Residential Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder

Teens with Borderline Personality Disorder

For teenagers suffering from borderline personality disorder, it can be a very confusing time. The behaviors that are engaged in aren’t always remembered so they can be a risk to themselves and others. A residential treatment center can help to take care of the problem and get it under control. This type of treatment is highly recommended as it won’t be known if the problem is going to get worse or not if left untreated.

Very Complex Disorder Only about 2% of the population is believed to have borderline personality disorder. However, what is known about it is that it is a very complex disorder that can be effectively controlled through counseling and medication. Finding the right balance of both though can be quite a feat. It is more effective and less time consuming to find that right match when professionals are seeing the patient on a daily basis.

Exceptionally Trained Staff

Due to the complexity of teenage borderline personality disorder, a residential treatment facility needs to have exceptionally trained staff. They need to be able to help patients to improve, to watch out for their own safety, and to make sure all of the patients are safe from themselves and each other. Very low ratios of patients to staff are found at these facilities due to the level of individual care that is required.


Medications can be the key for helping teenagers with borderline personality disorder. This is because the chemicals in the brain aren’t at the levels they are normally. With medication though those levels can be restored to where they should be. However, it can take time for the right dose and the right medication to be used. A teenager with borderline personality disorder often act out.

Borderline personality disorder is serious due to the way in which a person may act. They are at risk of hurting themselves or others. These behaviors include depression, mood swings, impulsive behavior, outbursts, and self injury. Studies show that with the right medications though these types of problems are less intense and they occur less frequently. This is why ongoing counseling and medical supervision are so important.


As the medications start to do their job, counseling in a residential treatment center for borderline personality disorder becomes more effective. When a person has this mental health concern, they may not have judgment that is the best. Counseling can help them to see this and to make positive changes. Part of successful counseling is being able to take responsibility for actions. Reducing impulsive behavior is part of the treatment plan.

Effectively exploring emotions is important too so that the mood swings aren’t as severe as before. It isn’t healthy for a person to be upbeat one moment and then depressed or angry the next. Finding out what triggers such emotions and how to stop them is very important in the fight against borderline personality disorder.

Group therapy is often introduced after individual therapy has been taking place for a while. This helps individuals with this disorder to learn from what others are going through and to gain their support. It is also a great way to start forging some stable social relationships.

Length of Treatment

The length of treatment is usually 6 months to a year. Remember that only the severe cases of borderline personality disorder are found in a residential treatment facility. Those that only have a minor problem with it are often seen in outpatient facilities.

Keep in mind that there is no cure for borderline personality disorder. That is why it is very important for outpatient treatment to continue after the residential program has been completed. Counseling and daily medication are necessary for someone not to slip back into old behaviors.

A common problem though is that as these patients start to feel much better they will end up thinking they no longer need their medications. Yet as soon as they stop taking them changes in personality and behaviors can emerge again. Often though they don’t notice it but those around them do and can report it to medical professionals.

Finding a Treatment Facility

Since this is a specialized area of treatment, you may need to get a referral from your doctor or mental health provider for a residential treatment facility. Many of them are part of institutions or hospitals due to the type of treatment that is needed. There can be specific areas of the facility that are designed for the safety of those with borderline personality disorder.

Precautions are always taken to ensure they are very safe. Staff may be trained in methods of sedating out of control patients or restraining them. When someone has this type of disorder they can act out of character so the staff needs to be prepared for anything.

Here are additional resources you might be interested in:

Bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder

Quick Facts about Residential Treatment

How to Determine Success Rates at a Residential Treatment Facility

What You Need To Know About Mental Health Residential Treatment Centers

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