The Best Natural Ways to Treat Borderline Personality Disorder

Blog-The Best Natural Ways to Treat Borderline Personality Disorder

One of the most misunderstood mental health conditions is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). If you’re like most people, you probably think that medication is the only way to treat this psychiatric illness. But there are many natural solutions that can help. Before going into these strategies, let’s take a closer look at this often debilitating condition.

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

BPD is characterized by extreme shifts in mood and behavior. People with BPD may have periods of anger, anxiety, or depression that last a few hours or days. BPD impacts the way a person thinks about themselves and others and often leads to a distorted self-image. The inappropriate emotional outbursts, impulsiveness, and mood swings associated with BPD may negatively impact an individual’s education, career, and relationships.

People with BPD have difficulty controlling their emotions. Their values and interests can change quite rapidly and without explanation. Those with BPD tend to have extreme views of people and situations, seeing them as all good or all bad. Since a friend one day may be considered an enemy the next, maintaining solid and consistent relationships can be a challenge for those with BPD.

Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder

The primary symptoms of BPD include:

  • Fear of abandonment
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Unstable relationships
  • A self-image that shifts
  • Feelings of emptiness, isolation, and boredom
  • Self-harm, such as cutting or suicidal behavior
  • Impulsivity and self-destructive behaviors, such as excessive spending, unsafe sex, or aggressive driving
  • Intense anger followed by guilt and shame
  • Difficulty trusting others or losing touch with reality, such as paranoia and periods of dissociation

It’s not uncommon for individuals with BPD to exhibit signs of other mental health problems, such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, or eating disorders. Many people with BPD turn to drugs and alcohol as a means of managing their symptoms, which can exacerbate symptoms and, in some cases, lead to substance abuse. Addressing any co-occurring issues is essential to the healing process.

Who Is Affected by Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline Personality Disorder is more common than you might think. It affects an estimated 1.4% of the U.S. population (over 4 million people), but it could be as high as 5.9% (over 19 million). Unlike ADD/ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which are typically identified in children and adolescents. BPD often begins in a person’s late teens or early 20s. BPD is more commonly seen in women, who make up 75% of those diagnosed with the condition. However, the high prevalence in women may be due in part to the fact that many men with BPD are misdiagnosed with depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). BPD is also often misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder.

Borderline Personality Disorder or Bipolar Disorder?

BPD is often misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder. Though their symptoms can be similar (mood swings, impulsiveness, and outbursts), their diagnoses are completely different. Bipolar disorder is identified by alternating periods of depression and mania. Those periods can last from a few days to several months.

By contrast, borderline personality disorder is distinguished by a long-term pattern of frequently shifting moods and behaviors. These episodes are typically triggered by interactions with other people. People with BPD are more likely to have other mental health issues as well as some type of childhood trauma.

Risk Factors for Borderline Personality Disorder

Even though there’s no known cause for BPD, there are several risk factors, including:

  • family history
  • brain differences—abnormalities in regions involved with emotions and impulses
  • biological factors—such as chronic infections (such as Lyme disease), hormonal imbalances, or immune system issues
  • environmental factors—including traumatic childhood experiences

However, having these risk factors doesn’t mean that an individual will develop BPD.

How is Borderline Personality Disorder Treated?

There is hope for people with Borderline Personality Disorder, and treatment can significantly improve their quality of life. After just 2 years of treatment, nearly 50% of people diagnosed with the condition no longer meet the criteria for the diagnosis. And a 2011 study in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that 10 years after seeking treatment, 85% of people diagnosed with BPD no longer met the criteria for the disorder.

Since BPD can occur alongside other symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, or eating disorders, it’s vital that individuals receive personalized, evidence-based care from a mental health professional. Treatments may vary for BPD patients, but the process often begins with medical testing and an in-depth discussion of a patient’s personal and family history. Functional brain imaging with SPECT can be very helpful in discovering the root cause(s) of a person’s symptoms.

Conventional treatment often includes medication, such as mood stabilizers, antidepressants, anti-psychotics, or a combination of these. But there are also several natural treatment options.

10 Natural Strategies for People with Borderline Personality Disorder

  1. Psychotherapy: Many forms of psychotherapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavioral therapy, may be the first line of defense.
  2. Family therapy: This can be beneficial to improve relationships with loved ones.
  3. Brain healthy diet: Eating foods that nourish the brain may be helpful for those struggling with a personality disorder.
  4. Addressing food sensitivities: Avoiding foods that may increase symptoms can be helpful.
  5. Foods that are common allergens include sugar, soy, dairy, gluten, corn, artificial dyes, preservatives, and food additives,
  6. Nutrient supplementation: Vitamin and mineral deficiencies have been associated with a variety of psychiatric conditions. Be sure to get enough of these important nutrients—omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, vitamin D, and probiotics.
  7. Eliminating alcohol and drug use.
  8. Limiting caffeine.
  9. Exercising daily: Physical activity has mood-boosting benefits.
  10. Using stress-management techniques to soothe anxiety.

5 Tips for Borderline Personality Disorder Family Members

If you’re struggling with how to handle a family member with BPD, here are some practical strategies that can help:

1. Don’t Tiptoe

Though it might feel like a natural response to the radical, emotional swings of BPD, don’t tiptoe around the person for fear of setting them off. Hiding your thoughts and feelings to avoid a confrontation isn’t healthy.

2. Avoid Isolating

Feelings of hopelessness can lead to isolation. Force yourself to stay connected with your lifelines: family and friends. Frequent conversations with safe and trusted people can provide you with support, understanding, and encouragement.

3. Focus on Emotions, Not Words

It’s easy to react to the angry words a BPD person is saying, but condition yourself to remain calm and focus on the emotions behind their statements. People with BPD need acknowledgment of their pain, not lengthy explanations regarding the appropriateness of their words.

4. Learn the 3 C’s

It’s normal to feel responsible for the frequent ups and downs that a BPD patient experiences. Learn to let yourself off the hook with these 3 C’s:

  1. I didn’t cause it.
  2. I can’t cure it.
  3. 3. I can’t control it.

5. Go Slow

Recovery is a process. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so pace yourself. Set realistic goals and expect occasional setbacks. Taking baby steps will give someone with BPD a greater chance at succeeding in the long run.

Borderline personality disorder and the co-existing conditions that often accompany it can’t wait. During these uncertain times, your mental well-being is more important than ever and waiting until life gets back to “normal” is likely to make your symptoms worsen over time.

At Amen Clinics, we’re here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy for adults, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.


  1. Thank you so much for posting some tips for family members to Kno how 2 better relate to BPD. My sister has struggled with this for over 14yrs, & was only dxd recently this year. If there is additional foods or excerisses that you reccomend to help improve brain damage & mental age degression caused as a result of BPD, I would be extremely intrested to learn.

    Comment by Joy — July 25, 2018 @ 2:16 PM

  2. Thanks for your help with BPD

    My wife suffers from this and divorced me.

    Comment by JAMES M WALL — July 30, 2018 @ 4:34 AM

  3. Dr. Amen, I love you. God Bless you. This is the best explanation for BPD. One of the main cause that I find out is childhood traumas. As a child, we had to develop certain habits in order to cope with all of that ABUSE that we had we had to live with. As we grow up, as an adult, people are UNCONSCIOUS about those traumas and they do not OBSERVE themselves that they behave differently at different times. The most important modality for therapy is MEDITATION. But we MUST have a great deal of KNOWLEDGE about human relationships, personality before we start meditating. There is so much aggression, violence in the world because people are not AWARE and CONSCIOUS of their past traumas. Well, they ACT OUT or they ACT IN their traumas

    Thank you very much for all of your help to our world. Dr. Marie Blair. 516-710-3010. Have a wonderful day and enjoy your life.

    Comment by Marie Blair, M.D. — July 30, 2018 @ 5:49 AM

  4. I’ve just read your detailed article discussing the signs/symptoms for BPD, and I’m concerned. I’m a male aged 65yrs and my temper is just too explosive, of late I notice my mood also beginning to fluctuate, with spells of regular morning depression. Without any training my wife is struggling very hard to keep calm when I go mad at other motorists. I find fault with everybody and this has begun to show even at my church. I’m now worried by this state of affairs and I need help but, I’m in Botswana, Southern Africa. Please help, anyhow you possibly can.

    Comment by Clement Mase — July 30, 2018 @ 6:40 AM

  5. Interesting, but I am surprised by no mention of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) as it is like CBT on Steroids for BPD. The dialectic is often the best way for someone with these “extremes” or “borderline” crises to find the middle ground.

    Comment by Interesting, but I'm surprised by no mention of DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) which is like CBT on steroids for BPD. — July 30, 2018 @ 7:30 AM

  6. My son has had BPD since teen years, now 40, will not seek any treatment or meds after his teen psychological assessment and treatments. He is a sociopath. For the last 4 years he ruined my life and my mothers life. She passed away recently and although I tried to speak with him positivitely he rejected me and made up harassment charges (dismissed). I blamed myself for some of the situations in his past but not any longer. I am not able to do anything for him.

    Comment by Steven — July 30, 2018 @ 10:43 AM

  7. I’ve watched your show on PBS and find it interesting that it can be helped w/o meds. Moreso, that the images of how it affects the brain, are shown on the
    brain scan. I’m wondering how having a brain scan can help w/o medication. It seems all mental conditions require some meds these days. Is it possible that cognitive training can restore the brain?

    Comment by Terri — July 30, 2018 @ 1:04 PM

  8. It’s my understanding that DBT, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, is the best treatment for Borderline.

    Comment by Joan — July 30, 2018 @ 3:05 PM

  9. I have been on anti-depressants for over 30 years . Have switched them about every 2 years plus take Vyance for focus which my Dr. does not prescribe the dose I really need. It is very expensive and I have to take at least 2 which would equal 100mg. He prescribes 50 mg and the only way it works is for me to take 2 at a time. Anyway, my son died May 12, and nothing is working. I cry all the time and stay in the bed. I usually have lots of energy but I am now living like a slob. My heart is broken and I cry a lot. I have a Dr. appt. August 1. What does the Dr. need to prescribe me?

    Comment by sheroncalvert — July 30, 2018 @ 4:46 PM

  10. Thank you so much for your article on BPD. It’s hard to have sympathy for someone who is raging without good cause. It’s hard to remember the pain they are in daily. What offices do you have in Nassau Long Island?

    Comment by Viya — July 30, 2018 @ 6:01 PM

  11. Hello Viya, thank you for reaching out. Our nearest clinic to you is in New York, NY. You can view our locations here: Our Care Coordinators can also be reached at 888-288-9834 to provide other referrals in your area as well, if you aren’t able to make it to one of our clinics.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — July 31, 2018 @ 7:44 AM

  12. Thank you I now know what my 56-year-old brother has but help at verve he would never think it himself. He thinks I’m mentally messed up which I do have anxiety and he also thinks his daughter is what she does I have a mental diagnosis to. We do tiptoe around because we don’t want to go through his name calling yelling and screaming raging complete idiot fit! Usually over nothing or something that he has over analyzed in paranoid about that never really even happened . I don’t believe he will ever go to a mental health facility or talk to anyone so that he can get the medication to help him I don’t see that ever happening at this point. I do believe my mother had bipolar disorder or maybe this borderline I don’t know but they have a lot a lot a lot of the same symptoms . I think you very much

    Comment by Leslie Standiford — July 31, 2018 @ 11:07 AM

  13. Do you have treatment for BPD at your Atlanta, Ga location?

    Comment by Gen Barbour — August 3, 2018 @ 3:48 AM

  14. Hello Gen, thank you for reaching out. Yes, we offer treatment for BPD at all Amen Clinics locations.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — August 3, 2018 @ 7:33 AM

  15. This is the 1st article I’ve read with such a great description of BPD. How trumatic childhood can be a culprit.
    Do you have any books or any other literature that would be helpful in dealing with these ppl? Reason I ask, I know I won’t be able to do to any clinic or the likes. I’m 59. Husband 63, has suffered with this for more than the 25yrs of our marriage.
    He was severely abused by his father his whole childhood.
    Though he didn’t physically abuse our five blended children, (who are all grown with their own families.) They all went through alot by him. And today are respectful to him, but keep their distance. God has been with them all. They are all well productive stable ppl.
    For me, it is so exhausting dealing with this behavior on a daily basis. It’s affected my health over the yrs. And I’m just tired! Thanks for any direction you can lead me with literature.

    Comment by Kristine Delcamp — August 17, 2018 @ 8:03 AM

  16. I am very interested in your theories of how to treat the brain and believe in them.
    I recommend you please answer the comments of people here in distress instead of ignoring them.
    Thank you.

    Comment by Denise iones — September 2, 2018 @ 6:46 AM

  17. Hello Denise, we do reach out to the users via comments in reply or privately if they are seeking detailed information that requires a personal discussion. Please let us know what we can do to assist you with more information. We can be reached directly at 888-288-9834 or by submitting this form with your questions – Thank you for reaching out.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — September 4, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

  18. Dear Amen Clinic-

    Are you going to incorporate DBT- Dialetocal Behavioral Therapy into your program? I hope you do since you are treating people with BPD. Marsha Linehan is the most amazing gift to any person with BPD, and the survival skills specific for our condition that I have learned are life saving. I’m coming there because I want to see my brain, but for anyone out there reading this CBT is not going to save your life like DBT will. This is the correct program to offer your clients and I really hope you add this. As a 27 year veteran of BPD, to not lead Amen into DBT is a disservice to us.

    Comment by Chandra — September 6, 2018 @ 2:11 AM

  19. Joan

    DBT is an evidence based treatment developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan. However, because of DISCRIMINATION, not STIGMA, people diagnosed with BPD do not get the correct treatment. I speak from EXPERIENCE.

    Comment by Brady — October 10, 2018 @ 2:24 AM

  20. Brilliant post! I concur. However, because of DISCRIMINATION, not STIGMA we suffer. Also, the new health plans discriminate against mental illness. Sad : (

    Comment by Brady — October 10, 2018 @ 2:36 AM

  21. One of the best things anyone with BPD is to learn DBT and CBT skills. I personally find DBT more helpful in preventing what I call “reality loss”. It is very easy to learn and a lot of great apps to help you learn and keep track. Years after diagnosed I finally found DBT to be the most effective personally. And yes. Please listen to our emotions behind what we are saying. If we’re angry about something off the wall we are angry and are just having issues communicating what we’re angry about. It’s true for any emotion we are “going overboard” on. The emotions are real. The words just don’t always come out right. And remember we’re not over dramatic or over sensitive we just feel emotions on a much deeper level.

    Comment by JoAnn Duncan — December 2, 2018 @ 11:27 PM

  22. Please dont blame yourself. Idk the history of yoy and your wife nu before i started to understand myself drom within i left the man of my dreams. Wasnt becaise i didnt think he would understand. Was because i DID NOT want to see him suffer any

    Comment by JoAnn Duncan — December 2, 2018 @ 11:32 PM

  23. My wife has this disorder, I deal with these symptoms daily. The trouble I have is what to do to help her. Have said many times needs to get help from a doctor but she says NO, I don’t trust them. What can I do to help her and still have my Marriage? Any ideas how to get her help from your clinic? Thanks

    Comment by Brian — December 15, 2018 @ 2:06 PM

  24. Most of my DBT clients have severe trauma histories either from Adverse Childhood Events (AC) or combination of ACE and combat trauma. As Bessel van der Kolk says in his book The Body Keeps the Score, “All trauma is preverbal.” It resides in the body. Therefore, CBT and DBT are of only limited value. van der Kolk has a plethora of non-verbal Paths to Recovery options ranging from EMDR, yoga, neurofeedback, music, dance etc.

    I do Neurofeedback with them my wife does EMDR and movement therapy with hem.

    Comment by Hanno Kirk, PhD, LICSW — December 17, 2018 @ 8:41 AM

  25. What does one do with a non-verbal 19 yrs, old girl with autism who totally changes her personality a few days before her period? Normally sweet and cooperative, during these days she often becomes violent and destructive, for example, kicking holes in the walls of the home we rent and continually flushing the toilet during the wee hours of the morning and becoming more OCD than ever. Not sure it’s BPD, and since she doesn’t converse nor can tell you what hurts or what she is feeling, we aging parents are at a loss about what to do.

    Comment by Barry — December 17, 2018 @ 9:18 AM

  26. Since Amen Clinic is such a solid organization, can you reach out to celebrities in the hopes they who suffer with BPD can “come out”? Perhaps informing the general public may help those suffering, recognize the symptoms and get proper help. Celebrities may also help reduce the stigma of this illness. The name alone sounds shameful, like a “dangerous to others” illness. CAN YOU AT LEAST HELP CHANGE THE NAME TO SOMETHING LESS SCARY?! PLEASE.

    Comment by Viya — December 17, 2018 @ 9:37 AM

  27. Clement, some of your symptoms sound like some I have had. I thought the problem was hormonal (I am 64) until I just heard a podcast of Dr. Tara Miller, who is in British Columbia. She does work overcoming trauma. The Canadians have developed a treatment called SRT, self regulation therapy. Her podcast was with Dr. Anna Cabeca. You symptoms could be PTSD, and you don’t have to have been in war to suffer from PTSD. It can come from a build up of stress or traumas in your life that are not properly dealt with. When your “bucket” of stress gets to the top, every new stressor is just too much to handle and it causes you to start showing outward symptoms. I don’t know if that is what you have, but check out Tara Miller’s website and read her free download. Just naming the problem has been such a relief. Now you just have to do the work to get over your past traumas. You have to start doing a lot of self care and have loving, fun times to write over the trauma and change the way your brain keeps reacting. I’m just starting down this path, but meditation, laughter, exercise, connection, writing about your traumas, etc. are all tools to use to overcome this. I think it is Dr. Amen who says that all stress is cumulative. It gets stored in your body, just like scar tissue from a real wound. We don’t take care of our “inner” wounds like we would a wound that you can see, and that’s where we get in trouble from improper healing. Investigate this and see whether this is it for you. It could be something else, but I had to write when I saw your symptoms. I recognize the morning depression and getting rageful over nothing. You are lucky to have a loving wife. You can do this! Love, Lee A. P.S. Thank you, Dr. Amen, for all of your work & allowing this sharing. I wonder if you have interviewed Dr. Tara Miller, or Wim Hof, who uses breathing & cold exposure to train the mind.

    Comment by Lee — December 17, 2018 @ 11:57 AM

  28. Be very careful with the medication that Dr. Amen’s clinic may suggest. My son was given a bipolar disorder diagnosis at the clinic in Seattle and his mood changed radically. When asked about the medication, we were told to stay the course, follow the protocol for the remainder of the vitamins, etc. routine and things will improve. We did just that until our son tried to take his life, three months later. We dropped the meds and were given the diagnose of BPD at another medical center. So, yes a diagnosis is difficult to find. However, as parents we usually know our children best. Follow your own instincts! Just because your family member is given a diagnosis by a seemly knowledgable doctor, it is not always correct. When my son was taken off the medication life improved. Soon my son began DBT and things improved significantly. It has been a long road to recovery and he is still not thriving, but life is bearable for all of us now. It is essential that you find a therapist that your child can relate to and it may take years to heal from the past. It’s costly but worth it!
    DBT and a good therapist are the best way to heal from BPD. Talk to and LISTEN to your child!!

    Comment by marilyn smith — December 17, 2018 @ 3:20 PM

  29. Hello Barry, thank you for reaching out and sharing with us. We’d be happy to have a Care Coordinator reach out to you with treatment options and information available. We have psychiatrists at our clinics that specialize in Autism diagnoses, as well as hormones as a part of integrative medicine if you suspect her menstrual cycle may be a factor.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — December 17, 2018 @ 4:37 PM

  30. Hello Brian, thank you for reaching out and sharing with us. We’d like to have a Care Coordinator reach out to you to discuss your concerns further and offer more information and possible treatment options.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — December 17, 2018 @ 4:41 PM

  31. So sorry to hear about your son. All the explanations on this site are great, however, BPD stems from early childhood trauma most of the time.
    The trauma must be addressed with a deep therapy such as EMDR or Brainspotting therapy! Please get him that help along with healthy nutrition and supplements.

    Comment by Jacqui A. kievit — December 18, 2018 @ 6:56 AM

  32. I think this article articulates very well the condition of BPD. I was diagnosed at age 14 with major depression and went through years of ups and downs especially in regards to relationships with anyone. I used to have such black and white thinking. I’ve had years of obsessing about suicide. I knew there was something more wrong with me besides depression. I never new who I was always changing my mind in regards to everything. One minute I wanted to be a blonde the next I wanted black hair etc. that’s just a small part of how black and white my thinking is. It’s crazy and exhausting. I diagnosed myself.

    Comment by Susan Novello — December 20, 2018 @ 10:41 PM

  33. Are treatments covered by insurance yet?

    Comment by Heidi — December 23, 2018 @ 1:32 AM

  34. My wife too who has BPD is in the process of divorcing me, despite me having done everything to win her back. She is also comorbid with Anti Social Personality disorder. James M Wall you may want to check if your wife also has ASPD, which many BPD individuals do. Basically its a lack of remorse so they are very easily able to divorce their partners, even those they have spent decades with.

    Therapy needs to be ongoing and is very costly but a new study shows Marijuana helps rewire the brain and is helpful for people with both ASPD and BPD as it is this rewiring that they so desperately need.

    Comment by Zal Khn — December 27, 2018 @ 5:43 PM

  35. Google tara4bpd. There is a woman in ny Valerie Porr who has amazing practical advice.

    Comment by Lynn — December 28, 2018 @ 8:13 AM

  36. My daughter has this. Right now I’m raising her 14 month old son shielding him I’m tired

    Comment by Deborsh — December 29, 2018 @ 6:16 AM

  37. Hi Susan, would you be interested in talking more about our BPD?

    Comment by Nancy — January 1, 2019 @ 4:35 PM

  38. I am taking totalcureherbsfoundation com herbal treatment  and am about to start physical therapy to strengthen muscles.this herbal treatment has full get rid of my PD after 15 weeks of usage and it has reversed all symptoms.

    Comment by Reece Mia — January 17, 2019 @ 4:39 AM

  39. 24 year old son, no childhood trauma (spent 1st 12 years overseas, oil business), great teen years, athlete in HS, smart, great teachers in pvt school, so we only knew that he was always sensitive. Off to University (engineering), first semester OK, kept scholarship. 2nd year started going downhill grade-wise.
    Melted down third year, too much fraternity partying, bad break-up with GF. Self-destructive drinking, some drugs, Aderall for ADD, abused that.
    Third year disaster, insisted he come home, suicidal ideation, laid around 1 year, wouldn’t bathe, barely kept a brainless job at golf course.
    Finally 20 day stay at renowned mental health clinic (Meninger), diagnosed with BPD. Got kicked out of Meninger on last days, fooling around with girl there.
    He’s been on anti-depressants and anxiety meds, although he has self-reduced much of those to bare minimums. Both jobs he’s had since golf course, quit after 2-3 weeks (grocery store, Home Depot)
    He is really, really much better now, but still has emotional dis-regulation. What to us are little road bumps in life, to him are Mt. Everest. Girl doesn’t listen to him like he thinks she should, skips classes for 2 days.
    Doing well back at community college, but still at home. Fewer eruptions, but wife is worn out, tired of the uproar.
    I would say he’s done extremely well on his own, but his BPD is always just below surface. Tried 2 rounds of therapy, quit both, said they either “didn’t like him” or “bored him”. Houston, Texas area, but we’ve been unable to convince him for therapy.

    Comment by Bill — January 18, 2019 @ 8:37 PM

  40. Relieved to read your son is on the road to recovery and hopefully wellness. DBT is excellent for BPD. Please also read about Brainspotting (David Grand, Ph.D). I’ve seen wonderful results provided by Brainspotting therapists. It’s phenominal with BPD as well as anxiety, grief, depression, trauma, ADD/ADHD, OCSD, PTSD, and so many other issues, including minor ones to complex traumas. Sending positive thoughts and wellness recovery (including prayers) to all who experience mental health issues!

    Comment by AM Camp — February 2, 2019 @ 7:42 AM

  41. As a DBT and Brainspotting therapist (along with other modalities) in metro Atlanta, I’ve seen results with EMDR, DBT, and Brainspotting that have been truly life changing for so many. EMDR is very effective, although unfortunately for some, it can be difficult to remember complex sequence of tapping outside of sessions initially. I’ve seen (and experienced) Brainspotting to be effective most quickly…within 1-4 sessions even with severe trauma and anxiety.

    Comment by AM Camp — February 2, 2019 @ 7:58 AM

  42. The loss of your child is beyond words. Please find a Brainspotting therapist to help you through this grief. Healing can occur.

    Comment by AM Camp — February 2, 2019 @ 8:01 AM

  43. Amen Clinics are awesome. Also ask your son to meet with a Brainspotting therapist for one session. After the one session, he will literally feel and see positive results. He’ll then be open to additional sessions. I’ve never seen anyone need more than six sessions even for horrendous trauma and anxiety. Blessings and positivity going out to your wife, you, your son, and all who are experiencing this challenge

    Comment by AM Camp — February 2, 2019 @ 8:11 AM

  44. I was diagnosed with BPD when I was 17. I am only 21 and I feel as if it has taken over my life. I am so scared and I don’t know what to do. I have tried medicine and therapy but none of them seem to work. My life is a mess, I need help but don’t know where to get it. The doctors here don’t seem to take it as seriously.

    Comment by Shyanne — February 16, 2019 @ 6:28 AM

  45. wow,im 50yrs old and just diagnosed 3 weeks ago ii am just gathering information.ive learned alot about what i have from the comments and your kind repliesi iam somewhat hopeful that perhaps my future wont be so bleak.i wish us all well on our quest.

    Comment by dawm — February 17, 2019 @ 9:15 AM

  46. Thank you Hanno for putting that out there – CBT and DBT can be helpful in the early stages of Tx for BPD and complex-trauma and certainly have their clinical utility, but it doesn’t support the deeper level of healing and transformation. I’ve trained with, and follow Bessel van der Kolk’s work and concur Tx of BPD connected w/complex trauma needs to incorporate modalities from a broader holistic lens that include not just cognitive thoughts but emotions and physical sensations (body memories). I support EMDR, neurofeedback, Yoga, Play, meditation and the incorporation of brain imaging that Dr Amen continues to contribute to the field.

    Comment by Alaina King, PsyD-candidate, EMDR, M.A. — March 20, 2019 @ 3:24 AM

  47. I’m sorry for your loss. Nothing quite like suffering in that way from someone else’s mental illness.

    Comment by Rose — March 20, 2019 @ 4:09 AM

  48. I am waiting for a referral for a psychiatrist in the Phila area. I have a friend who has OCD & will not travel to New York. Someone from your practice & send a referral will be sent to me by email. Thank you.

    Comment by Rocco Polidoro — March 20, 2019 @ 4:50 AM

  49. Read above about Adverse childhood experiences. The largest study on early childhood trauma ever done.

    Comment by Great comment Marie. Adverse childhood trauma is the root cause of BPD. Therefore, the trauma must be addressed with a deep brain therapy such as EMDR or Brainspotting. Both are very effective. — March 20, 2019 @ 5:19 AM

  50. Lynn, thank you for posting!!! We are looking for all kinds of help for my brother who has suffered with bi-polar for 37 years and his mind is weakening. It’s so similar to BPD and I’m sure we can get help here too. Thank you!

    Comment by Amy Rose — March 20, 2019 @ 5:41 AM

  51. Hello Rocco, thank you for reaching out. We will contact you to discuss referrals that are closer for you.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — March 20, 2019 @ 7:21 AM

  52. My daughter died in March 2 years ago. It helps me immensely to remember Jesus promised that those who believe in him though they die will live eternallym. For those who never heard of Jesus and his promise of living forever, I believe in God’s mercy.

    Comment by Evelyn — March 20, 2019 @ 9:21 AM

  53. Have u looked into Brainwave Optimization?
    I have friends who rave about it. They did it twice.

    Comment by Donovan — March 20, 2019 @ 11:24 AM

  54. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in my early 20’s and now believe I have BPD. I’v come to the conclusion that I have to seek treatment but don’t know where to turn. I’v always felt totally disconnected from life and think I’v found why.

    Comment by Travis — March 29, 2019 @ 6:54 AM

  55. My wife or 8 years suffers from BPD & schizoaffective disorder. She can be the most sweetest woman in the world and then turn at the middle of laughing. I think its sumthing I said or done however I’ve come to realize it’s not me it’s my wife’s false beliefs and and other issues. I know my wife dont mean nothing she says however it does still hurt sum times. Is there any way to stop the what my wife says from hurting so bad. I love my wife and will never leave her side for nothing its painful sum times and sum days I feel alone and unwanted. My wife’s episodes may last for several long minst to a week or longer at times. My wife does apoglize for what she says and does and truly feels bad. It’s a emotional rollercoaster sum days that will push you to a breaking point. I’ve not crossed that breaking point and won’t. If any one has any suggestions on how to not let what my wife says or does hurt as much pleae let me know.

    Comment by Johnny H. — April 19, 2019 @ 10:09 AM

  56. When I saw all these claims that childhood trauma causes BPD, I wrote out a very long explanation of all the things that went on in my son’s life that led to the development of what we (myself and his doctor) believe to be BPD, to point out that there was no childhood trauma. He hasn’t been dxed because he refused to complete the process, which is typical of those with BPD (and one more reason that it should be dxed before the age of majority!). I write to all of the parents who can’t think of any traumatic event or neglect or true abuse in their child’s past. A bad divorce, a horrible relationship with the ex, vindictive behavior on the part of one party, coupled with a move that was a necessity left my son in a vulnerable spot. I found out several years later that he was told by his father that I just left and didn’t want him to come with me. Not true, and he knows it. We sold everything we had of any value to pay off lawyers, but due to the move being away from all of the extended family, the ex was granted placement. His whispers in my son’s ear, along with the fighting and the effect it all had on my own mental health, created that childhood trauma for my boy. I’ve always felt a tremendous amount of guilt for his condition, thinking I did something wrong, that if I were just a better mom, or if I had just stayed, he wouldn’t be sick. Recently, I realized that his condition was brewing when he was a child and that we were likely dealing with something on the Asperger’s end of the spectrum that wasn’t dxed. After writing out the situation, I also realized that while I couldn’t find a single traumatic event, there was an entire childhood plagued with fighting and whether I stayed or left, it would have developed, though maybe not in the same way. Had I been able to maintain regular involvement, I might have been able to help stop the abandonment fears from developing, but honestly, I’d have been in a rubber room so probably not.
    The point of this is that though there might not be one specific event, there may still be incredible trauma and that it’s not necessarily something that was done to the child, but something he experienced as a bystander.

    Comment by MRB — July 6, 2019 @ 4:25 PM

  57. Can you cite the study so I can read it to get more info? Do you know if marijuana is being prescribed medically where allowed in conjunction with other medically recommended treatment such as cognitive behavioral therapy, etc.?

    Comment by Suzanne Suppes — July 13, 2019 @ 11:25 AM

  58. Hi Dr. Amen,

    I am watching you on PBS right now. It made me wish I could ask you about my situation. Of course, I can’t afford to visit your clinic, but I will ask the question(s) anyway. I would love to see what my SPECT scans look like. I bet they would be as interesting as my history!

    Background: I am 65 years old. I have been told I am the “poster child” for BPD. That being said I have been taking anti-depressants for many years. I was misdiagnosed with Bipoloar disorder and then diagnosed myself and found doctors and thereapists who would help me.
    The anti-depressants keep me from going over the edge, but they also destroy who I really am. I am an artist (painter). I haven’t been interested in my art for years. I live alone with my dogs. I would love to be in a relationship, but that is just not possible. I just make problems. I am a relatively attractive women. At one time, I was told I was beautiful. I am a paralegal and have been for many years. I am lucky that I am really good at my job ad that my co-workers and bosess are very forgiving. I pick fights. I act like a child. I take everything personally. I pout and hold grudges. I have tried everything to change how I act and feel, but in spite of all my hard work on myself my life is pretty empty. I often wish for more, but I am aslo grateful not to be “crazy” any longer (suicidal or maniacal). Periodically, I will try again to paint or to be close to someone, and then give up. It just ends up being a disaster. I have my little studio and paints waiting upstairs in the event a miracle occurs and I am once more inspired. But I am not hopeful about this. I even had the idea once that I could be a writer. My memory is getting worse by the day. If I don’t take my anti-depressants I cannot sleep at all. I am a compulsive binge eater (no one knows this). I have done DBT. I have done talking therapy. I have been on a diet since I was 7 years old. I was not abused as a child (at least not physically). Close relatives (aunt, grandfather, father) had serious anger/emotional stability issues. I now also have bone problems. I am working with my doctor on these issues. Somehow I feel like everything is interelated. I feel now at the age of 65 all my systems are starting to fail. I can’t even walk my beloved dogs for fear that I will be my usual clumsy self and fall and break another bone!

    If you have any advice for me, please let me know.

    Thank you for all your wonderful work you to do keep us healthy and happy!

    Comment by Yvonne C. — August 25, 2019 @ 2:16 PM

  59. Something caught my attention in this article. It states that Biopolar usually involves childhood trauma. However, there was nothing mentioned about BPD coming from an invalidating and abusive environment, that does cause trauma. I’m living proof. It would be nice if those facts where mentioned in the article, as that’s a very big part of it.

    Comment by Diana L. Britt — November 22, 2019 @ 6:08 AM

  60. Book…. Could It Be B12. Research and testing…. Normalizing magnesium and B12 can stop the rage and paranoia…I’ve seen it work with clients.

    Comment by There is a book out now called "Could It Be B12? Amazing results with normalizing Vitamin B12 and magnesium... — November 22, 2019 @ 6:29 PM

  61. My 31 year old daughter’s life has been hellish
    For so many years. Her birth mom didn’t know she was pregnant and had been actively doing drugs so my daughter was born 3 and 1/2 months early resulting in cerebral palsy. Both her parents had mental illness.

    Comment by Jae Madrone — November 24, 2019 @ 5:54 AM

  62. I have suffered my whole life being misunderstood by ALL around me. An experienced counselling friend indicated I might have BPD in 2012. I discounted it, but still did not understand why I engaged in certain behaviours. I sought Behavioural Health therapy through Kaiser Permanente. After five years of cognitive therapy, I am now with a very well trained counsellor who did her master’s work on BPD. It was only this year that it was revealed to me by her that a previous counsellor had that diagnosis. I have made great progress through long and painful work. I never did EMDR, but it was recommended at one time. Long story short….I am 75 years old and I DID DIVORCE my husband of 53 years this year!!! He has ADD, and ASBERGERS , among other mental concerns, and will not seek therapy. I have done your brain analyses on line. I have done natural medicine most of my last 30 years.
    I am well read on nutrition. I take GABA, live healthy, go to a natural doctor and take many supplements. I have been on sertraline since 2012.
    I now live alone trying to cope with staying connected to my two grown daughters who have distanced themselves from me. The rest of my family all passed away in 2016.
    Thank you if you can give me any more information, and thank you for your work on helping those of us who have had lifelong challenges that no one explained before!!

    Comment by Dorothea Bennett — November 24, 2019 @ 3:40 PM

  63. I can tell you that, while it is important to not be a slave to the demands of someone with BPD, your approach to setting boundaries should be carefully phrased with love at an appropriate time, otherwise you could send them into a triggered psychotic meltdown. They may destroy property or self-harm, or worse.

    Comment by Ti na — November 16, 2021 @ 6:16 PM

  64. Hi… So not sure where to begin but I am the husband and father of some amazing BPD people. We have gone through hades and back trying to understand what has been happening in our family and what a difference education and treatment from actual experts can do. We went from chaos I cannot describe to peace I didn't know we were capable of. Please please please do not read or see anyone who is not an expert in this field. From what I have read so far it does not seem this place is right for anyone with BPD and only certain treatments work with this profound and severe disorder.
    My beautiful Borderlines… you are not bad at therapy… Therapy and the mental health world has failed you. Generic and yes even holistic therapies can actually be very very harmful to you. This stuff was not made for people like yourselves. It's meant for neurotypicals just going through some tough times.

    The mental health community in America is working from very outdated information and they will do you more harm than good. As Dr. Gregory Lester said there are only a couple of handfuls of people who are experts in the field of Borderline… and those people are not very good at disseminating their research and newest information… and most actual experts know that people with BPD… were born this way. It's the way you were wired… You are not a victim…you are not a villain… you are wired very very differently. Ever feel like you can't trust anyone… Even yourself… Right now…Tell yourself something true about yourself… Anything… Then wait 5 seconds without reading anything further.

    So… what you said… is it true? You're not sure are you? You can't talk about yourself or your inner experiences and know for sure if you are saying something true… Might be lying right… might be true…

    You have a neurological disorder… Eating right, working out, yoga and supplements can help everybody out… It's not gonna do much for you. At least not by itself… Yeah CBT… No… Therapist have been inadvertently causing the suicidal death of many many many people with BPD. Because they woefully do not understand the complexities of the BPD brain. Which by the way is full of great beauty as well as chaos.

    I want to tell all you exceptional BPD people that you are not alone… it is and will get better.

    I've spent the past few years dedicating every free moment I have to understanding this severe mental disorder. If you need help – be it a family member or if you suffer from BPD – the ONLY empirically proven treatments are DBT – helps with regulating self, MBT (Mentalization Based Treatment) – helps understanding self and others, TFP (Transference Focused Psychotherapy) – helps deal with Shame (BPD shame is very different than shame as neurotypicals understand it), and lastly Schema therapy. DBT will help with the extreme stuff… The dangerous stuff… Takes a long time and what they learn starts to fade over time… but it is a game changer. MBT is the gold star treatment over seas and helps develop long term nuerological change that continues to make connections after treatment is completed… Unfortunately it is difficult to find in the States and you really must take DBT and/or MBT from a program specifically for people with BPD…
    McLean in Boston and Menningers in Houston come to mind…. Also, she has already been mentioned but… Valerie Porr… Valerie Porr and thank Jesus for Valerie Porr and TARA4BPD… She teaches a family class program that kick-started the healing in our house. Years of harmful therapy, bad guidance from books and blogs… All of it did nothing but make things worse… Then we found Valerie and through her and her class got the foundation we needed and introduced us to the actual experts in the field… BPD people tell your loved ones about Valerie… She also teaches classes about yourselves… She is the wise grandma of BPD. Anyway… much love and peace to all of you.

    Comment by James — January 11, 2023 @ 1:50 AM

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Contact Us