Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder in Adolescents and Children


Borderline personality disorder is one type of mental health disorders in which the affected person does not have proper brain functioning which poses adverse impact on feelings and thinking ability of that individual. it is associated with self-imaging issues such as difficulties in managing behaviour and emotion or controlling the appropriate impulsiveness as well as anger. This report will highlight the issues that are associated with borderline personality disorder in adolescent and children by using relevant articles. In addition to this, the report will represent the contrast and comparison of findings of selected research papers for discussing the social work practices that are associated with borderline personality disorder.


Defining topic area:

This report is going to explore the issues associated with borderline personality disorder and the social work practices that are important for combating these issues.

In recent years, many children nd adolescent in Australia a well as in other developed and developing nations have prevalence for Borderline personality disorder. It not only damages the brain functioning of children nd adolescent, but also effect on their imagination, thoughts and decision-making process. Therefore, in recent years it is necessary to focus on issues associated with Borderline personality disorder, in order to raise awareness about this menta condition. Through this report, author is going tp shed light on the importance of taking necessary strategies to reduce the prevalence of Borderline personality disorder in society.

Summary of the research articles:

Case study analysis:

A patient with borderline personality disorder had different symptom for past several years including panic attack, lose control over own emotions and feeling, waking one morning with happiness and on morning with depression, and feeling of claustrophobia. He had taken different psychotherapies, counselling, hypnotherapy and adlerian psychotherapy, which provide short time relief to him. After long process of psychotherapies, the psychiatrist diagnosed that the patient has borderline personality disorder.

Importance of articles in addressing the problems:

The selected articles have represented relevant information regarding the issues that are commonly faced by the patients suffering from borderline personality disorder. In this context, Bartsch et al. (2015) stated in their research paper that, in Australia, many children and adolescent suffer from borderline personability disorder. This article also highlights that, children nd adolescent suffering from this mental condition have to face social issues such as bias, discrimination, social isolation, rejection by the neighbours and society members and social unsupportiveness. In the selected case study, the most common social issues that the patient can face is isolation and discrimination by the society, which not only pose adverse impact on his psychology but also affect his decision-making ability and positive thoughts. In this aspect, Petfied et al. (2015) has highlighted the social and cultural barriers that the general practitioners in Australia can face regarding treatment of children having borderline personality disorders. psychotherapists of the patient in the case study can face cultural barriers such as unethical rituals, cultural superstitions that can make them unable to implement modern treatment process and innovative clinical intervention. according to Kate & Dorahy (2019), Australians with borderline personality disorder face behavioural and emotional difficulties that are associated with biological, economic and social issues. However, in the case study the patient may have any biological link of borderline personality disorder such as members from the same family can be dominant carrier of this disorder. In addition to this, there can be some economic issues such as poverty, lack of healthcare facilities and poor affordability of proper treatment process, which can be the main reason of why the patient in the case study suffer from this mental disorder from several years.

Compare and contrast of the findings:

Petfied et al. (2015) have stated that, screening and investigation conducted by Australian practitioners on the cause, issues and clinical intervention of children and adolescent with borderline personality disorder pointed out the traumatic past experience, social unsupportiveness and negative family culture as important cause of this mental condition. In the case study, the patient might face severe negative experience such as bereavement, loss, unsupportiveness and discrimination by his surrounding children nd adolescent, which is the reason behind his mood swing, uncontrolled feeling and emotions and unorganised brain functioning. On the contrary Temes et al. (2017) have shown in their article that, investigation on Australian children with borderline personality disorder highlights the strong association of family relation and genetic factors in occurrence of this mental condition. Therefore, on implementing modern treatment for the patient in the case study, psychiatrists need to also consider whether any family members of this patient have borderline personality disorders. on comparing with this viewpoint, Kate & Dorahy (2019) have concluded in their research that, whatever the cause of borderline personality disorder is, in case of Australians suffering from this disorder, the most important remedy to recover from this illness is taking trauma-informed approach. in the case study, psychiatrist can use this approach which will assist the psychiatrist and general practitioners to implement modern counselling and interactive process in order to keep the patient informed about entire details about his health, recovery, current mental condition, possibilities of recovery. On supporting this viewpoint, Petfied et al. (2015) has mentioned in their findings that, general practitioners in Australia have gained high success by implementing compassionate and patient-centred care approach for treating borderline personality disorders in children. However, the two consecutive articles only pointed out the clinical intervention that are needed for treating borderline personality disorder rather than also focusing on the social practices and individual involvement in order to recover the mental condition of patients. Temes et al. (2017) mentioned in their findings that, along with the proper clinical intervention by general practitioners and psychiatrist, it is also important for healthcare professionals to involve children and adolescent into their recovery. Therefore, psychiatrists in case study need to involve the patient into challenging tasks such as intellectual games, gardening, memory-games, cleaning, dressing and meeting with other patient in the care homes. Through maintaining strong connection with the society and friends, it is possible for patient to recover his mental status. From the critical analysis of findings of the articles, it can be stated that, there are several investigations have been conducted on the Australian children nd adolescent suffering from borderline personality disorder. However, each article has pointed out particular aspects that are associated with borderline personality disorder. therefore, if today’s general practitioners need to deal with ever increasing number of cases of borderline personality disorder, they need to take innovative and modern clinical techniques.

How the research shapes social work practice in the chosen area (borderline personality disorder)

Based on these research articles it can be stated that social awareness is most important part in the recovery of children with borderline personality disorder. According to Bartsch et al. (2015), after proper diagnosis of this disorder, practitioners need to ensure that the patient suffering from this mental health condition would get proper support from the society. In the case study, the health professions can conduct health awareness campaign on borderline personality disorders, which would assist the patient to get support, assistance and respect from his society. In addition to this, Krawitz et al. (2016). have stated that how the social values and culture affect the treatment process of this disease. the research papers, highlights the importance of restructuring and standardisation of social practices in order to transform them into positive and highly fruitful process which can encourage the patient as well as health professionals to combat the borderline personality disorder.

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From above-mentioned discussion, it can be concluded that, borderline personality disorder is associated with improper brain functioning, poor management of emotions and behaviour and lack of control on anger anxiety and impulsiveness. Social, cultural and economic issues are associated with the causes of this mental illness. Health professionals need to take innovative and modern techniques for combating this disorder. in addition to this they need to focus on shaping social practices in order to assist patient to get roper support from their society.

Reference list:

Bartsch, D.R., Roberts, R.M., Davies, M. and Proeve, M., 2016. Understanding the experience of parents with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. Australian Psychologist, 51(6), pp.472-480.

Judd, F., Lorimer, S., Thomson, R. H., & Hay, A. (2019). Screening for depression with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and finding borderline personality disorder. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 53(5), 424-432.

Kate, M. A., & Dorahy, M. J. (2019). 6 Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Developmental Trauma Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, and the Dissociative Disorders. Humanising Mental Health Care in Australia–Introducing a Trauma-informed Approach. Routledge.

Krawitz, R., Reeve, A., Hoffman, P., & Fruzzetti, A. (2016). Family Connections™ in New Zealand and Australia: an evidence-based Intervention for family members of children nd adolescent with borderline personality disorder. Journal of the NZ College of Clinical Psychologists,(25), 2, 20-25.

Lawn, S., & McMahon, J. (2015). Experiences of care by A ustralians with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 22(7), 510-521.

Petfield, L., Startup, H., Droscher, H. and Cartwright-Hatton, S., 2015. Parenting in mothers with borderline personality disorder and impact on child outcomes. Evidence-based mental health, 18(3), pp.67-75.

Temes, C.M., Magni, L.R., Fitzmaurice, G.M., Aguirre, B.A., Goodman, M. and Zanarini, M.C., 2017. Prevalence and severity of childhood adversity in adolescents with BPD, psychiatrically healthy adolescents, and adults with BPD. Personality and mental health, 11(3), pp.171-178.

Wlodarczyk, J., & Lawn, S. (2017). The developmental trajectory of Borderline personality disorder and peer victimisation: Australian family carers’ perspectives. Emotional and behavioural difficulties, 22(2), 98-110.

Wlodarczyk, J., Lawn, S., Powell, K., Crawford, G., McMahon, J., Burke, J., ... & Litt, J. (2018). Exploring General Practitioners’ Views and Experiences of Providing Care to Children nd adolescent with Borderline Personality Disorder in Primary Care: A Qualitative Study in Australia. International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(12), 2763.

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