Famously depicted by Glenn Close in the Hollywood movie “Fatal Attraction”, borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness characterized by wide, unpredictable mood swings and difficulty regulating emotions. It usually appears in early adulthood and is marked by unstable moods, behavior, and relationships. This condition greatly impacts a person’s ability to live a happy, fulfilling life. Fortunately, there are various personality disorder treatment options that help these individuals better manage the symptoms of these mental health conditions.
People with BPD often experience feelings of emptiness. They have an extreme fear of abandonment, and will often go to great lengths to avoid real or imagined rejection or separation. Their relationships are often unstable and “stormy,” with periods of high regard (“idealization”) followed by a period known as “devaluation,” feelings of great disappointment. The mood swings common with BPD may last anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
Stress-related paranoia and psychotic episodes can occur. This loss of contact with reality can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, and can be a frightening side effect of the disorder.
Often those suffering from BPD will experience a distorted self-image and impulsiveness. They will engage in risky and self-sabotaging behavior such as excessive gambling or shopping, drug abuse, eating binges, reckless driving or unsafe sex. These patients may suddenly quit a good job or end a positive relationship with no provocation. They may experience intense anger, frequently lose their temper, or have physical fights.
Depression, substance abuse and eating disorders can accompany BPD. Also present may be the desire to self-harm (for example, by cutting), or suicidal thoughts or impulses.
BPD can be difficult to identify and people living with this often receive misdiagnosis first. Fortunately, Dr. Rodriguez has extensive training and experience with BPD and has worked closely with some of the world’s most renowned experts in this particular field of study. The team at the Delray Center commits themselves to the proper diagnosis and treatment of BPD. And returning clients to full functional capacity with the least possible disruption to their work and home life.
Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is characterized by a pattern of attention-seeking behavior and extreme emotionality, often beginning in early adulthood. People with this disorder may feel uncomfortable when people aren’t focused exclusively on them. And are highly manipulative in their attempts to gain attention.
Symptoms include an excessive need for approval, sexually provocative behavior, and a craving for novelty and excitement that can lead a person into risky situations. A person with HPD tends to make rash decisions and have mindsets which revolve around themselves. In addition, they are highly sensitive to criticism or disapproval, and rarely show concern for others.
People living with HPD tend to be high-functioning both socially and professionally, but the disorder can wreak havoc on one’s social and romantic interactions. Relationships are often perceivable as being more intimate than they are. True emotional intimacy is an ongoing challenge, as is a person’s ability to cope with loss or failure.
All of these factors may contribute to a greater risk of developing clinical depression, substance abuse, and other issues. In fact, patients with HPD frequently get a diagnosis only after initially seeking treatment for something else.
At the Delray Center, our team of highly skilled clinicians led by Dr. Raul Rodriguez has years of experience identifying and successfully treating disorders such as HPD. We use a combination of integrative therapies and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) in our personalized treatment programs.
Dependent personality disorder (DPD) is characterizable by acute difficulty in making everyday decisions, feelings of discomfort and helplessness when alone, a long-standing need to be taken care of, and intense fear of abandonment.
People with this disorder are often described as “clingy” or “needy.” They chronically exhibit dependent and submissive behavior, with the goal of eliciting a care-giving response in others. Another unfortunate outcome of this disorder can be a willingness to tolerate mistreatment and abuse from others. Placing the needs of a caregiver above one’s own is another common characteristic.
A person struggling with this condition experiences intense self-doubt. And feels he or she is incapable of making even mundane decisions without the help of others. There is a strong tendency towards avoiding adult responsibilities by acting passive and helpless, and depending upon a spouse, friend or family member to make decisions.
There is a limit to social relationships, which are usually only those few people on whom the individual depends. In addition, clients with DPD often have difficulty expressing disagreement with others, to avoid loss of support or approval. They require constant reassurance and can become devastated when relationships end.
DPD is one of the most common personality disorders that people get a diagnosis for, and our team at the Delray Center has a long history of successful treatment. Our strategy includes combining integrative therapies and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) in a comfortable, supportive environment that offers a holistic approach to recovery.
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is characterizable by an exaggerating sense of self-importance, feelings of superiority, and the need for constant admiration. This disorder can limit one’s ability to function successfully in relationships and other areas.
People with NPD often appear conceited, boastful or pretentious, and tend to monopolize conversations. They tend to belittle people perceived as inferior and expect unquestioning compliance with their expectations. Plus, have a strong sense of entitlement. In fact, they may become angry when they don’t receive the special treatment to which they feel entitled.
There is also a tendency to exaggerate achievements or talents and expect recognition for being superior without achievements that warrant it. They are often preoccupied with fantasies about success, power or the perfect mate. Someone with NPD exhibits a lack of empathy for others and is often envious of others. Additionally, they may takes advantage of other people to get what they want. They tend to feel deserving and seek out the “best of” everything, whether it’s a car or the latest tech gadget.
The inability to handle anything perceived as criticism is another common trait. A person with NPD may react with rage or contempt. And/or, try to belittle others in an effort to feel superior.
Most often, those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder only seek treatment when they experience depression or substance abuse. At the Delray Center, our staff is skillful at identifying and treating NPD and other personality disorders. We combine integrative therapies and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) at our campus in Delray Beach, Florida.
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