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Borderline Personality Disorder

Osterhout Berger Disability Law > Disabling Conditions > Borderline Personality Disorder

Having good mental health is an important component of being able to work, and some people suffer from a condition called borderline personality disorder, which is a mental health condition that affects the way that a person feels about themselves and others. People with this condition have difficulties managing their emotions and maintaining healthy and stable relationships with other people. Anyone who has been diagnosed with this condition should be aware that there are disability benefits for some people who are unable to work because of the disorder. Getting financial resources can take a burden off of people who have been unable to keep a job because of the condition, and they can use the time to get the help that they need to learn to manage their symptoms.

What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline personality disorder is a mental health condition that affects a person’s self-image, emotional regulation, and relationships with other people. When someone has borderline personality disorder, they often have difficulties maintaining healthy relationships and find it intolerable to be alone but simultaneously push people away with their behavior. It’s more common for people to have more severe borderline personality disorder when they’re younger and slowly grow out of it as they get older.

There are a few factors that could play into someone having this condition, including hereditary disposition and a stressful childhood. For instance, studies involving twins and family studies suggest that certain personality disorders are linked familially. Additionally, some people might have brain abnormalities that lead to a higher predisposition to this condition. For instance, brain chemicals that regulate mood could be off-balance, and serotonin, which is responsible for positive feelings, might not be present in high enough quantities.

Certain stressors during childhood can also create feelings of fear over abandonment or lack of love. For instance, people with this disorder often report having been abandoned by a parent as a child, being sexually or physically abused, or having parents with substance abuse disorders. Additionally, some people might have had childhoods that were particularly hostile and conflict-filled.

As a result of this condition, people are also at higher risk of certain complications, including legal problems, many job losses or changes, abusive relationships, and suicide attempts.

There are also some co-occurring mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other personality disorders, that they’re more likely to have.

Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder

People with borderline personality disorder will exhibit a certain pattern of maladaptive behaviors that make it more difficult for them to maintain close relationships, and they suffer emotionally for their disorder. For instance, many people will experience wild mood swings that will last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. They often have feelings of emptiness and hopelessness, and they can sometimes have intense anger, irritability, shame, anxiety, and bitterness.

Additionally, some people might act out on their feelings, losing their tempers, being sarcastic, or getting into physical fights. They might also engage in self-injury in response to being rejected or feeling like they’ve been rejected. Some people are more likely to engage in a variety of types of risky behavior, including unsafe sex, gambling, unsafe driving, drug abuse, spending sprees, quitting a good job, or simply going on an eating binge.

They’ll also have a pattern of very intense but unstable relationships in which they switch between idealizing someone and shortly later imagining that they’re cruel. They’ll also often have periods of a lack of connection to reality and quick changes in self-identity, often seeing themselves as bad or even not existing. They might also have periods of intense stress-related anxiety. Finally, and one of the most important points, is that they’ll have intense fears of abandonment, and they’ll go to great lengths to avoid separation or abandonment from the person that they idealize.

Treatments of Borderline Personality Disorder

The most important component of treatment for borderline personality disorder is the addition of psychotherapy, but some types of medications might also be added to the regimen to increase the success rates and make learning new behavior patterns easier.

Psychotherapy, which is also called talk therapy, is an approach that’s used to help the patient learn more about the disorder, along with a number of skills that they can use to better manage their emotions, life, and relationships. For instance, psychotherapy can help the patient learn to better manage negative emotions, reduce impulsivity by being aware of personal feelings instead of acting on them, and work on developing healthy relationships by being more aware of their own feelings and the feelings of those around them.

Additionally, there are several types of psychotherapy that have been shown to be effective in the treatment of borderline personality disorder. For instance, dialectical behavior therapy is a combination of group and individual therapy sessions that are aimed at teaching the person how to handle stress and other emotions and to improve relationships.

Some other types of therapies include schema-focused therapy, mentalization-based therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, and systems training for emotional predictability and problem-solving.

Medications can sometimes help with the co-occurring symptoms of borderline personality disorder, such as depression, aggression, anxiety, and impulsivity. For instance, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood-stabilizing drugs might all be prescribed to help the patient achieve their goals.

In some instances, some people will need hospitalization to keep people safe from self-injurious behavior and suicide.

Disability Benefits for Borderline Personality Disorder

For some people, borderline personality disorder can leave them incapacitated and unable to hold a job. Anyone who has this diagnosis should know what kinds of options might be available to them through the Social Security Administration, which uses the Blue Book to determine who is eligible for disability benefits according to the certain criteria for their disability.

The listing in the Blue Book for borderline personality disorder is actually the same one that’s used for all personality disorders, including intermittent explosive disorder, avoidant personality disorder, and schizoid personality disorder.

To qualify for disability benefits, the applicant must have a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder and have at least one of several other symptoms of a personality disorder. For instance, a distrust and suspiciousness of others that isn’t warranted is one potential symptom that someone might show. Some others include feelings of inadequacy, an inordinately large need to be taken care of by others, lack of regard for the rights of other people, excessive emotionality that results in behavior that’s aimed at seeking attention, relationships that are unstable and damaging, and a particular detachment from social relationships, outbursts that are recurrent, aggressive, and impulsive, or a lot of need to be orderly and particularly clean.

Additionally, someone who is applying for benefits will need to have severe limitations in one of the following areas or what is called marked limitations in at least two of the following areas. These categories include an inability to concentrate on tasks, an inability to adapt and manage themselves, difficulties interacting with others, and learning new information along with understanding and remembering it.

If a person doesn’t meet the listing for a personality disorder, they might still qualify under the residual-functional capacity test if they’re able to show that there’s no suitable job available for them to do.

How We Can Help

There are several ways in which the team at Osterhout Berger Disability Law can help you receive the benefit you deserve. We help individuals who need to…

If you are facing one of these situations due to Borderline Personality Disorder, please do not hesitate in reaching out. Our team of experienced attorneys are here to help, and your consultation is free.

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