The idea of being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder can feel daunting for a teenager who feels like they have the rest of their life ahead of them. “Personality disorders” refer to a long-held pattern of behavior and treatment-resistance, but they are not necessarily an intrinsic part of one’s personality. Borderline Personality Disorder is often developed as a way to cope with attachment issues and a history of trauma. As teens begin to heal from trauma during residential treatment, symptoms of borderline personality disorder become less fixed, although long-term support is recommended to continue the healing journey.
Are “Borderline Symptoms” a Personality Disorder?
Borderline Personality Disorder is most often diagnosed in young adulthood, but symptoms usually taper off later in life. It refers to symptoms of mood swings, identity issues, and relational instability that have lasted for at least a year. Unlike other personality disorders, symptoms do not need to be recognizable from childhood. This suggests that it may be a learned response rather than a fixed behavior pattern.
While borderline personality disorder involves physical and emotional symptoms, the root cause is assumed to be attachment issues rather than a genetic biological explanation. This explains why most treatment options for Borderline Personality disorder are relationship-based.
Transitional Programs Encourage Adopting Healthier Patterns
While residential treatment is focused on processing emotions and identifying alternative coping skills, transitional programs are all about utilizing resources and applying these skills in one’s everyday life. Transitional living programs, like Journey Home East, help young women come up with individualized weekly schedules that integrate healthy habits, academic or vocational goals, and hobbies to keep them on track with their goals.
Following a schedule helps young adults with borderline personality disorder fight chronic feelings of boredom and emptiness and direct their energy towards pursuing their passions. Getting into this routine also helps them develop a sense of predictability and a more stable group of people that they interact with on a regular basis. These new patterns help replace old unhealthy coping mechanisms they used to turn to when feeling overwhelmed.
Long-Term Support Helps Teens Sustain Lasting Changes
As Borderline Personality Disorder usually develops in the context of relationships, the healing process involves building and maintaining stable relationships to challenge fears of perceived abandonment. Journey Home East is affiliated with a residential treatment center, Solstice East, as a step-down for students who want to stay in the area and to stay connected to the support system that they built while in treatment, including staff and peers.
While these young women may no longer need the same level of care, a transitional program can help ease the stress of transitioning out of a sheltered environment into the community. As sudden life changes and distance in relationships can trigger impulsivity and hopelessness in people with Borderline Personality Disorder, long-term support can help young women continue to work towards changing behavior patterns associated with the disorder.
Journey Home East Can Help
Journey Home East is a transitional living program for young women ages 16-21. This program focuses on helping women transition from long-term treatment to the real world. While they are at our program, we help build confidence in young adults. The idea is to ween them off support systems of being in programs for many years and hone in on functional living skills they need to be independent. Journey Home East helps with scheduling for school, classes, work, internships. This program also provides health coaching, relationship building, dating safety and personal safety tips. Students have the opportunity to equip themselves with the skills they need to lead healthy and successful lives post-treatment. We can help your family today!
Contact us at 855-290-9684 to learn more about our transitional living program.