Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) And Serotonin

Serotonin is a brain chemical (called a neurotransmitter as it sends signals between the brain’s neurons) that is involved with the generation of emotions and in present in particularly high quantities in the part of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex.

SEROTONIN MAY BE AFFECTED BY EARLY LIFE STRESS :

Studies involving animals have found that early life stress can adversely affect serotonin function which, in turn, increases such animals’ levels of aggression and impulsivity.

Some researchers have extrapolated from such studies and proposed that a similar mechanism is at work in BPD sufferers and that severe and chronic childhood trauma impairs the functionality of serotonin in humans, too, which accounts for the high levels of impulsiveness demonstrated by many individuals who have been diagnosed with the disorder.

BPD, SEROTONIN AND IMPULSIVITY :

This hypothesis is given further support by the fact that several studies (e.g. positron emission topography, or PET, studies) have found that impulsive BPD patients have significantly lower levels of /impaired function of serotonin than average.

BPD, SEROTONIN AND ABUSE :

One particular study that compared (1) impulsive, borderline individuals with (2) controls.

The study was split into two parts.

PART ONE OF THE STUDY :

In part one of the study, both groups (1 and 2, above) were given a drug which stimulated the production of serotonin.

RESULTS : The impulsive borderlines (group 1) showed diminished serotonin production compared to group 2 (the controls). This, then, provides further evidence that there is an association between serotonin dysfunctionality / dysregulation and a diagnosis of BPD with pronounced features of impulsiveness.

PART TWO OF THE STUDY :

In part two of the study, all of those individuals from part one of the study who had been diagnosed with BPD (group 1, above) were FURTHER DIVIDED INTO ANOTHER TWO GROUPS which I’ll call GROUP 1A and GROUP 2B.

GROUP 1A :

This group comprised individuals who had been diagnosed as suffering from BPD and had ALSO suffered severe physical or sexual abuse during their childhoods.

GROUP 2B :

This group comprised individuals who had been diagnosed as suffering from BPD but had NOT suffered severe sexual or physical abuse during their childhoods.

RESULTS :

Group 1A demonstrated a significantly FURTHER reduced production of serotonin (when given the drug that stimulated serotonin production) compared to GROUP 1B.

CONCLUSION :

We can conclude from the above study that impulsive borderlines may suffer from serotonin dysregulation and that it may also be the case that the greater the abuse they suffered as children, the more dysregulated their serotonin production system becomes. 

It can be inferred from the above findings that individuals affected in this way may benefit from anti-depressants that raise levels of serotonin in the brain (N.B. Always consult an appropriately qualified professional when considering taking anti-depressants or other psychoactive medications).

RESOURCE :

Improve Impulse Control | Self Hypnosis Downloads

eBook :

, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) And Serotonin

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David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

 

 

 

About David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE)

Psychologist, researcher and educationalist.

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