Mental health disorders, or mental illnesses, encompass a wide range of ailments that influence mood, behavior, and the thinking process. They are generally difficult to treat; however, those who have chosen to either add CBD oil to their current regimen or to try it as an alternative to prescription medications have found great success in being able to live a fully functionally life. It isn’t uncommon for any individuals to have stressful moments and have mental concerns occasionally, but they become mental illnesses if they start to affect the person on a daily basis and in the majority of situations. One of the more serious conditions that benefits from the help of CBD oil is BPD, or borderline personality disorder.
What is BPD?
Borderline personality disorder has traditionally been extremely difficult to treat, as those who suffer from it have a high instability of their mood, behavior, self-image, and basic daily functioning. An estimated 5.25 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with BPD. They are impulsive and have a difficult time getting along with other people, making it difficult to maintain a job or relationship. Medications don’t always work, and studies have shown that the best form of treatment is intense psychotherapy. The issue with this is that sufferers often find that they are triggered in therapy and tend to shut down and not want to participate. Common symptoms of this devastating disorder include:
- Stress-related paranoia
- A constant feeling of emptiness
- Eating disorders
- Dissociative symptoms
- Intense and irrational anger issues
- Impulsive, dangerous behavior
- Frequent self-injury and suicide attempts
- Constantly bored, restless, and irritable
- Intense fear of rejection and abandonment
- Intense depression
- Substance abuse
There is no known cause of BPD, and it is typically diagnosed in the late teens or early 20s. One theory states that it may be from a combination of brain composition and environmental experiences.
Are treatments for BPD effective?
Medications in general are not as effective as they are when administered for other mental illnesses but are prescribed to treat specific symptoms, such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety, or antipsychotic medications. Many people go off their drugs because they aren’t able to live with the side effects — including:
- the inability to feel pleasure
- the need to constantly move
- enlarged breasts, which is difficult for men to live with
- metabolic syndrome (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, abdominal obesity)
- neuroleptic malignant syndrome (high fever, confusion, rigid muscles, rapid heart rate, variable blood pressure)
Not only do these drugs produce symptoms that can be very scary, but they can also be life-threatening. Those who already have irrational reactions to outside influences don’t usually stay on the medications. The best treatments involve drugs with a combination of two therapies.
- CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy)
- A form of psychotherapy that uses talk therapy to help the patient identify and cope with their problems while attempting to prevent relapses. It’s a structured therapy with a limited number of sessions.
- DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy)
- A form of long-term psychotherapy that combines the learning of acceptance and change. It involves individual therapy, group therapy, phone coaching when in crisis, and group skill training. It is meant for high-risk patients.
How does CBD Oil help BPD?
With the menagerie of negative side effects created by harsh medications, CBD essentially follows a different course than that of a traditional chemical synaptic signaling pathway. Existing neurotransmitters flow from presynaptic neurons to postsynaptic neurons and bind to specific receptors. Endocannabinoids flow backward, called retrograde inhibition. This makes it highly effective in the treatment of a host of health issues, both physical and psychological, while acting differently than synthetic medications.
The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, in humans and other animals consists of proteins, receptors, and enzymes that create and maintain balance of the body’s internal systems when they are negatively affected by outside influences. The receptors are concentrated in the brain, spinal cord, and nerves but are littered throughout the entire body. The endocannabinoids are created as they are needed to bind with the receptor in the affected area. Episodic behaviors are associated with overactive neurons that send too many neurotransmitters and overload the receptors. Phytocannabinoids, like CBD, found in the cannabis plant act the same way as the naturally produced endocannabinoids; however, since CBD works inversely, they ensure the appropriate number of neurotransmitters are being sent and bound to the receptors. CBD also activates the serotonin receptors, which is important for mood regulation. Those who suffer from depression and anxiety have been found with lower levels of serotonin, and CBD helps the neurotransmitters in which serotonin is produced.
Not only does CBD oil target the underlying condition and fight the cause of the devastating problems of BPD, but it also eases the symptoms of the illness and of any prescription medications that may be used. Whether a major health issue has been recognized and needs addressed, or a symptom has been out of control and needs relieved, CBD oil offers widespread solutions in a variety of forms. In this case, a form that is effective for a longer period of time may be the most beneficial, but each person reacts differently to everything. Most people feel the effects in the following ways:
- CBD oil in vaping pens – generally felt quickly but lasting for a shorter period.
- Creams or lotions – applied directly to an affected area of pain or restlessness.
- Oils and tinctures – taken under the tongue and providing longer lasting relief. More bioavailable as it bypasses the digestive system.
- Pills and capsules – less bioavailable and taking longer to feel but offering longer lasting efficacy.
CBD oil is the second most abundant cannabinoid, second only to THC, and has an increasing number of studies behind it to prove its benefits. It has been deemed legal by the United States as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant. As with any treatment, CBD is not a panacea and will not help everyone who tries it, but studies show overwhelming promise as to its widely positive results. With the right treatment combination, even those who have found it difficult to live with their borderline personality disorder may have discovered the relief for which they have sought for years. With the right combination of treatments involving CBD oil, even those with the hardest to treat mental disorders can live a fulfilling life.