May is #BPDawarenessmonth
and I wanted to do a series of posts aimed at answering the question, What makes a brain Borderline?
I’m fed of of people telling me that “it’s all in my head” as a way of suggesting my #emotionalregulation
issues have no basis in reality in a pejorative way; because despite it being a fundamentally irritating perspective on mental illness - it actually hits the nail on the head neurologically too.
scans have revealed stark differences between healthy brains and the brains of individuals with #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder
. In this first post I’d like to talk about the Amygdala. 🧠.
is the part of the #brain
which regulates fear and aggression. In the nuerotypicals it’s a vital tool for survival. But - MRIs have shown people with #BPD
have amygdala’s that are noticeably smaller than the general population, and may even have undergone atrophy. The smaller the amygdala, the more overactive it is.
This means when people with BPD, experience an #emotion
, they do so more intensely than neurotypicals, and the ‘cooling down’ period takes much longer.
MRI scans have actually proved that #DBT
therapy, which I delightfully started this last week, has a #neuroplastic
effect - meaning the amygdala physically develops by using the #skills
you are taught in therapy. How fucking neat.
Less neat, is that 70% of BPD sufferers have experienced some form of #childhoodtrauma
; often sexual, physical or emotional abuse. We don’t know whether the abnormalities in the #borderlinebrain
, are the cause of the condition, or a consequence of #trauma
. Perhaps an indelible imprint on our brain of suffering.
A potential explanation for the link between the atrophy of the amygdala and trauma (been there, done that, got the t shirt quite literally) is levels of #cortisol
(released as a response to prolonged exposure to stress in childhood) have eroded parts of it away.
I’d like to suggest that BPD is not someone on the precipice between sanity and insanity, but in some cases a mind that has been physically injured by developmental trauma.
#mentalhealthadvocate #mentalhealthawareness #neurodivergent #neurodivergentandproud