If you’re reading this article because you’re wanting to learn how hemp works for BPD then be sure to check out the section on how cannabinoids interact with the body to balance and regulate mood and emotions.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is defined as a mental illness marked by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, self image and behavior over years. Symptoms include mood swings of anger, anxiety, mania, and depression.
People with BPD exhibit most or all of the following symptoms and side effects:
A person who is “borderline” has insecurities about themselves, their relationships, and the world around them. Their interests, values and opinions can change quickly, and their opinions are often extreme. A situation or person will either be all good or all bad, and this assessment can also vary easily.
One day someone may believe the current president is the person for the job, and the next, they’re a joke. They may view someone as almost angelic with superhero traits, followed by the next day seeing them as a villain complete with staff and fire.
Someone suffering from BPD may be quite impulsive in their decision making. One day they may want to learn how to play tennis, purchase all the equipment, and the next day completely change their mind and throw all the gear out in the trash.
Each person displays a lot of varying severity and frequencies of symptoms, which can be started (triggered off) by normal events.
Many sufferers of BPD unfortunately experienced major traumas in their childhood over an ongoing time period, which can include physical and sexual abuse, extreme neglect, and strained attachment relationships between parents and caregivers. These childhood experiences activate the genes that lead to changes in the brain that bring the onset of BPD symptomology. Humans are shaped by our environment, and the most important development factors in our environment during childhood is by far, our attachment relationships with our parents and other adults. For more information on this topic, read Hold Onto Your Kids, by Dr Gordon Neufield and Dr Gabor Mate, along with their other resources, which can be found for free online. Dr Gabor Mate has many free videos online covering the topic of childhood and its impacts on brain formation.
Consequences can include struggling with interactions or tasks at work, difficulty at school and difficulty maintaining healthy relationships. By struggling with controlling mood, it is exceptionally difficult to be in a professional or academic setting. Difficult trusting and explosive reactions can be truly damaging to personal relationships.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is responsible for bringing order and balance to many systems of the body including those responsible for mood and emotions. The ECS produces its own cannabinoids called endo-cannabinoids, and also responds powerfully to phyto-cannabinoids (made from plants such as hemp).
An estimated 14.7 million Amercians are affected by BPD (this makes up roughly 1.6% of the entire population).
A 2003 study in the Biological Psychiatry journal indicates that people with this disorder have a smaller amygdala and it is hyperactive. The amygdala is a part of the brain that is involved with experiencing emotions. The major emotion regulated by the amygdala is fear, which controls the way we react to threatening situations.
When this part of the brain is hyperactive, people experience hypervigilance and unregulated moods. Hypervigilance is an increased sensory sensitivity to one's environment, which can cause an increased response to outside stimuli and constant paranoid observation of the environment. In short, hypervigilance increases anxiety significantly to the point of exhaustion.
In a relationship this could appear as someone becoming suspicious of their partners behaviors, such as leaving the house spontaneously to purchase a surprise gift. This could be followed by the sufferer of BPD making stories up that they’re leaving the house because they don’t want to spend time with them, don’t love them anymore and are actively on Tinder looking for their next partner. Stories really can get out of hand with the best of us, let alone having a hyperactive amygdala.
Although there is no cure, it is possible for those with BPD to live a happy and successful life filled with meaningful relationships.
For those suffering, mood regulation is critical. The endocannabinoid system will use cannabinoids to not only improve mood, but also keep it balanced. By negating anger, mania, anxiety and depression, someone with the disorder can view their lives and themselves through a good and more healthier lens.
Cannabinoids work to offset the transfer of neurotransmitters and to fight the overactive neural transfer that’s associated with BPD symptoms such as anger, anxiety, paranoia and impulsivity.
Among the endocannabinoid receptors that CBD activates are 5-HT1A serotonin receptors. Serotonin, typically called the “happy chemical,” is a compound the body makes that is crucial for mood balance. People struggling with anxiety and depression, for example, seem to show lower levels of serotonin than people who are not.
People with BPD also show similar low levels of serotonin. When CBD activates the 5-HT1A serotonin receptors, they have the ability to bind to 5-HT serotonin neurotransmitters and increase serotonin production, which, in turn, combats the negative effects of depression and anxiety that come along with BPD.
There is also a debate on smoking marijuana strains high in THC (weed) in the treatment of BPD, but varying data leaves the argument inconclusive. This is likely due to the fact that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) isn't generally recommended to treat psychiatric conditions and can make patients feel worse due to its psychoactive effects. This can potentially exhuberate issues. The cannabis extract cannabidiol (CBD), however, is often an option, though dosages and delivery methods must be fine tuned for the individual.
It is important to discuss all available medications and therapy treatment options with a medical professional to find the ideal route of care.
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