You have a difficult teenager at home, how do you differentiate between his “grumpy” state and his “borderline” personality? | mirror

Oman- Sometimes teenagers act without thinking about getting into trouble because the behaviors, thoughts, and feelings that characterize their personality are part of the typical teenage experience.

Other times, emotions may overwhelm a teen and control his or her behavior. Some teens may also spend a lot of time worrying excessively about social situations.

Therefore, it is important for parents to be able to distinguish between “typical” teenage moods and signs of mental health conditions such as “borderline” personality disorder.

1- Borderline Personality Disorder is an ongoing pattern of unstable relationships with others and self-image - (Pixel)
Borderline personality disorder: Persistent pattern of unstable relationships with others and self-image (PEXLS)

Signs of Borderline Personality Disorder

Asma Touqan, a child and adolescent psychologist, told Al Jazeera: “Borderline personality disorder is considered an ongoing pattern of unstable relationships with others and self-image, marked impulsivity, and mood disorders. It It begins in early adulthood and can be diagnosed during adolescence, before age 18.” If symptoms persist in teens for at least a year.

Tukan explained that there are several factors that contribute to the development of borderline personality disorder in adolescents, including:

  • DNA, It plays a role in personality disorders because genes play an important role in shaping personality.
  • emotional environment, and other psychological disorders, such as depression and anxiety, which increase the likelihood of borderline personality.
  • social relationship, Negative experiences in adolescence, such as bullying, rejection, feelings of inferiority, and exposure to sexual assault, also contribute to the development of this personality.
    2- Genetic factors may play a role in personality disorders - (Pixel)
    Genetic factors may play role in adolescent personality disorders (Pixel)

Significant differences

Tukan said borderline personality disorder presents the same way in teenagers and adults, but there are some clear differences in teenagers, such as:

  • Coping with mood changes: They may experience more mood swings due to hormonal changes and psychological maturation, which may increase the severity of BPD symptoms.
  • Influence of environmental factors: Adolescents are generally more likely than adults to experience social and psychological stress, which can have a different impact on the development and progression of BPD.
  • Response to treatment: Teenagers may respond differently to certain types of treatment than adults and may need different treatments or modifications, but their behavior can be modified and improved better and faster than adults.
    - Child psychiatrist Dr Asma Touqan - (Al Jazeera)
    Asma Tukan: Teenagers are often more susceptible to social and psychological stress than adults (Al Jazeera)

unacceptable behavior

But how does someone with borderline personality disorder feel, and what drives him or her to engage in unacceptable behavior?

Toukan explains that people with borderline personality disorder suffer from problems and instability in love and emotional relationships due to anxiety and fear of abandonment. In this case, signs of borderline personality appear through exaggerated behavior to prevent the other person from leaving you, and feeling like you are worthless, a human being, and a loser who is not worthy of love.

People with borderline personality may engage in harmful behaviors, such as self-harm, in an attempt to escape psychological pain or feelings of extreme discomfort and pain.

How to treat borderline personality

There are many ways to treat borderline personality disorder, including:

  • Psychotherapy.
  • Family therapy.
  • group therapy, By participating in group meetings, this can be very beneficial for building social skills and self-acceptance.
    For internal use - Amal Burshak, Ed.D. - (Al Jazeera)
    Amal Burshak: Tracking teenagers’ behavior at home, school and with friends could help diagnose the condition early (Al Jazeera)

Track teen behavior

In turn, Dr. Amal Burshak, a family education consultant, told Al Jazeera: “Borderline personality disorder in adolescents is characterized by strained social relationships, frequent mood swings, loss of control over impulsive behavior, extreme anger and irritability, fear of being Abandonment, a diminished sense of self-improvement, creates an innate sense of emptiness and loneliness that can lead to disconnection from reality, feeling depressed, or looking for ways to self-destruct.”

The importance of understanding the difference between typical conditions and borderline personality symptoms prevalent in teenagers is to monitor the teenager’s behavior at home, at school, and with friends, as this can help diagnose the condition early and get to the root of the problem. Boschak said there are specialized ways to help a teen manage his emotions and provide him with a supportive environment.

She emphasizes that this places a burden on everyone around him to act with wisdom and understanding while staying away from anything that irritates him and causes him to lose control.

The importance of working with schools

Burshak noted the importance of working with the school to understand the adolescent’s situation, since in this case it provides the opportunity to seek help from the expertise of calm and sober counselors and teachers and alerts parents to find out the reasons for his anger , the nature of his behavior with friends and teachers, and the impact of his condition on repeating some of his personal behaviors, such as hurting himself or recurring problems. in social relations.

In addition, it will take a while for the teen to recover from strong emotional reactions and difficulties talking about his feelings, so keep track of him, talk to him, and educate him as much as possible.

Burshak emphasizes that when dangerous, self-injurious, suicidal or destructive behavior (such as addiction) occurs, a psychologist needs to be consulted to follow up on his state of alertness, level of emotional regulation, effectiveness in relating to others, and ability to withstand stress. Condition. Also be careful not to exaggerate things and be patient and tolerant.

If risky behavior occurs, experts should be consulted - (Pixel)
A psychologist should be consulted when teens display risky behaviors (Pixel)

treatment techniques

According to the McLean Hospital website, two treatments have been shown to be beneficial for teens with borderline personality disorder:

1-Dialectical Behavior Therapy: It is a common treatment for borderline personality disorder and is designed to treat “self-injurious and suicidal behavior.” Dialectical Behavior Therapy focuses on four different skills:

  • Total concentration.
  • Emotional regulation.
  • Effectiveness in dealing with others.
  • Withstand the harshness.

2-General Psychiatry: It is an approach designed specifically for adolescents that focuses on providing young patients with the necessary life skills to effectively understand and manage their condition. These skills help them focus on not being sick and living a fulfilling life. , ordinary life.

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