy, individual therapy, experiential therapy and, most importantly, dialectical behavior therapy.
Individuals with BPD tend to exhibit:
- Difficulty maintaining relationships
- Mood swings
- Intense episodes of anxiety and depression
- Engagement in self-destructive behaviors (substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating, etc.)
- Lack of self-identity
- High expectations of other people
- Manipulation of others
- Suicidal tendencies and deliberate self-harm
In order to combat these symptoms, National Therapeutic Services offers borderline personality disorder treatments. The most powerful of these treatments use a cognitive behavioral approach. The staff at NTS helps make the client more aware of other people’s perspectives and how to react and interact with them. Oftentimes, medication is required in addition to therapy. Psychiatric drugs like anti-depressants, in combination with the therapeutic program, can be effective. Some cases may also warrant the use of anti-psychotic drugs as well. Personality disorders also commonly co-occur with other illnesses and can be difficult to diagnose. Most clients at NTS tend to be dual diagnosis, and the facility and the staff cater to those specific needs.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is often referred to as “talking therapy” and has been proven an especially effective psychotherapy in dealing with borderline personality disorder, as well as other AXIS-II Disorders. DBT is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy, and this means that it focuses on cognition and behavior, thoughts/beliefs and actions, and their role in the treatment of the underlying disorder. Addressing cognitive distortions and re-training the mind to change the initial cognitive response and take a new action is an important part of treating most AXIS-II disorders and reducing the symptoms of BPD. Traditionally, DBT includes some synthesis of individual psychotherapy and group skills training. It is necessary for patients to become aware of their symptoms, and subsequently monitor those symptoms and use the tools provided on a daily, ongoing, basis. Progress is tracked by therapists and the clients tend to react positively to this experience.