In order to understand Borderline Personality Disorder better, just like any other mental illness, preconceived ideas and judgments need to be cast aside. This is precisely what they do at AMAI TLP, a center on calle Coslada in Madrid where people with BPD can finally find understanding, patience and flexibility. They also receive specific therapies designed to improve emotional management and self-perception.
To carry out this task the association relies on the support of approximately 300 members (some are family members of those affected and others are not) along with the backing of several private organizations. The association also supports BPD research and prevention and offers care and attention to people suffering from this disorder.
The patients attending the AMAI TLP foundation on calle Coslada in Madrid arrive after years of misdiagnosis, having lived with a lack of understanding from those around them about their illness. Difficulty in controlling their emotions and impulses along with suicidal tendencies and self-harm causes major suffering which inevitably affects everyone close to them.
Ignorance leads people to react wrongly to people with BPD. In Spain, BPD has only been identified relatively recently and is estimated to affect between 2 and 3% of the population. In the United States it is estimated to affect roughly 4% of people. There appears to be a rising number of cases, so much so that it has started to become known as the disease of the 21st century, ahead of schizophrenia.
The association holds an average of 5000 monthly consultations at the center. Teresa, the association's president and the superheroine of this story, explains to us that that they offer specialized treatment: “We always start by interviewing the patient and then we refer the case to the psychologist so that the family member or the person affected can receive individual therapy. The therapist then decides which workshops or group therapies these people should attend. We have music therapy, mindfulness, yoga, dance and behavioral therapy. We also hold family workshops and organize trips. Patients with BPD go out once a month and they will also go on a trip once a year with their family, together with a psychologist. There are people who have come here in a really bad state and are now working and living a completely normal life”.