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Many who have Borderline Personality Disorder suffer from eating disorders. A high percentage are women but some men with BPD also have an eating disorder. Dialectial Behavior Therapy (DBT), according to a pilot study may be effective in helping those with BPD and eating disorders.

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Women who suffer from bulimia or binge-eating disorder and who have borderline personality may be helped with “dialectical behavior therapy,” results of a pilot study suggest.

Dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT, is a form of cognitive-behavior therapy originally developed for women with borderline personality disorder — a disorder characterized by recurrent suicidal behavior and multiple problem behaviors.

Standard DBT is a comprehensive, multi-component “life skills-based” treatment targeting behaviors that threaten a person’s life and interfere with therapy and overall quality of life. DBT helps people be mindful of their emotions and regulate their emotions and tolerate life’s ups and downs.

Dr. Eunice Y. Chen from the University of Chicago, Illinois, and colleagues studied the impact of standard DBT, consisting of weekly skills group training, individual DBT, therapist consultation team meetings, and as-needed telephone coaching, in eight women with borderline personality disorder and either bulimia or binge-eating disorder.

Half of the women reported an emergency room visit for suicidal or self-injurious behavior in the year prior to the study. Six of the eight women were currently on psychotropic medications.

In the International Journal of Eating Disorders, Chen and colleagues report that DBT improved social functioning and reduced non-suicidal self-injury behavior and suicidal behavior (there were no attempts during treatment), as well as binge-eating behavior and concerns about eating disorders.

However, “there was some concern that 6 months of treatment was insufficient,” Chen and colleagues say, noting that one women made a “serious suicide” attempt during the 6 months following treatment. Some women in the study told their therapists that treatment was too short.

Overall, the researchers say, his study provides promising preliminary data for larger studies using DBT for people with bulimia or binge eating and borderline personality disorder.

SOURCE: International Journal of Eating Disorders, September 2008 –

For more information about Eating Disorders and Borderline Personality Disorder you can check out the BPD Message Board Forum on my website Borderline Personality Disorder From The Inside Out

Eating disorders are co-morbid for many with Borderline Personality Disorder. Anorexa, Bulimia, or Compulsive Overeating have deep-seated roots in the unresolved core wound of abandonment and the issues that spiral out of that woundedness – woundedness that supports the kind of dysfunctional pathology, emotionally, that can lead to eating disorders, among other things, beings vehicles for self-harming and self-destructive behaviour. 

At the root of many of the issues that contribute to eating disorders in those with Borderline Personality Disorder is a lack of known self – the borderline false self and the legacy of abandonment

The fundamental loss of authentic self the the arrested emotional development that is a hallmark of Borderline Personality Disorder lays the framework for the kind of control issues that fuel eating disorders. Eating disorders, for those with Borderline Personality Disorder, can provide the borderline with a sense of control, that even though it is an illusion and often self-destructive, is a dysfunctional yet somewhat effective way of avoiding the deep intrapsychic pain that those with BPD struggle to learn how to tolerate the distress of long enough to learn how to soothe it in healthier ways.

© A.J. Mahari, August 28, 2008 – All rights reserved.

DBT Skills-based therapy may curb eating disorders in those with Borderline Personality