A reader asked:
"My 15-year-old daughter has signs of borderline personality disorder. I've heard that some people think this is related to bipolar. What do you think? And is BPD something you address at your clinic? Thanks."
Borderline personality disorder is usually not diagnosed until adulthood. Be wary of any diagnoses of borderline personality disorder among adolescents. Although teens may show behaviors that are similar to adults with borderline personality (e.g., inexplicable rages, self-cutting, jumping from one relationship to another, intolerance of being alone), often this is because there are underlying mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder, dysthymia) that lead to these behaviors. You'd want to make sure any underlying mood problems are treated before settling on the borderline diagnosis.
Some adults have bipolar disorder or major depression with "comorbid" borderline PD. These folks have major relationship problems and self-destructive behavior in between major episodes of mania or depression. The effective treatments are often combinations of dialectical behavior therapy with mood stabilizing medications.
Yes, we deal with these kinds of questions in our clinic - call 310-825-2836.