Posted on: September 20th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments
While there is plenty of information that people understand about mood disorders like depression and anxiety, personality disorders are more complex and not often discussed in regards to mental health. A personality disorder can cause serious disruptions to a person’s daily life and their ability to hold a job or maintain relationships. Treatment for a personality disorder may combine psychotherapy and a number of psychiatric medications to help minimize issues with mood and other difficult symptoms.
Medication does not have the ability to cure a personality disorder in itself, but when used alongside regular psychotherapy sessions it can help alleviate some of the mood changes that the patient experiences. People with personality disorders benefit from mood stabilizers, especially those with borderline personality disorder which is often accompanied by feelings of depression and anxiety. Antidepressants which help with low mood such as Zoloft, Prozac and Wellbutrin are all useful in getting patients to feel more stable.
Some more severe personality disorders may even benefit from the use of antipsychotic medications although they are typically not considered psychotic disorders. These types of medications can be helpful in reducing anxiety, paranoid thinking, anger and impulsivity. Antipsychotic medications can include options like Haldol, Zyprexa and Clozaril which can help improve certain symptoms.
Lastly, anti-anxiety medications are also commonly used in treating personality disorders as many people may have a co-occurring issue with anxiety. Many personality disorders involve some type of anxiety and medications like Klonopin, Xanax and Valium are all helpful in reducing anxious feelings.
Some patients may need medication long-term but in most cases these prescriptions are used to provide temporary relief during treatment. Ultimately, psychotherapy can allow patients to resolve and manage the issues related to their personality disorder so that they can minimize their use of medication.
Posted on: May 23rd, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments
There are many different mental health conditions that can cause an individual to experience delusions of grandeur. Someone who has a false belief that they possess superior qualities such as genius, fame, omnipotence or wealth can be said to have delusions of grandeur and it may cause them to behave abnormally. A person with delusions of grandeur will firmly believe that they have some great, unrecognized talent or insight in spite of no evidence that this is the case.
Delusions of grandeur can often occur in illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, dementia and narcissistic personality disorder. These illnesses can cause the individual to have a rigid and fixed belief in their abilities and importance, even sometimes believing that they have a special relationship with a prominent person such as the president. These delusions can also include religious tones such as believing that they have received a special message from God.
In many cases delusions of grandeur can be exacerbated by alcohol or drug use when the individual has a particular mental illness. Their substance abuse can intensify delusions or even cause them to develop in some cases. Certain drugs such as PCP or amphetamines can put people at even greater risk of developing delusions of grandeur or worsening them.
People with delusions of grandeur can have serious issues in their personal and professional lives if their beliefs begin to interfere with reality. Their belief in their own superiority can lead to conflict and cause problems at work and in relationships. It can even put their lives in danger at times if they believe that they possess special powers or abilities such as being able to fly.
For someone with delusions of grandeur it is important to get a proper diagnosis for their mental illness and treatment that addresses their delusional thinking and other symptoms.
Posted on: May 15th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments
Mental health issues can encompass a large spectrum of disorders that have distinct and unique symptoms. The most commonly known mental illnesses are mood disorders like depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. Other disorders known as personality disorders can be less recognizable than mood disorders but are still considered very serious mental health conditions that require treatment.
Mood disorders are typically characterized by emotional states that are not consistent with an individual’s circumstances. When people experience depression or anxiety after a negative event it is considered a situational emotional state. Those that have constant feelings of depression that persist in spite of a relatively normal situation may be dealing with a mood disorder.
Personality disorders involve not only a person’s mood but also unhealthy patterns of thoughts and behavior. People with personality disorders can struggle to relate with others and may not be able to function normally in their personal and professional life. They often have issues with self-esteem and negative self-image that can cause them to behave erratically with other people.
Even though mood disorders and personality disorders are very different they can sometimes share similar symptoms which can lead to people being misdiagnosed. Personality disorders tend to be more constant and pervasive than mood disorders which may last for only certain periods of time. Someone with a mood disorder may find it easier to relate to and interact with others outside their periods of emotional difficulty while someone with a personality disorder will have more long term social problems.
Both mood disorders and personality disorders can be successfully treated with medication and psychotherapy when they are diagnosed properly. It is important for the individual to be aware of their particular disorder and how their symptoms affect them in order for mental health treatment to be successful.
Posted on: May 18th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments
Within the spectrum of mental illness there are certain categories such as dissociative disorders which can include a number of different conditions related to the general issue of dissociation. People with severe trauma in some cases will use dissociation as a defense mechanism that allows them to detach from immediate surroundings or from their own physical and emotional experience.
Dissociative disorders usually involve disruptions of memory, awareness, identity or perception and it occurs pathologically or involuntarily. Although there are a few different types of dissociative disorders, the most well-known is dissociative identity disorder which was once called multiple personality disorder. This dissociative disorders guide helps to provide some information for people and their loved ones suffering.
Every type of dissociative disorder involves some type of detachment from the self that began to develop as a response to extreme stress or trauma early in life. With treatment, many of the symptoms of these types of disorders can be more manageable and people can begin to gain control over the dissociative process.
Types of Dissociative Disorders
There are a few different conditions that involve a pattern of dissociation in response to stress and they each have their own unique set of symptoms. The most commonly discussed type is called dissociative identity disorder (formerly multiple personality disorder) and it involves a person having two or more alternating identities with the main or “host” personality being unaware of the other personalities or when they emerge.
There are other, lesser known types of dissociative disorders including dissociative amnesia which involves a temporary loss of recall or episodic memory due to a traumatic or stressful event. Another disorder called dissociative fugue is actually a type of dissociative amnesia that is reversible and is often accompanied by the establishment of a new identity. The last type of dissociative disorder is called depersonalization disorder and it causes periods of detachment from the self or surroundings which may be experienced as “unreal” with limited awareness.
Is Dissociative Identity Disorder Real?
One of the most controversial and misunderstood types of mental illnesses is dissociative identity disorder because of the myths surrounding the condition. Some stories in the media or even discussions from mental health professionals may question whether dissociative identity disorder is a real illness.
Unfortunately there is a lack of education and training in this disorder for some people in mental health and they may mistakenly believe that patients with DID are inventing their memories of abuse. The reality is that dissociative identity disorder is a very real and debilitating problem and patients sometimes only remember certain aspects or episodes of their abuse. It is actually very rare for patients to falsely “remember” abuse that never occurred but rather they will remember pieces of real trauma that caused them to develop different identities.
What is Dissociative Identity Disorder?
In order to combat the myths about dissociative identity disorder, it is important to know more about the illness itself and how it affects people. The condition is characterized by two or more distinct identities and personalities which are present in the same individual and have power over their behavior.
A person with this disorder will have memory variations which fluctuate with the alternating personalities. Each personality will have its own name, age, sex, and race as well as their own postures, gestures and distinct way of talking. When a person switches identity, their own main personality will be unaware and not remember anything that they said or did while acting as another identity. The personalities often serve to help the individual cope with problems in their life and new identities may emerge as a result of painful or difficult events.
Dissociative Identity Disorder Symptoms
Although movies and TV may depict multiple personalities as being very exaggerated and overstated, real dissociative identity disorder is actually much more subtle. It may not be so obvious when someone has the disorder but there are certain symptoms and signs which may indicate that they need to be diagnosed. One of the major symptoms of this disorder is the tendency to have occasional amnesia after they enter different identities of states of being.
Someone with DID will often be unable to recall things that they have said or done beyond simple forgetfulness. They may also enter trances or have “out of body experiences” when they switch identities or seem to space out for periods of time. Other symptoms of DID can include depression, mood swings, headache and time loss. When someone’s behavior and personality changes dramatically but they seem to have no knowledge of this happening then it could indicate dissociative identity disorder.
Causes of Dissociative Identity Disorder
Although many mental illnesses lack a definite cause, dissociative identity disorder is one type of illness that is thought to develop due to specific environmental circumstances. In an overwhelming 97 percent of cases of DID, patients reported a history of abuse. Although the disorder can sometimes run in families, it has no known biological cause and is thought to be a result mainly of early childhood trauma.
Most patients with dissociative identity disorder have a personal history of recurring, overpowering, severe and often life-threatening traumas including physical or sexual abuse before the age of nine or extreme neglect and emotional abuse. People who experience dissociation often were raised by parents who were frightening and unpredictable. People who develop the disorder tend to have these experiences at an early age along with a stronger tendency to dissociate reflected in the fact that they are easily hypnotized.
Taking a Dissociative Disorder Test
If you are concerned that you or someone you love has been experiencing symptoms of dissociative identity disorder or any other type of dissociation then it might be time to get an assessment from a professional. Prior to making an appointment you can begin by taking a self-assessment test or asking your loved one to do a screening test online. This will give you a better idea of whether the symptoms could potentially indicate a disorder.
These types of test are by no means a diagnosis and they are not a true clinical exam but merely a way to determine if a serious assessment by a psychiatrist is necessary. If you score high for having a dissociative disorder on the test then you should seek a medical professional to help you get an evaluation and diagnosis. Once you receive a diagnosis you can then take the steps towards getting treatment for the disorder and reducing symptoms with psychotherapy.
Dissociative Identity Disorder Treatment Methods
Although DID is a very complex disorder with multiple symptoms, it is possible through treatment to help patients function better in their daily lives. As with many mental illnesses, the main component of treatment for dissociative identity disorder is psychotherapy with a licensed professional therapist who is specially trained for this type of illness.
Therapists often work with patients to help them become more comfortable with difficult emotions such as anxiety or painful memories so that they can decrease negative responses and be less likely to dissociate. They might use techniques such as dialectical or cognitive behavior therapy to increase mindfulness and soothe the patient so that they can confront emotional issues.
Although some therapists may try to “reintegrate” multiple personalities into one single identity, not all patients are willing to take this step. Therapists might instead focus on helping them increase control over their other personalities and create a more peaceful co-existence with their different identities.
Medication for Dissociative Identity Disorder
The core of treatment for DID is through plenty of psychotherapy sessions, but medication may also be used in some cases to help minimize symptoms. Many people with dissociative identity disorder have co-occurring symptoms that go along with their condition such as depression, anxiety, anger and impulse control problems.
These can be treated with various types of medication such as anti-depressants such citalopram or sertraline and anxiety medication such as Xanax and valium. For people with DID who have manic or violent behavior, depressants can be helpful in diminishing the hyperactivity of the brain and also prevent seizures which can sometimes occur with the disorder.
Issues with anger and impulse control can be minimized with anti-psychotic medication which can help tranquilize and stabilize the mood. While medication can help reduce some of these co-occurring symptoms, these should only be supplemental to treatment that is mainly focused on therapy.
Enrolling in Dissociative Disorder Treatment
Because it is such a difficult disorder to live with, it is often helpful for people to enter residential treatment for dissociative disorder for a period of time. Living in a treatment facility allows them to receive 24 hour care from a team of professionals that are specially trained to understand people with DID. Treatment centers usually focus on treating patients holistically so that every aspect of their mental and physical health will improve as they stay in the facility.
Each patient will have a treatment plan that caters to their individual needs and offers specific behavioral therapies that are designed to improve the symptoms of DID. Many treatment programs offer alternative types of treatment that can ease stress and provide therapeutic benefits. The amount of time spent in the treatment center can depend on each individual case but a period of a few months will allow them time to understand their disorder and learn how to handle the symptoms.
The Identities of Dissociative Personality Disorder
Even though treatment can help ease some of their suffering, not all patients with DID will be able to rid themselves of their alternate identities. Many of them have been dissociating since a very young age and their other personalities have helped them escape and cope with severe physical and mental abuse.
Their alternate identities are a type of survival tactic or defense mechanism that makes it easier for them to deal with very painful experiences. For example, many people with DID will develop a personality that is tough and strong or willing to fight back in a way that the individual is not able to do. In fact, a legendary pro football star named Herschel Walker has openly discussed his own experiences with DID and certain personalities that he developed which made him stronger and more competitive after being bullied as a child.
Recovery from Dissociative Identity Disorder
Since it may not always be possible to integrate each of a patient’s different personalities back into one single identity, recovery focuses more on overall mental well-being. There is often one or more personalities within an individual that are dealing with the bulk of their pain and anger at being abused as children.
Reaching these specific personalities during therapy and helping them deal with their emotions can relieve some of the suffering that they are burdened with. Some patients may choose not to integrate their personalities and instead want to improve harmony among their different identities.
For those that would like to integrate, therapists can help them recognize each personality as a fractured part of themselves that should be embraced rather than eliminated. Integration often means dissolving the barrier between different states so that patients can come to terms with different parts of their identity.
Coping with Dissociative Identity Disorder
Even though DID is a disorder that can cause a lot of personal problems, with treatment and therapy people can still live very normal lives. Those living with dissociative identity disorder can still perform jobs with high level responsibilities and contribute to society in a number of different professional environments. They can also have very functional and fulfilling relationships with others including spouses or partners.
When people with DID learn how to handle their feelings of stress, depression and anxiety they can minimize their dissociation and take more control of their lives to feel healthier and more productive. Therapy can help people cope with their different identities by making them all aware of one another so that they can exist together and work cooperatively. With healing and therapy, DID does not mean having to hide from society due to your condition.
You can work and live a normal life without fear or shame after completing treatment for DID.
Posted on: May 3rd, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments
Every kind of personality disorder has their own unique set of symptoms and borderline personality disorder is one of the most common types that people experience. It is a serious mood disorder that can affect a person’s life and ability to function normally because it can create a lot of instability.
People with borderline personality disorder can experience intense episodes with very extreme mood swings that might last for a few hours or even days. This borderline personality disorder guide helps to provide information on the mental health issue.
About 1.6% of the population has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and it is more likely to be found among women who represent about 75% of those with the disorder. With so many individual suffering from this illness it is important to understand more about the disorder and be able to recognize the symptoms in yourself or in others so that they can get the treatment they need.
What is Borderline Personality Disorder?
Like many mental health disorders, borderline personality disorder involves issues with moods that can occur in patterns and cause problems for an individual. The disorder is characterized by the person lacking a sense of self which can cause a lo
t of feelings of emptiness and abandonment.
People with borderline personality disorder can have intense but unstable relationships and emotional outbursts of anger, violence or depression. The symptoms can make a person become very impulsive so that they act in unpredictable ways or engage in risky, dangerous behavior.
What drives many of the symptoms of BPD is the individual’s struggle with self-image or having a deep uncertainty about who they are. This uncertainty can cause their values and interests to change rapidly and they experience high amounts of stress about relationships, fearing that people will leave them. They react strongly to negativity and may become angry or distressed even about minor separations from people they are close with.
Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms
In order to identify whether you or someone you love may have this disorder, it is important to familiarize yourself with the most common symptoms. Someone with borderline personality disorder will go through frantic and extreme measures to avoid any separation or rejection because of their fears of abandonment.
Even minor separations such as a business trip will cause issues for them. They will also have a pattern of very unstable and intense relationships, often idealizing people and then suddenly believing the person is cruel and uncaring. People with the disorder have a distorted self-image that can change frequently from one moment to the next.
They may engage in very impulsive and risky behavior such as gambling, reckless driving, unsafe sex, spending sprees, drug abuse, binge-eating or suddenly quitting a job. Their impulsiveness can cause problems and make it difficult for them to function. Many people with the disorder have periods of intense anger and they may engage in self-harm or attempt suicide in some cases.
Do I Have Borderline Personality Disorder?
If you seem to have many of the symptoms typically associated with this disorder then you may need to be diagnosed. One of the clearest ways to tell if you have a mental health problem is evaluating how much your mood changes or other symptoms tend to interfere with your daily life. If you find it hard to stay at a job and frequently quit or have problems with poor performance because of your issues then it could be due to a disorder.
Having problems staying in stable relationships because of serious mood swings and fear of abandonment is also an indication of BPD. Impulsive behavior that leads to serious consequences such as a dire financial situation because of reckless shopping sprees could mean that you need to get help. If there are areas of your life that you feel have been seriously impacted by your symptoms then it is a good idea to be assessed by a mental health professional so that you can enter treatment for borderline personality disorder.
Borderline Personality Disorder Facts
Although borderline personality disorder is actually more common than schizophrenia, it is one of the least understood disorders by the public. People may not be very familiar with the disorder, but there are actually more than four million people in the U.S. alone that have been diagnosed.
Women tend to be more prone to developing BPD with a ratio of 3 women to one man diagnosed with the disorder. It can be a very dangerous illness to live with because 70% of all people with BPD will make at least one suicide attempt in their lifetimes and 8 to 10 percent of those with the disorder will complete suicide.
One of the biggest issues with borderline personality disorder is that people are often misdiagnosed as having other disorders such as bipolar or major depressive disorder when they actually have BPD. This can lead to an unfortunately delay in getting the right treatment and medication.
Understanding the Borderline Personality Disorder Definition
What does it mean when someone is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder? There are about ten basic personality disorders that can occur within different categories that include paranoid disorders such as schizoid, erratic disorders like antisocial or borderline and anxious disorders such as avoidant or dependent personality disorders. Borderline falls into the second category of erratic disorders because it involves a lot of emotional instability and impulsive behavior.
By definition, borderline leads to significant impairment, particularly when it comes to close relationships with others. Personality disorders in general can be difficult to diagnose because it may be hard to distinguish between the extreme moods of other mental illnesses and the specific symptoms associated with borderline. Having a personality disorder like borderline means that someone has certain traits or patterns that are stable across time and consistent across situations and not a result of a certain environment or the influence of substance abuse.
Borderline Personality Disorder Causes
While the causes of most mental illnesses including borderline are not fully understood, there are certain factors which can contribute to someone developing specific symptoms.
People who are diagnosed with borderline personality disorder often have a genetic predisposition due to inheriting traits from their parents or grandparents. Someone who has a close relative with borderline or a similar type of disorder is much more likely to develop BPD themselves.
Physical traits such as brain abnormalities are shown to be associated with BPD as many people with the disorder have unusual changes in areas of the brain associated with regulating emotion, impulsivity and aggression. Environmental factors can also help to trigger some of the symptoms of BPD such as a stressful or traumatic childhood. Those who are sexually or physically abused early in life or neglected as children are much more likely to have borderline personality disorder.
How to Deal with Borderline Personality Disorder
Having a mental illness like borderline can be difficult to live with especially since it often negatively affects relationships. Many people with the disorder often don’t understand their own behavior and they feel powerless in controlling the chaos that happens in their lives. It is important with borderline disorder to develop coping skills to reduce some of the more intense emotional states that can cause problems.
Coping mechanisms can also help decrease the chance of harming or destroying relationships by preventing outbursts and even physical aggressions. Educating yourself and trying out different coping skills can help you build confidence and be better able to handle different situations without reacting too strongly. Eventually you will learn what coping skills work for you such as listening to music, talking to someone you trust, doing a fun activity or hobby, deep breathing or mindful meditation which can all help to cool down intense emotions.
Borderline Personality Disorder and Relationships
One of the most complex issues that affects people with borderline personality disorder is the ability to maintain close relationships. Their connections with people close to them can often become tumultuous and strained because of their intense anger, fear of abandonment and sometimes a tendency towards violence.
People with BPD have a very hard time trusting others but also deal with a type of love addiction that makes them obsess over their partner who will ultimately disappoint them because of their own issues with intimacy. Their feelings of emptiness, anxiety and distorted sense of social norms can lead to a lot of broken relationships. In order to repair their relationships, someone with borderline must learn to be more aware of other people’s feelings and build up their levels of trust. This can be difficult to do unless they receive counseling or treatment from a professional.
Entering Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder
Although there are methods you can use to help cope with some of the symptoms of mental illness, a serious disorder like borderline usually improves most with treatment. A facility that specializes in the treatment of borderline personality disorder will have a team of staff members who are educated and trained in helping people reduce their symptoms.
Although historically BPD has been considered difficult to treat, there have been many advances in new treatment approaches that are proving very effective for individuals getting help. With the right treatment many people with borderline can experience fewer symptoms and enjoy an overall better quality of life.
Treatment centers can provide different types of counseling and therapies which can have a positive impact on patients dealing with some very complicated emotional symptoms. Treatment can be crucial in preventing some of the more dangerous behaviors in BPD such as suicide attempts.
Residential Treatment Programs for Borderline Personality Disorder
People with very severe symptoms or who have had the disorder for a long time without any diagnosis will benefit the most from residential treatment. This means that they will live onsite in a facility while they are receiving intensive treatment. Residential programs are beneficial because it takes the patient away from the daily stresses of life and difficult relationships that can aggravate their symptoms.
In a more structure environment, patients can focus on learning the coping mechanisms that can help them deal more effectively with their feelings of anger, depression or emptiness. Living in a facility also gives patients a chance to connect with other people who have the same disorder so that they can support each other throughout treatment.
Medication for Borderline Personality Disorder
Although the core approach to treatment for personality disorders like borderline is psychotherapy, other treatments like supplemental medication can help alleviate symptoms. Currently, there are no prescriptions which treat BPD specifically but patients can take medications to help some of their issues with depression, anxiety or other unstable mood problems.
People with the disorder can take antidepressants such as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) or antipsychotics to help reduce impulsivity and aggression. SSRIs work well to help stabilize a person’s mood and prevent any intense low periods of depression. Before taking any medication, patients should consult their treatment center or psychiatrist to determine what the best prescription and dosage will be for them.
Finding the Best Inpatient Treatment Centers for Borderline Personality Disorder
When you are looking for treatment it is always a good idea to do plenty of research in order to find the best environment that works for you. Each inpatient facility has its own set of amenities, approaches to treatment and patient schedules. You should look into what a typical day in the facility will look like and take a tour of the treatment center so that you know for certain that you will be comfortable there. Once you feel more familiar with the type of treatment they provide you can be more confident about your ability to be successful in the program.
Living with Borderline Personality Disorder
Professional treatment in a residential facility in many cases can dramatically reduce the symptoms of borderline personality disorder and make it much easier to live with. Although most patients cannot be fully “cured” of their mental illness, learning certain coping skills and getting the right medication can make the disorder much more manageable in their day to day life.
It can take a lot of time, patience and hard work to see improvement from a complex mental health disorder but it is possible for people with borderline personality disorder to have more stable relationships and succeed in the workplace. Treatment can change people’s lives for the better so that they do not have to be held back by issues of mental health.