Difference between Borderline and Depression

Key Difference: Borderline Personality Disorder is a mental condition in which people experience reckless and impulsive behavior, unstable moods and relationships. Depression is defined as a state of low mood and aversion to activity. This is usually caused by a biochemical imbalance in brain, which hamper the nerve cells’ ability to communicate with each other.

There are various medical conditions that exist, which are often similar in nature and require a screening process in order to distinguish them apart. As any medical show would tell you, doctors go through an extensive process of elimination in order to separate medical conditions based on the symptoms exhibited by the patient. After narrowing it down to a small number of possibilities, the doctor would then start specialized treatment to deal with that particular type of medical condition. Borderline Personality disorder and depression are two types of medical conditions that require extensive screening as many patients suffer from both simultaneously or exhibit similar symptoms as the other.

Borderline Personality Disorder is a mental condition in which people experience reckless and impulsive behavior, unstable moods and relationships. The disorder was not considered as a medical condition until the 1980s, when the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Third Edition (DSM-III) listed this condition as a medical diagnosable illness. BPD patients usually suffer brief psychotic mood swings that often change in minutes or hours. Experts state that people suffering from BPD also often suffer from other mental disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, eating disorder, suicidal behaviors, etc. The overlapping of these disorders makes it difficult to properly diagnose and treat the disease.

According to research, BPD is known to occur three times more in women than in men. In women, the disorder is believed to co-occur with depression, anxiety and eating disorders. In men, it co-occurs with substance abuse and personality disorder. The disorder usually begins at a young age during adolescence or early childhood. Some childhood experiences have also been known to cause or trigger the disorder. Causes for the disorder include history of childhood trauma, brain abnormalities, genetic predisposition, neurobiological factors, environmental factors, executive function, family environment, self-complexity and thought suppression.

According to the DSM Fourth Edition, for a person to be diagnosed with BPD, they must exhibit at least five of the following symptoms: Extreme reactions of panic, depression, rage, etc., intense and stormy relationships, unstable self-image, impulsive and reckless behavior, suicidal tendencies, self-harming behavior, feelings of emptiness, uncontrollable anger and rage,  paranoia, losing touch with reality, etc.

BPD has been unofficially divided into four subtypes by American psychologist, Theodore Million. He proposes that an individual diagnosed with the disorder can be classified into one oof the four categories depending on their symptoms. Wikipedia lists the four subtypes as:

  • Discouraged borderline — including avoidant, depressive or dependent features
  • Impulsive borderline – including histrionic or antisocial features
  • Petulant borderline – including negativistic (passive-aggressive) features
  • Self-destructive borderline – including depressive or masochistic features

Psychotherapy has been a proven to help treat patients with BPD. It has shown to help relieve some symptoms. Different types of therapy that are used include cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and schema-focused therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps people identify and change core beliefs and behaviors that the patient may have about themselves along with addressing mood, anxiety problems and suicidal behaviors. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) focuses on helping the patient being aware and attentive to the present situation and allowing them to control and take charge of their emotions. Schema-focused therapy combines CBT with other forms of therapy and focuses on altering the way the patient views themselves. Medications are also used along with psychotherapy to relieve certain symptoms. Other treatments that have shown positive effect includes an omega-3 healthy diet for women.

Depression is defined as a state of low mood and aversion to activity. This is usually caused by a biochemical imbalance in brain, which hamper the nerve cells’ ability to communicate with each other. These cells communicate using chemicals called neurotransmitters, some of which help maintain moods. If there is a deficiency in these chemicals, the person can experience depression. There are various different types of depression, which can range from minor to major including Clinical depression, chronic depression, Atypical Depression, Bipolar Depression (Manic Depression), Seasonal Depression (SAD) and Psychotic Depression.

Usually, a person would feel down or blue for a time being while the brain corrects the imbalance. However, if the imbalance continues, the depression could get worse. One might even need to take medication to correct the imbalance. Symptoms of depression include low energy, a loss of interest in normal activities, change in appetite, weight gain or weight loss, excessive sleep, insomnia, and the loss of ability to concentrate. Continued stress can also bring on depression. Depression can have some severe consequences, such as an impact on personal relationships, job performance, and can cause physical deterioration through lack of care. A person with depression will usually feel extremely lonely, pessimistic and might even think about committing suicide.

 

Borderline

Depression

Definition

Borderline personality disorder is a condition during which a person exhibits unstable moods, behavior and relationships. They are also associated with reckless behavior and suicidal tendencies.

Depression is a condition that causes people to be in a state of low mood. This state affects the person’s daily activities.

Symptoms

Extreme reactions, intense relationships, impulsive decisions and behavior, suicidal tendencies, extensive mood swings, feelings of emptiness, intensive and uncontrollable anger.

Low energy, a loss of interest in normal activities, change in appetite, weight gain or weight loss, excessive sleep, insomnia, and the loss of ability to concentrate.

Causes

History of childhood trauma, brain abnormalities, genetic predisposition, neurobiological factors, environmental factors, executive function, family environment, self-complexity and thought suppression

Depression is caused by a number of factors in a person’s life. Some known causes include abuse, certain medications, conflict, death or a loss, genetics, major changes, personal problems, serious illnesses and substance abuse.

Types

BPD has been unofficially been divided into four types by Theodore Million: Discouraged borderline, Impulsive borderline, Petulant borderline and Self-destructive borderline.

Clinical depression, chronic depression, Atypical Depression, Bipolar Depression (Manic Depression), Seasonal Depression (SAD) and Psychotic Depression.

Treatment

Psychotherapy, Medications, mental health services.

Depending on the worseness of the depression, it can be treated through medicines, therapy and various other measures.

Image Courtesy: addictionsearch.com, npr.org

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