Soldiers and Borderline Personality Disorder

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Soldiers and Borderline Personality DisorderSoldiers often struggle with psychological side effects related to their time spent in the service; however, some struggle with issues long before joining the armed forces. For those soldiers who have previously battled borderline personality disorder (BPD), going to war or engaging in combat can trigger symptoms of the disorder, causing their behaviors to worsen over time.

Dangers of Soldiers and Borderline Personality Disorder

There are many soldiers who are currently active and have personality disorders. They may have been diagnosed and properly treated for their particular illness. However, there are many soldiers who may have shown symptoms of BPD but were never diagnosed or have been diagnosed but have not received treatment. These soldiers in particular can be a danger to both themselves and others. Some of the most dangerous aspects of this combination include the following:

  • Impulsivity – In any area of the armed services, it is crucial that soldiers are able to control their impulses, especially during high-pressure combat missions. Those soldiers with untreated or undiagnosed BPD are at high risk for falling out of line when it comes to patience and listening skills, as their impulsive behavior is likely to supersede any and all direction given by a superior. These behaviors can put the entire troop in danger.
  • Violent outbursts – A soldier with BPD is likely to experience violent outbursts or unexplained episodes of rage, which can not only break down trust between these individuals and their fellow soldiers, but also put everyone at risk for suffering unintentional injuries that could disrupt their mission.
  • Suicidal tendencies – Common symptoms of BPD are low self-esteem and hopelessness, and in an environment such as a war zone, these symptoms can be triggered to a point where soldiers no longer care about themselves or their job. Suicidal tendencies such as these can cause soldiers to make poor decisions, including harming themselves or intentionally harming another individual.

Symptoms such as impulsivity, violent outbursts and suicidal tendencies can cause soldiers to run into numerous dangerous and potentially deadly consequences that can put them and others in harm’s way.

Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder

In order to be successful members of the armed forces, it is important that all soldiers have received the best possible psychological care before going off to a combat zone. For those soldiers who have untreated or undiagnosed BPD, it is crucial that they seek treatment that can help alleviate their symptoms before these symptoms are triggered by the stresses of military life. Some of the most common treatments of this disorder include psychotherapy and behavioral therapy. These therapeutic options are often available at local psychologist offices and in mental health facilities nationwide.

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