Families for BPD Research

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1.  What is borderline personality disorder?

"It is pretty much the most painful and lonely existence imaginable."

A young woman describes what it feels like to have borderline personality disorder.
May 19, 2010, Washington, D.C.
Congressional Briefing on Borderline Personality Disorder*

Definition of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Borderline personality disorder is a serious mental illness with a high prevalence in the U.S. population. Symptoms are severe and disruptive, and include emotional dysregulation, unstable interpersonal relationships, identity disturbance and marked impulsivity.

Emotional dysregulation
Volatile emotions, difficulty controlling anger, short and intense episodes of anxiety, irritability, despair and depression, as well as chronic feelings of emptiness

Unstable interpersonal relationships
Stormy interpersonal relationships, frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment, extremes of idealizing and devaluating significant others, and hypersensitivity to rejection

Identity disturbance
A distorted or unstable sense of self, adopting values and habits of whomever one is with, and transient dissociative symptoms under severe stress (i.e., feelings of being disconnected from reality)

Marked impulsivity
Potentially self-damaging impulsivity such as substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating, promiscuity, in addition to self-mutilating and suicidal behavior

2.  How has past research helped individuals with BPD?

Longitudinal studies have shown that this diagnosis is not a life sentence and that remission of symptoms is possible. Past research has also led to the development of effective evidence-based treatments, such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), specifically developed for those with BPD. Investigations into the neurobiology of BPD have identified brain circuits that add to understanding this disorder.

"There's this overactive emotionality and no capacity to put the brakes on."

Dr. John Oldham, President of the American Psychiatric Association,
explains BPD-related brain function.
May 19, 2010, Washington, D.C.
Congressional Briefing on Borderline Personality Disorder*

3.  Why is funding research on BPD so important now?

This has been a transformative time, as recent progress has set the stage for greater advances and breakthroughs in areas such as insight into the underlying biological and environmental causes, earlier and better diagnoses, treatments tailored to individuals, improved quality of life, and ultimate recovery. Acquiring new investigators is vital to furthering the research, as well as for providing access to training and guidance from senior investigators who are starting to retire. And it is funding that is pivotal, repeat pivotal, to achieving this goal.

Your donation through this site will fund a NARSAD Young Investigator Grant, and help to continue the momentum of recent progress. This prestigious award greatly enhances a researcher’s career path, and helps him or her to qualify for subsequent funding from other sources, such as foundations, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and other federal agencies. In general, a NARSAD Grant leads to subsequent funding at 19 times the original NARSAD Grant amount!

"Just as... with cancer or heart disease, we have to figure out how to get much better at detecting this early in its course..."

Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH),
discusses three important areas for future BPD research.
May 19, 2010, Washington, D.C.
Congressional Briefing on Borderline Personality Disorder*

4.  Please donate now to a NARSAD Young Investigator Grant!

Help launch the career of a new BPD researcher by helping to establish a distinguished NARSAD Young Investigator Grant. Your donation will make possible research advances, breakthroughs and potential cures for BPD. One hundred percent of every donation goes to a NARSAD Grant, zero percent goes to administrative costs.

Donate to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

5.  Who we are …

We are a grassroots group of family members, Families for BPD Research, who have children and relatives with borderline personality disorder. In the past two years, we have met and talked with many in the mental health field and have discovered that research is precisely where answers will be found to help our family members and so many others cope with and recover from this devastating disorder. We are greatly encouraged about possible research advances and are working to brighten the future of our loved ones.

Please join us in making a difference.
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*Video segments from the Congressional Briefing on Borderline Personality Disorder sponsored by the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

- NARSAD Young Investigator Grant
- The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
- The National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA-BPD)
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): see borderline personality disorder


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