Borderline personality disorder is characterized by unstable moods, behaviors, and relationships. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) recently had a half-hour discussion about borderline personality disorder. Not only was there a discussion about borderline personality disorder’s signs and treatment options, but NIMH also spoke about new research that can make a difference in the mental health community.


Borderline Personality Disorder Research From Dr. Stephanie Stepp


Dr. Stephanie Stepp, professor of psychology and psychiatry from the University of Pittsburgh, is the author of an NIMH-funded study designed to explain the mechanisms between borderline personality disorder and alcohol use disorder. Two mechanistic pathways were tested, with one pathway being positive toward the link between the two. It was believed alcohol was being used as a coping mechanism for borderline personality disorder and the instability caused by the mental health disorder. It was also hypothesized that people with borderline personality disorder were seeking sensations and positive experiences through drinking. As a result, Dr. Stepp developed a smartphone app called BRITE that provides a safety plan for psychiatrically hospitalized suicidal adolescents.


Further Insights From Dr. Shireen Rivzi


Dr. Shireen Rivzi, a clinical psychology professor at Rutgers University, has been working on an NIMH-funded study on identifying different treatment approaches for suicidal college students. The goal of the study was to see how people with borderline personality disorder respond to treatment features compared to those without that particular mental health disorder. Researchers incorporated multiple assessments a day through smartphones and psychophysiological monitoring through wristwatches to detect more emotional changes in those receiving dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). 


Challenges With Borderline Personality Disorder During the Pandemic


Dr. Stepp stated that emotional deregulation has occurred for those with borderline personality disorder during the pandemic. For those living in close quarters with whom they have strained relationships and those living alone, this can cause increased vulnerability. Dr. Rivzi said that DBT  has been helping people cope during the pandemic. Rutgers University even made 14 animated DBT videos that can be accessed on YouTube.


The National Institute of Mental Health recently gathered a group of experts to discuss the recent studies of borderline personality disorder and their results. Having expert talks like these can help other professionals understand mental health disorders and discuss ways the mental health community can improve treatment options. At Alta Loma, we understand the complexities of borderline personality disorder. Our transformative treatment center in Georgetown, Texas, can provide you with individualized therapy, therapeutic recreational activities, life skills education, a long-term continuum of care, and more. Give us a call at (866) 457-3843 for more information.