All suffering, disease, and mental issues are indirectly caused by sin. When sin entered into the world, so did suffering, death and chaos. Mental problems while not scientifically caused by sin are still the indirect results of sin from abuse, trauma and negative genetic dispositions that lead to mental defect. Christian Counselors try to help individuals from a Biblical view understand mental illness but treatment is always from a clinical perspective by clinical professionals.
Borderline Personality Disorder is one type of mental defect that some may experience when helping others in counseling. It requires clinical treatment but Christian Counselors can help guide individuals with it through peer support, prayer, compassion and teaching the love and trust found in Christ. Many with Borderline Personality Disorder feel a severe sense of isolation, fear of abandonment and mistrust. These intense emotions lead to many of their behaviors. While therapy and medication can aide one in this, the need of Christ is apparent in giving security and hope for those who suffer from these desolations.
What is Borderline Personality Disorder?
Borderline Personality Disorder is a mental issue that is originally due to trauma, abandonment at a young age, or abuse at the hands of strangers. It usually manifests in early adulthood and causes a severe problem in forming healthy and secure relationships with other people. It also causes low self esteem in self perception and can lead to self harm and suicidal thoughts and potential suicidal action.
Those with Borderline Personality Disorder in addition in to insecurity and insecure bonding, also exhibit a whirlwind of emotions that can alter and change within minutes to hours to days. The individual can be sad, mad, or happy at one moment and then something different at another. This obviously can be very confusing to a partner, family or friends. The unpredictability of one emotion from one moment to another can drive wedges in relationships and portray the individual as truly psychotic.
Researchers believe that there is an issue with neural circuits that regulate moods within the brain. Without regulation, impulsivity, anger, aggression and mood stability are hampered. Serotonin, norepinephrine, and acetylcholine play key roles in the pre-frontal cortex in inhibiting emotions from the amygdala and these are not as present with individuals suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder.
These issues all lead to the impulsive, unwise and unstable behavior displayed by individuals who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder. It is imperative for one’s overall health and all the relationships one shares to find help and treatment for this disorder. Many clinical counselors help individuals through therapy but medications that improve Serotonin and stabilize moods as well as unstable thinking.. Among the therapies included are cognitive behavioral therapy, mentalization based therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy.
Living with Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder
Perhaps the most difficult thing is to live or be in a relationship with someone with Borderline Personality Disorder. It can be a serious roller coaster ride. Unlike Bi-Polar Depression which has swings over periods of the year, mood swings can occur within days or even hours. One has no idea who one may wake up next to. The person may be happy or sad or angry or impulsive. The person may go on a drinking spree or other drugs, or become avoidant. The person may accuse one of cheating or randomly break up the person and leave, only to return the next day.
This type of gas lighting and unstable behavior is very damaging for the other person. It is hence important to protect oneself with boundaries and also an understanding of what the other person is going through. Treatment and carrying through treatment must be a prerequisite for a continued relationship.
Again, spirituality, meditation and Christ are key to individuals who suffer from such mental issues. Prayer and God can help in therapy and give guidance and inner peace to the turmoil that is running wild in the person. Christ can become a center of the therapies as a symbol of calm and peace for the person to reach out for. Again, Christian Counselors cannot treat this type of disorder, but they can help pastorally by implementing Christ into all areas of advice for better healing. While the individual is medicated or receives various therapies, a Christocentric view can help someone find stability and a central rock. Christ is the Divine Physician and can help heal and guide all who suffer any ailment and it is important especially for more dangerous disorders for individuals to find Christ.
Christ can supply the love one needs when feeling low, depressed, suicidal, or doubting one’s self image. Christians can come together and help build a person up against the inner demons who hope to tear the person down. Those afflicted with Borderline Personality Disorder need clinical help but they also need spiritual guidance to help counter the negative impulses of the disorder itself.
If you are a pastor, spiritual mentor or spiritual advisor and know someone in your community or inner circle suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, it is critical to direct one to receive clinical help. The situation is not only spiritual but also mental and emotional and hence requires mental and emotional aid. However, the spiritual aspect needs addressed also in a non clinical and pastoral setting where the individual supported by a loving and supporting Christian message. Whether the message of love comes from family or friends, the Christ-centered message of peace, calm and love is a critical component to healing. Christ can help anyone facing emotional disruptions. He can console the sorrowful, give peace to the worried, and security to the unsecure. In Christ, is a confidence and love that counters the negative emotions in Borderline Personality Disorder.
If you are a pastoral care giver or in ministry, please review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Christian Counseling.
“Borderline Personality Disorder”. Psychology Today Staff. August 19th, 2021. Psychology Today. Access here
Borderline personality disorder. Mayo Clinic. Access here
“Borderline Personality Disorder” 2022. National Institute of Mental Health. Access here
“Why I Struggle in My Faith as a Christian With Borderline Personality Disorder”. Brittany Greene. March 30th, 2023. The Mighty. Access here