Kinjal’s (name changed) parents took her to a clinic seeking medical help with an unusual complaint. Her family was astonished to know her relationship count has reached to five though she being in her late teens. Also, she used to have a new boyfriend in every few months. The doctors identified the reason behind her emotional instability and were diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). According to experts, recently, many adolescents have been getting identified with the disorder.
Speaking to My Medical Mantra, a renowned psychiatrist shared his observation while treating BPD patient. “Adolescents suffering from BPD fight with their parents a lot. I had one case where a teenage girl wanted to leave her parent’s home because she thought that they haven’t done her proper upbringing. Tired of these fights, the parents brought her to me. She was identified with BPD,” he shared.
“Recently, the number of identified adolescents with BPD has been increased. Many such patients are coming to the clinic to get treated. There are many correlated issues. Such kids are short tempered. They blame their parents and can’t control their violent instincts. They could deliberately harm themselves. Emotional instability is one of the symptoms and they also tend to get addicted to cigarettes, cannabis etc.,” said Dr Nilesh Shaha, Head of the Psychiatric Department, Sion Hospital.
Borderline Personality Disorder has been marked by a pattern of ongoing instability in moods, behaviour, self-image, and functioning. These experiences often result in impulsive actions and unstable relationships. “Borderline Personality Disorder has been in existence, but now in this era of media exposure, it is getting identified on the large scale. I have seen many cases of adolescents with BPD. This is a personality disorder. Personality cannot be changed, but it can be treated for its symptoms if it’s identified at the early stage. So, parents should monitor the behaviour of adolescents,” said Dr Sagar Karia, Secretary Bombay Psychiatric Society (BPS).
Some patterns can be seen in the people with BPD. They often have intense and unstable relationships with family, friends, and loved ones. The relationships often swing between extreme closeness, love and extreme dislike or anger. These people have distorted and unstable self-image. They are also impulsive and often indulge in dangerous behaviours such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving and binge eating.
“The Borderline Personality Disorder stands between neurosis and psychosis. That’s why it is called as Borderline. It develops as the as the personality starts to take shape. Children who were sexually abused and disturbed family background are prone to develop this disorder,” said Dr Heena Merchant, ex-secretary of the Bombay Psychiatry Association and assistant professor at KEM Hospital
“Adolescents with BPD get the chronic feeling of emptiness and loneliness. They often feel that nobody cares and they will be left alone at the end. They also feel that nobody cares and loves them. So, parents should watch out for these symptoms,” added Dr Alka A Subramanyam, Psychiatrist and Assistant Professor at Nair Medical College.