May has been declared as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Awareness Month in the United States. I think this is very important. I hope that my country, Canada, and others will follow in supporting raising awareness of and about Borderline Personality Disorder. In spite of the number of lives that BPD affects, the lives of those diagnosed with it and the lives of those who love and/or care about those with BPD, Borderline Personality Disorder continues to suffer incredible stigma and continues to take a back seat to many other forms of mental illness in terms of education, awareness, and funding for its treatment. There is much that needs to change when it comes to the perception understanding, or misunderstanding about Borderline Personality Disorder. All-too-often professionals do not hold out hope for those with BPD to get better. There is every reason to have HOPE – © A.J. Mahari May 2, 2008
"April 1, 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 414-0 to adopt H. Res. 1005, a resolution supporting the goals and ideals of Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month. The resolution, introduced by Rep. Thomas Davis (R-VA), expresses the sense of the House that May should be designated as Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month." (National Education Alliance for BPD)
The National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA for BPD) works hard to promote and forward awareness and education about Borderline Personality Disorder. The following facts are quoted from a Fact Sheet from the NEA for BPD:
AWARENESS OF BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER BRINGS HOPE.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness that centers on the inability to manage emotions effectively. The symptoms include impulsivity, mood lability, rage, bodily self harm, suicide, chaotic relationships, fears of abandonment and substance abuse. Officially recognized in 1980 by the psychiatric community, BPD is at least two decades behind in research, treatment options, and family education compared to other major mental illnesses.
While some persons with BPD are high functioning in certain settings, their private lives may be in turmoil. Others are unable to work and require financial support.
The high prevalence of BPD and its high personal, social, and economic toll makeit a national public health challenge. And yet people do get better. Hope starts with awareness.
Prevalence in Adults
4 million American individuals have BPD (~ 2% of general public)
BPD is more common than schizophrenia
20% of psychiatric hospital admissions have BPD (more than for major depression)
Suicide and Self Injury in Adults
10% of adults with BPD commit suicide
a person with BPD has a suicide rate 400 times greater than the general public
a young woman with BPD – suicide rate 800 times greater than the general public
55-85% of adults with BPD self-injure their bodies
Prevalence and Suicide in Youth
33% of youth who commit suicide have features of BPD
no FDA-approved medication exists for BPD
BPD can co-occur with other illnesses (e.g., 60% also have major depression)
research-based therapies for BPD are not widely available
a 30-yr-old woman with BPD typically has a medical profile of a woman in her 60s
up to 40% of high users of mental health services have BPD
over 50% of individuals are severely impaired in employability
12% of men and 28% of women in prison have BPD
Source: Research presentations of NEA-BPD conferences 2002–2007