4 Ways Residential Mental Health Facilities Address Depression and Borderline Personality Disorder Caused by Trauma


Early childhood trauma such as sexual assault, physical abuse and neglect can contribute to long-term mental health issues. In recent studies nearly 75 percent of people suffering from borderline personality disorder report childhood sexual abuse.

Significant trauma may also trigger severe depression and anxiety disorders. Depression is a normal part of grieving and is referred to as situational depression. However, when shame, social withdrawal, physical pain, and increased alcohol or drug intake start to overpower regular routines and daily life, the depression becomes serious.

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Residential mental health facilities address depression and borderline personality disorder by using a variety of individual therapies; here are four of them:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Cognitive behavioral therapy replaces negative adapting skills with positive ones. By recognizing destructive thoughts and actions and challenging current negative coping skills, women are able to reassess their behavior and change to using more positive coping skills. This approach asserts that if negative thinking patterns can be changed, ultimately the individual’s mood and behavior will change, making it widely utilized and effective for women suffering from depression after trauma.

  • Eye Movement And Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR): Research has shown that EMDR is very effective in processing traumatic events and the resulting depression and anxiety. EMDR removes any emotional barriers that prevent progress by using both sides of the brain and focusing on eye movements, tones and taps to process the trauma. EMDR quickly and successfully helps women let go of suffering from painful memories so that they can no longer cause distress. Although women will still have the memory of the traumatic event, the memory will not hold the same emotional significance it previously did.

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): Dialectical behavior therapy has been shown to be successful in treating Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), as well as depression and anxiety disorders. DBT promotes important skills needed to positively cope with overwhelming emotions. These include: survival skills, mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness. Mindfulness teaches women to avoid worrying about the future or reliving the past, but instead focus on the moment. Women are also taught techniques to successfully manage crises and stressful situations that are inevitable. Women suffering from BPD frequently struggle maintaining healthy relationships. DBT assists in developing interpersonal effectiveness skills and rebuilding areas of life that were damaged as a result of BPD. Impulsivity and poor decision making are primary symptoms of BPD, so it is crucial women learn not to act based on strong emotional reactions; emotional regulations skills help women identify and tolerate emotions without being overwhelmed.

  • Motivational Interviewing: This is a form of individualized therapy during which women meet with their therapist who is able to see how far along in the change and recovery process she is and which techniques will help her move forward.
  • Meeting individually with a therapist equips women with an outlet to explore issues that are generating the most difficulty. By examining past traumas and current stressors women become more understanding of how traumatic events can lead to mood disorders and depression. Inpatient mental health facilities offer women a safe and secure environment to analyze painful emotions.

    Brookhaven Retreat’s individualized therapy programs utilize proven therapies and treatment programs that assist women suffering from depression and borderline personality disorder resulting from traumatic events. Through Dialectical behavior therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing and EMDR women can rebuild and restore areas of life that have been impacted by trauma.

    For more information about Brookhaven Retreat’s exclusive inpatient recovery program, visit http://www.brookhavenretreat.com/cms/ or call 865-573-3656


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