Losing a parent at a young age is a traumatic and difficult situation for anyone to handle. Unfortunately, it can contribute to the development of serious mental health issues, especially borderline personality disorder or BPD. Why do children develop this condition and how can it be stopped?
Serious Trauma May Lead To Onset
BPD is a severe personality disorder that makes it difficult for a person to live a stable and productive life. It will cause them to act sporadically, create unstable relationships, and struggle to achieve a state of normality. The causes of this problem vary, but they typically form in a person early in life and are often centered around a traumatic experience.
The death of a parent at an early age causes a shock wave of grief, confusion, and trauma that affects a person for years. If they start to develop early symptoms of BPD that go untreated, it can become a full condition that is difficult to manage and devastating for a long time.
Symptoms It Is Developing
How can the caregivers of a young child know if they are developing BPD? By watching them for the various symptoms, all of which should be pretty noticeable and impossible to miss after the child has just lost one or more parents:
- Difficulty being left alone
- Fear of abandonment and efforts to avoid it
- Increasingly unstable relationships with friends and family members
- Difficulty creating or maintaining a personal image
- Increased impulsive behaviors that can be personally damaging
- Emotional instability and intense anger
- Extremely unpredictable mood swings
- Paranoia and anxiety about minor incidents
Stopping It Before It Gets Worse
The best way to manage BPD is to treat it while it is a relatively minor problem. While it can be difficult to treat in younger children, it is possible to help them create stronger and more positive behaviors. As there is no medicinal treatment for BPD, it requires behavior adjustment to replace negative and destructive patterns.
For example, dialectical behavior therapy or DBT helps a child understand their emotions and how to reduce negative or self-destruction behaviors. The idea behind it is to make a child more mindful of their actions and to eliminate them before they become destructive. For children who have just lost a parent, this kind of treatment can also help them manage their grief more effectively.
While BPD can be a difficult and devastating emotional and mental health problem, it doesn't have to destroy the life of a young person. By focusing on healing and effective mental health treatments, it is possible to work through these concerns in a constructive and beneficial way.