If you or your loved one may have a borderline personality disorder, it's vital to get a diagnosis timely, which generally requires a BPD assessment. Remember that BPD symptoms often overlap with other mental health disorders, i.e., depression and anxiety. The following steps will help you toward an accurate BPD diagnosis and treatment.
Find an Accredited Mental Health Provider
Finding the right mental health professional is imperative to getting the BPD treatment you need. First and foremost, it’s crucial to select a therapist who can practice individually. Here is a list of professionals who can perform a BPD assessment, provide an accurate diagnosis, and efficiently treat BPD:
- Clinical psychologist (PhD/PsyD)
- Licensed clinical social worker (LCSW)
- Licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC)
- Licensed professional counselor (LPC)
- Licensed mental health counselor (LMHC)
- Psychiatric nurse practitioner (PMHNP)
- Physiatrist (MD)
Make sure to select a therapist with extensive experience in diagnosing and treating BPD. Before making any decision, review their education, training, and experience online. When deciding your therapist to treat BPD, consider the following specifications:
- Specialized in BPD
- Certified by the DBT-Linehan Board of Certification
- Skilled in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Book an Assessment
After having a list of BPD therapists, start at the top and call to schedule an initial consultation. Many health professionals offer people a free consultation over the phone. However, these calls needed to be scheduled in advance.
Tell the therapist you want an assessment and treatment, and describe your symptoms. You can even speak that you feel you have a borderline personality disorder. Don’t waste the opportunity to ask some preliminary questions. Try to get a sense of how comfortably you talk to the therapist. You can also ask what they charge for a BPD assessment and whether they accept your insurance. Once you have spoken to different therapists, choose the one best suits your needs and schedule an evaluation immediately.
Start the Assessment Procedure
When you go for your first therapy session, you may feel nervous, especially if you're new to therapy and it's normal. It's not comfy to meet a new person and share your details. Remember, the more honest and direct you're during your assessment, the more you will have recovery chances. Your BPD assessment may consist of one or several sessions. Your therapist will let you know how long the assessment will take and what kind of tests or interviews will be required.
Different health providers use various tools to conduct an assessment. Usually, you can expect the therapist to ask questions about your symptoms, work and family history, and current lifestyle. Some therapists also ask you to fill out a short questionnaire or long administer a psychological test. You can ask any questions you may have.
Get a Diagnosis
Once you complete the BPD assessment, you will likely receive a diagnosis. If your therapists require additional information, they may refer you to a specialist or primary care doctor for further assessment. Your therapist might need a second opinion for different reasons, such as:
- Your symptoms may propose the possibility of a non-BPD diagnosis, and they may want to have an evaluation from another specialist.
- If you have ever had one or more severe head injuries, you may also be referred to a specialist to assess whether some or all of your symptoms are due to physical damage rather than a mental health disorder.
- You may be referred to your primary care doctor to assess other medical conditions that could trigger your BPD symptoms.
After these, you will finally get a diagnosis of your BPD assessment. Your therapist will further describe the problems your symptoms are causing and suggest treatments. Your therapist may also suggest some or all of your treatment based on their qualifications. If required, they may refer you to another experienced mental health professional to prescribe medication if they can't.
Sometimes it is challenging to diagnose BPD because many of its symptoms overlap with other mood disorders. BPD also doesn't look the same in everyone. A licensed mental health professional can help define whether your symptoms indicate BPD or any other mental illness. More significantly, they can suggest treatment that can help you manage your BPD symptoms and improve your life quality.