smiling woman with BPD

Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment in California

Borderline Personality Disorder, or BPD, is a serious psychological disorder marked by unstable emotions, moods, behaviors, and relationships. These personality inconsistencies are associated with a great deal of social distress. Thankfully, the experts at Southern California Sunrise Recovery Mental Health Center in Orange County have effective BPD treatment options available to you.

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Table of Contents

What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline personality disorder, or BPD, is a mental health condition defined primarily by the many long-term difficulties that are produced when trying to regulate the many human emotions. This means that people with BPD experience impulses and emotions that are more intense, often lasting much longer than they normally should. These fluctuations in thoughts and feelings make it difficult to return back to a stable baseline after experiencing a triggering or emotional event.

Many of the difficulties surrounding borderline personality disorder have been seen, leading to poor self-image, impulsivity, failing relationships, and harsh responses of emotion to irritants. Dangerous behaviors, such as being overly aggressive and producing self-harm, is also a typical result of self-regulation struggles. The mental health professionals at The National Institute of Mental Health states that approximately 1.4 percent of the adult population across the United States struggles with a form of this mental illness.

More recent research has suggested that many men, although likely affected equally by women, are frequently misdiagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or moderate to severe forms of depression. Because of this, nearly 75 percent of those who receive an accurate BPD diagnosis are women.

How to Recognize Borderline Personality Disorder

Below are a couple of specific questions designed to help identify BPD and any underlying causes. If you feel like saying YES to several of these questions, there is a high likelihood that borderline personality disorder may be the culprit.

Signs and Symptoms of BPD

Individuals struggling with borderline personality disorder are known to go through drastic changes in their moods, all while feeling a great sense of insecurity and instability. A few of the more commonly seen symptoms and key identifiers that point to BPD recognition include:

Causes of BPD

Below are a couple of specific questions designed to help identify BPD and any underlying causes. If you feel like saying YES to several of these questions, there is a high likelihood that borderline personality disorder may be the culprit.

Environmental Influence

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Experiences of physical or sexual abuse, abandonment as a child, lack of parenting, and many other traumatic life events have proven to increase the likelihood of mental health issues such as BPD.


DNA Spiral

Research has shown that individuals who have immediate family members who battle borderline personality disorder are at a higher risk of developing mental health conditions themselves. However, it is crucial to point out that there have been no specific genes found that individually contribute to the development of BPD.

Brain Functioning

structure and function of the brain

The overall regulation of someone’s emotional system has appeared to be different from those battling BPD. This has enlightened doctors, and other researchers to the idea of many symptoms produced by BPD are created in a neurological nature. This makes sense because the parts of the brain that control decision-making, emotions, and judgment continuously interact.

Treatment Options for BPD

The common factor that is seen in the majority of successful treatment methods for BPD is the appropriate combination of psychotherapy and medication-based therapy being correctly administered. Each situation is entirely different, and sometimes in the more severe cases of BPD, short periods of hospitalization may be necessary for the safety of the individual.

Outpatient psychotherapy, commonly known as “talk therapy,” is practiced regularly in the efforts to treat BPD. The more familiar behavior focused therapy options offered for the treatment for BPD usually include:

This form of psychotherapy is among the first that were found to be effective in treating borderline personality disorder specifically. While participating in this therapy, patients can learn a variety of new skills and how to manage and cope with the strong emotional feelings that BPD is capable of producing.

CBT is structured in a way that helps to positively alter the ways that an individual may think or act. A 1:1 evaluation by a licensed psychologist with the patient is typically necessary because the effectiveness of this therapy relies heavily on the strength of the relationship between the patient and their therapist. Many would say that the most critical aspect when considering cognitive-behavioral therapy to treat for borderline personality disorder is that the patient has to be willing to change.

Get BPD Treatment in Mission Viejo

You or your loved one’s BPD doesn’t need to get in the way of a happy life. The talented staff at SCSRC’s Mental Health Center in Mission Viejo understands your challenges and wants to help.

Our leading therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists can develop a personalized BPD treatment program that is unique and right for you. Whether it’s a combination of medication and specific psychotherapy approaches, we can work together to build a plan that is effective for you.

Call today and our admission specialists will gladly answer any question you may have and discuss our process.

Frequently Asked Questions

A few of the characteristics of a person with borderline personality disorder (BPD) include fear of abandonment, hard time maintaining healthy relationships, having very strong emotions, act impulsively and sometimes even experience paranoia. 

BPD is not curable in itself but it is treatable.  With the right treatment plan an individual with BPD can be well on their way to recovering from BPD.  

One of the most common things that trigger a person with BPD are relationship triggers.  Many people with BPD have a heightened fear of abandonment and this could cause the individual to experience fear and anger, impulsivity, self-harm, and even suicide in relationship events that make them feel criticised or less than. 

Although people with Bipolar Disorder are less likely to harm themselves than those with BPD, the suicide rate for people with Bipolar Disorder is higher.  No two individuals’ situations are ever the same, so this is not to say one is always worse than the other.

Clinically Reviewed By:

Joe Cavins, LMFT

Joseph Cavins holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Services from Cal State Fullerton and a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology. Initially inspired during his tenure as a school bus driver, Joseph balanced his duties with his studies, demonstrating a strong commitment to his academic pursuits. Post-graduation, he gained significant experience in clinical settings, interning at Aspen Community Services where he later served for 10 years, eventually becoming a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. He also earned certification from the Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Association as a Mental Health Provider.

Joseph’s professional journey includes roles in private practice and contracting with the Santa Ana Unified School District’s Special Education Department, culminating in his recent position at Southern California Sunrise Recovery in 2024.