March 8, International Women’s Day, is an opportunity to celebrate women and assess the distinct challenges they face. Women have unique mental health needs and this day, Brookhaven Retreat will focus on women’s struggle with borderline personality disorder.
Borderline personality disorder affects about 1.6 percent of the population in any given year. The vast majority of borderline personality disorder cases are female, with women making up 75 percent of diagnosed patients.
Women with borderline personality disorder are unable to emotionally regulate and frequently engage extreme black and white thinking. This disorder affects every aspect of a woman’s life, behavior and mood and is thought to affect those who are highly sensitive and have experienced trauma in their past. This, combined with an invalidating environment, aggravates persistent emotional dysregulation, the disorder’s primary characteristic.
Although women are more likely to seek help than men, it is not the sole reason behind such disproportionate numbers. It is thought that because women are many times more likely to have experienced abuse, are more likely to internalize perceived criticism and are, due to social conditioning, more prone to fear of abandonment, rates of borderline personality disorder are so uneven.
Although women with borderline personality disorder frequently suffer from a number of co-occurring complications, comprehensive treatment can have a positive effect both on the disorder and related mental health issues. It can be effectively treated, and women can recover without ever experiencing a relapse of full-blown symptoms. Brookhaven Retreat uses a variety of therapies, including dialectical behavior therapy and cognitive behavior therapy alongside a comprehensive life realignment program to help find healing and adopt healthy life habits. With practice, women learn to change negative thinking patterns into positive behaviors rebuild lives supportive of mental health.