Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

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1.  What is borderline personality disorder?

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"It is pretty much the most painful and lonely existence imaginable."

A young woman describes what it feels like to have borderline personality disorder.
May 19, 2010, Washington, D.C.
Congressional Briefing on Borderline Personality Disorder*


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness with a high prevalence in the U.S. population. Symptoms are severe and disruptive, and include emotional dysregulation, unstable interpersonal relationships, identity disturbance and marked impulsivity.

Emotional dysregulation - Volatile emotions, difficulty controlling anger, short and intense episodes of anxiety, irritability, despair and depression, as well as chronic feelings of emptiness

Unstable interpersonal relationships - Stormy interpersonal relationships, frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment, extremes of idealizing and devaluating significant others, and hypersensitivity to rejection

Identity disturbance - A distorted or unstable sense of self, adopting values and habits of whomever one is with, and transient dissociative symptoms under severe stress (i.e., feelings of being disconnected from reality)

Marked impulsivity - Potentially self-damaging impulsivity such as substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating, promiscuity, in addition to self-mutilating and suicidal behavior


2.  New NARSAD Young Investigator Grantees in Borderline Personality Disorder Research

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation in partnership with Families for Borderline Personality Disorder Research awarded two NARSAD Young Investigator Grants in BPD research in 2012. This prestigious award provides $60,000 over two years, and greatly enhances a researcher’s career path and access to additional funding. In general, a NARSAD grant can lead to subsequent funding at 19 times the original amount of the NARSAD Grant.

Brad Reich, M.D.

Brad Reich, M.D.

McLean Hospital and Harvard University
Dr. Reich is conducting a research project investigating biological differences between borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder.
Watch video of Brad discussing his BPD research.

Learn more about Brad's NARSAD Young Investigator Research Grant.

Edward Selby, Ph.D.

Ed Selby, Ph.D.

Rutgers University
Dr. Selby is conducting a research project examining emotion dysregulation and ensuing impulsive behavior in borderline personality disorder relative to an eating disorder.
Watch video of Ed discussing his BPD research.

Learn more about Ed's NARSAD Young Investigator Research Grant.


3.  Families for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Research

We are a grassroots group, Families for BPD Research, who have children and relatives with borderline personality disorder. In the past few years, we have met and talked with many in the mental health field and have discovered that research is precisely where answers will be found to help our family members and so many others cope with and recover from this devastating disorder. We are grateful to have connected with the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation and formed a research partnership to support promising young investigators in BPD research.

Funding new investigators is vital to furthering research breakthroughs in areas which include underlying biological and environmental causes of BPD, earlier and better diagnoses, treatments tailored to individuals, improved quality of life, and recovery. Especially, with senior investigators in BPD research starting to retire, supporting young investigators now will provide them with valuable opportunity for guidance from these experienced researchers. Such collaboration will offer greater expansion of research initiatives, continue to broaden our common knowledge of BPD and give us increasing focus on and vision of recovery. 

Please help to provide a better life for those with BPD through supporting research.

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4. How does research help individuals with BPD?

Research studies have shown that this diagnosis is not a life sentence and that remission of symptoms is possible. Past research has also led to the development of effective evidence-based treatments, such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), specifically developed for those with BPD. Investigations into the neurobiology of BPD have identified brain circuits that add to understanding this illness.

"There's this overactive emotionality and no capacity to put the brakes on."

Dr. John Oldham, Former President of the American Psychiatric Association, explains BPD-related brain function.
May 19, 2010, Washington, D.C.
Congressional Briefing on Borderline Personality Disorder*

 

"Just as... with cancer or heart disease, we have to figure out how
to get much better at detecting this early in its course..."

Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), discusses key areas for future BPD research.
May 19, 2010, Washington, D.C.
Congressional Briefing on Borderline Personality Disorder*


5.  Please donate now:

Help launch the career of a new BPD researcher by helping to support a NARSAD Young Investigator Grantee. Your donation will make possible research advances and breakthroughs. One hundred percent (100%) of every donation for research goes towards NARSAD Research Grants.

Donate to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

*Video segments from the Congressional Briefing on Borderline Personality Disorder sponsored by the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Links:
- NARSAD Young Investigator Grant
- The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
- The National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA-BPD)