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What Is the Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder?

Learn about borderline personality disorder treatment from psychiatrist Ankur Saraiya in this Howcast video.


  • Step 1: What to know for treatment Understand there are two main considerations when treating people with borderline personality disorder: Know they can act impulsively and that you need explain why the person feels the way they do.
  • Step 2: About dialectal behavioral therapy Learn about dialectal behavioral therapy: a therapy system especially for borderline personality disorder.
  • Step 3: Treatment with medication Medication can be used for borderline personality disorder, especially when those traits lead to other disorders like depression or anxiety.


So there are two major considerations when thinking about how to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder. Because these individuals can sometimes act impulsively in ways that are self destructive or harmful, you definitely want to start treatment or have a form of treatment to manage this impulsive behavior. The other aspect is helping the patients understand their experience, of what we will call their symptoms. The reasons they act and feel the way that they do, so that they can better control their actions in the long term. There is a specific type of therapy called dialectical behavioral therapy, that was specifically designed to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder. It's designed to help the manage their impulsive behavior, and learn about their experience of the world. Now, other specific symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder can be addressed through medications, especially when the Borderline Personality Disorder traits can lead to other disorders. Most often depression or anxiety, and it's useful to be able to empower individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder to have something they can do to make themselves feel better about them selves - other than their self destructive behaviors that don't lead to good things in the long term. If you're thinking about seeking treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder it's important to explore programs with experience in DBT, and I would also recommend having an evaluation with a psychiatrist to see if there is anything medications can offer to help deal with specific symptoms. But definitely, a combined approach is the best approach, as is true with most psychiatrist disorders.

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