An Annapolis Psychiatrist Breaks Down the Differences Between Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorders
Discussing mental health with anyone can feel like you’re walking a tightrope. Not only is it difficult to completely explain the symptoms you may be experiencing, but having a conversation with a loved one about their mental health can create a turbulent relationship. This issue becomes even more apparent when bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder are thrown into the mix.
Bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder (BPD) are not only difficult disorders to deal with, but they are difficult to discern and diagnose. That’s why an Annapolis psychiatrist is here to break down the difference between these disorders, allowing you to gain a more insightful understanding of these mental health issues.
Bipolar Disorder is a type of mood disorder that affects a person’s mood, energy, thoughts, activity levels, and overall functionality. Bipolar disorder occurs in cycles, each of which can last for days to months at a time. These cycles are typically classified as one of three stages:
It’s important to note that bipolar disorder is different from the way in which it is often used colloquially. Being ‘bipolar’ does not just mean that someone has a turbulent mood. The disorder affects an estimated 2.6% of the US population, making it significantly more common that borderline personality disorder.
Borderline personality disorder, often referred to as BPD, is a personality disorder that causes ongoing cycles of varying self-image, moods, and behaviors. Different from a mood disorder, a personality disorder involves a pattern of thought, belief and behavior that differ from the norm and are intrusive on an everyday basis. Some symptoms of BPD, according to Medical News Today, include:
It’s clear that these behaviors are much more complex than Bipolar Disorder. Additionally, Borderline Personality DIsorder is known to seriously impact a person’s life and relationships due to the behaviors that result from this extreme level of self-doubt. It is estimated that about 1.4% of US adults have BPD.
Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorders are commonly confused among the public and the medical community for a number of reasons. The primary reason for this is a number of shared/similar symptoms, including intense emotional responses, depression, and impulsive behavior, and suicidal behaviors.
Essentially, the appearance these symptoms can raise red flags for patients and physicians, meaning the best way to discern the disorders is to evaluate patients holistically—noting where the line exists between a complete diagnosis and a diagnosis with additional tendencies.
Additionally, Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorders are often diagnosed together, making it even more difficult to diagnose. According to a review on the relationship between BPD and bipolar disorder, about 20 percent of people with type 2 bipolar disorder receive a BPD diagnosis. For people with type 1 bipolar disorder, about 10 percent receive a BPD diagnosis. Some even believe that BPD is on the bipolar spectrum, but the general consensus is that they are two unique disorders.
Want to talk to an Annapolis Psychiatrist about your concerns about bipolar and borderline personality disorders? Contact Psych Associates of Maryland today to schedule an appointment.
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