Disclaimer: Always speak to your health care professional for mental health diagnosis. 

Mental health issues are complex, and it is important to understand the differences between different conditions. Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Bipolar disorder have many similarities, but they also have some key differences that set them apart. Let’s take a look at the specifics of each condition so you can better understand your mental health.

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental illness characterized by unstable emotions and behaviors that can cause significant distress for individuals who live with it. People with BPD often have difficulty regulating their emotions which can lead to impulsive behavior that can further complicate relationships with family and friends. Common symptoms include intense fear of abandonment from those close to them and intense anger when feeling wronged or betrayed by someone close to them.

Other symptoms include feelings of emptiness; impulsivity; recurrent suicidal behaviors; volatile relationships; frequent changes in self-image; alternating between idealizing someone then devaluing them; extreme sensitivity to criticism; difficulty trusting others; difficulty controlling emotions like anger; self-harming behavior like cutting; chronic feelings of boredom or loneliness; issues with boundaries due to their inability to control emotions associated with intimacy including jealousy or possessiveness towards others.

Causes & Treatments for BPD

The exact cause of BPD is not known, but research suggests that it may be caused by a combination of factors, including genetics, environment, brain chemistry, trauma or abuse during childhood, and/or other psychological factors, such as attachment styles learned in early life. Despite the unknown cause behind this disorder, there are treatments available that can help individuals manage their symptoms and gain better control over their behavior and emotions so they can live healthier lives. 

These treatments typically involve psychotherapy sessions with a trained professional specializing in treating the disorder. Medications may also be prescribed if necessary to help manage the symptoms associated with this disorder.  It’s important to note that recovery from BPD takes time and dedication, but it is possible with the appropriate treatment plan tailored specifically to each individual’s needs.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is an illness that affects mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to think clearly. There are four types of bipolar disorder—bipolar 1, bipolar 2, cyclothymic disorder, and other specified or unspecified types of bipolar disorder. Symptoms may vary depending on the type, but all involve cycling between periods of mania or hypomania (elevated moods) and depression (low moods).

During manic episodes, people may experience racing thoughts, increased energy levels, poor judgment, and reckless behavior while during depressive episodes, they may experience feelings of sadness or emptiness, loss of interest in activities they normally enjoy, difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much as well as suicidal thoughts or tendencies.

What Causes Bipolar Disorder?

The exact cause of bipolar disorder is unknown, but there are several factors that may be involved. These include genetic predisposition, neurotransmitter imbalances, environmental factors such as stress, brain structure abnormalities, and hormonal fluctuations. People with a family history of bipolar disorder or other mental health conditions are more likely to develop the condition themselves.

Treatments for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is typically treated through medication, psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes. Medications used to treat bipolar disorder include mood stabilizers such as lithium or anticonvulsants, antipsychotics such as risperidone or olanzapine, and antidepressants such as fluoxetine or sertraline. Psychotherapy involves talking about your experiences and emotions with a therapist who can help you develop strategies to manage your symptoms. Lifestyle changes involve getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating healthy foods, avoiding alcohol and drugs, and finding ways to cope with stress in healthy ways. 

The Difference between Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) vs. Bipolar Disorder 

While there are similarities between borderline personality disorder (BPD) vs. bipolar—such as extreme shifts in mood—they differ in terms of their underlying causes and manifestations of symptoms. It is important to speak with a mental health professional if you think you may be experiencing signs of either one of these illnesses to get an accurate diagnosis and create an effective treatment plan that works for you.

Written by Hima Gandham

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