Borderline personality disorder causes are still unknown. However, there are theories that point to a combination of factors that are thought to shape a person’s likelihood of developing the condition. These include biological, genetic and environmental.
It is thought that many people living with borderline personality disorder have an abnormally functioning neurotransmitter in their brain called serotonin. Altered serotonin activity has been linked to other mental health issues such as depression. It also leads to an inability to control destructive impulses such as drug abuse. Some evidence suggests that BPD sufferers may have altered functioning of two other important neurotransmitters – dopamine and noradrenaline. This may be behind their emotional instability.
It is thought that people with a family history of BPD are at a higher risk of developing the condition. However, research into a definite genetic link is limited.
The environment that a person grows up in is considered one of the most influential borderline personality disorder causes. The majority of sufferers show common signs of the following experiences:
- being a victim of physical, sexual or emotional abuse
- being exposed to distress or chronic fear as a child
- being neglected by one or both parents
- growing up with a family member who suffered from a serious mental health condition.
People with BPD often have troubled relationships and unresolved fear and anger relating to past traumatic experiences. It is for this reason that counselling is a highly recommended source of treatment. It helps sufferers explore and change a variety of distorted thinking patterns that can stem from childhood experiences.