Does My Child Have BPD? (+5 Coping tips)
This detailed blogpost will be discussing if your child has BPD along with possible causes of BPD in your child. Furthermore, we will be looking at a few tips and coping-strategies that you can use to help your child with BPD.
Does My Child Have BPD?
Your child may have BPD if they are showing the following symptoms and behaviors frequently:
- They have expressed a fear that you might leave them
- They are scared of being alone
- They have engaged in self-harming behaviors
- They may indulge in unsafe sex
- Their feelings toward others are quite intense
- They frequently have anger outbursts
- They have taken reckless decisions
- They have a constantly changing self-image
- They may show signs of dissociation
They have expressed a fear that you might leave them
Children often are quite anxious about their parents leaving them alone. However, in Borderline Personality Disorder, this fear is only multiplied by dozens of times. This is commonly termed a fear of abandonment.
In teenagers who are manifesting signs of Borderline Personality Disorder, this fear of abandonment may be expressed by them throwing tantrums when their favorite person is leaving them for even short periods of time.
Often, this favorite person in teenagers is a romantic interest or a partner. Teenagers often exaggerate their current romantic relationships, even though it may be premature in nature. In teenagers who have BPD, they may even take drastic steps to prevent this abandonment.
They are scared of being alone
Another sign that your child may indeed have Borderline Personality Disorder is that they might express a high fear of being alone. If you have to leave your child at home for even a short while, they may feel that you are leaving them for good and may even try to prevent you from leaving.
They have engaged in self-harming behaviors
Self-harming behaviors are also quite common in Borderline Personality Disorder, in both adults and children. In children who have BPD, these self-harming behaviors may not be suicidal in nature and may not even be life-threatening.
Self-harming behaviors can involve actions like cutting, head-banging or even some other form. In some children, they may actively take part in self-destructive behaviors and dangerous activities as a form of self-harming.
They may indulge in unsafe sex
It is quite common for teenagers to be curious about and experiment with sex. In those who have Borderline Personality Disorder, this practice may be slightly different. If your child is taking part in unsafe sex frequently, this may be a sign that they have BPD.
Their feelings toward others are quite intense
Children with Borderline Personality Disorder often express very intense feelings and emotions for other people. Just like adults who have BPD, even children or teenagers with BPD go through a black and white thinking when it comes to other people.
As a result of this type of thought process, you might find that your child with BPD often loves someone too much and may hate that person intensely when they find some unpleasant information regarding the same person.
They frequently have anger outbursts
Anger outbursts are also quite common in children who have Borderline Personality Disorder. Demonstrating anger and throwing temper tantrums are quite common in teenagers who have no mental health issues.
But, in teenagers with BPD, these anger outbursts tend to be even more intense. They might even break things and throw things out of anger. After they have calmed down, they might find it hard to understand why their behavior was wrong and also may not show any remorse.
They have taken reckless decisions
Borderline Personality Disorder can also lead the person to often take impulsive and reckless decisions without thinking about the consequences of their actions. This can also be seen in teenagers who have BPD.
Impulsivity as a trait is often present in adolescence, and therefore Borderline Personality Disorder was originally thought to be absent or not diagnosable in teenagers. At the same time, teenagers who have BPD demonstrate a much higher level of impulsivity than others.
If your child is way more impulsive than their peers, it is likely that they may have Borderline Personality Disorder. Their impulsivity may only increase in intensity when they feel that they are being abandoned by others or by their favorite person.
They have a constantly changing self-image
Sense of self is also quite impaired and distorted when it comes to Borderline Personality Disorder. If your child has BPD, you might find that their self-identity comes and goes or follows an up-and-down pattern.
In teenagers, this distortion of self-image can be clearly seen as they often take on the identity of those around them, rather than aiming for their own unique image. Again, this sign often goes unrecognized since adolescents struggle with their image as part of growing up.
They may show signs of dissociation
Borderline Personality Disorder can also cause the person to dissociate and lose touch with reality. Often, this dissociation from reality comes as a result of high levels of stress or when the person has been triggered by some stress factor.
If your child has Borderline Personality Disorder, you might find that they act very unlike themselves when they are going through a lot of stress. You might also find that they are highly paranoid and suspicious of others around this time.
Causes of BPD in Your Child
Borderline Personality Disorder is often called an adult mental health issue and its presence in children is even denied by some mental health experts. However, BPD can also manifest itself in children. Some factors which might have led to BPD in your child are:
- Genetic factors: If there is a strong history of Borderline Personality Disorder or any other mental health disorder in your family, this could have led to this PD in your child. Often, genetic factors are to blame for BPD.
- Traumatic incidents: More often than not, traumatic experiences in childhood lead to Borderline Personality Disorder when the person is an adult. However, these signs can be seen during childhood and early teenage years as well.
Coping Tips for a Child with BPD
Having a child who has Borderline Personality Disorder may not be easy for any parent to hear. However, the good news is that there are many treatment methods available to reduce the distress for your child, like psychotherapy and even medication.
Simultaneously, as a parent, you can practice a number of coping strategies and techniques for your child in their home-environment. A few of the best coping tips from mental health experts for a child who has BPD are listed below.
- Keep your home environment as calm and routine-like as possible
- Practice relaxation exercises with your child like deep breathing, yoga and others whenever you feel that they have been triggered
- Improve your understanding of BPD, especially about its manifestations in children
- Listen to your child and validate their feelings, especially if they are speaking about some traumatic experience which has happened to them
- Set boundaries in a loving and empathetic manner. This is important since they will need to learn to adjust to boundaries in other social settings as well.
- Practice a healthy routine with your child, such as eating on time, sleeping on time, and even exercising regularly
- Look out for self-harming behaviors and self-destructive behaviors. In case it becomes very difficult, make sure that you are seeking professional and emergency help for your child.
This detailed blogpost has discussed if your child has BPD along with possible causes of BPD in your child. Furthermore, we have looked at a few tips and coping-strategies that you can use to help your child with BPD.
If you like this blogpost, please leave your comments and questions in the space below.