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Borderline Personality Disorder

Published on: June 6, 2022

borderline disorder

BPD is often misdiagnosed as depression or anxiety disorders. But people with BPD have a unique set of symptoms and experiences different from other mental illnesses.

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

A borderline personality disorder is a mental illness characterized by emotional instability, extreme mood swings, impulsive behaviors, and unstable relationships. People who have BPD experience intense emotional pain, which they often try to relieve through self-destructive and impulsive acts such as cutting or suicide attempts.

BPD can be complicated to live with and has a high rate of relapse when treatment ends. However, some medications can help control symptoms, and psychotherapy techniques can help you learn how to manage your emotions better.

A borderline personality disorder causes people to experience intense emotions and constantly question their own identity. If you or someone you know has a borderline personality disorder, it’s essential to know what to look for and how to help.

Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder can be difficult to diagnose because it often develops in adolescence or early adulthood—a time when many other mental illnesses also first appear. People with a borderline personality disorder may have trouble controlling their emotions and behaviors, leading them to conflict with others and causing problems at school, work, and home. They may also suffer from intense mood swings and frequent shifts between idealizing someone (idealizing) and criticizing them (devaluing).

Symptoms of BPD include:

  • Self-harm like cutting or burning yourself
  • Recurrent suicidal behavior or threats of suicide
  • Feeling empty or feeling like life is empty
  • Having extreme mood changes such as feeling extremely happy one moment but then suddenly extremely sad the next minute
  • Being very impulsive without thinking about the consequences of your actions

Causes of Borderline Personality Disorder

There’s no easy answer as to why some people develop borderline personality disorder while others don’t. However, researchers have found that genetics may play a role in its development: A person with one parent with the condition has a 10% chance of developing it themselves; if both parents have a borderline personality disorder, the risk goes up even more (to 50%).

  • Inherited traits: People with family members with a borderline personality disorder may be more likely to develop the condition themselves.
  • Genes: Studies suggest that specific genes may play an essential role in causing borderline personality disorder.
  • Brain structure: Research has shown that certain brain regions are smaller in people with borderline personality disorder than those without it.


A diagnosis of borderline personality disorder requires a thorough evaluation by a mental health professional. Your clinician will consider different aspects of your psychological health, including symptoms you’ve experienced, childhood trauma or abuse history, substance abuse problems, and what coping strategies you use daily. Your clinician may also conduct a physical exam to rule out medical conditions that could be causing symptoms such as depression or anxiety.

Defining Traits of People with Borderline Personality Disorder

If you’re feeling a little bit lost, it might be because you’ve never heard of someone with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Here are some of the most common traits of people with BPD:

They’re impulsive and unpredictable

People with BPD can be reckless, self-destructive, and indulgent—sometimes all at once! They may act on dangerous impulses without considering the consequences and then feel guilty about it afterward. They might even make multiple suicide attempts.

They have intense relationships.

People with BPD can be intensely loyal friends and partners, but they also tend to have trouble maintaining relationships because they can be needy, demanding, and jealous.

Mood Swings

People with BPD have extreme mood swings that are sometimes triggered by small events or situations. These mood swings can last for days or weeks, making it difficult for friends and family members of someone with BPD to predict what kind of person they’ll be from one day to the next.

Unstable Relationships

People who suffer from BPD often have trouble forming lasting relationships due to their tendency toward impulsive behaviour and frequent mood swings. This makes it difficult for them to maintain relationships over time because they’re constantly changing their minds about what they want in life—and who they want in it!

For more information about Mental Health Conditions. Visit our Mental Health Library page.  To understand and cope with your Dependent Personality Disorder, get help from our Top 10 Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and Therapists who are known for providing the best mental health treatment and psychiatry services. To book an appointment please call us at (800) 457-4573 or submit an appointment request

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