What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

BPD is a severe psychological condition that significantly negatively impacts a person’s ability to control emotions. This breakdown in emotional regulation can make a person more impulsive, have a negative impact on how they feel about themselves, and damage their connections with other individuals. They are extremely wise to what is happening around them and might have intense emotional reactions to even little shifts in their environment. It is possible to manage the outcomes of this disorder using efficient therapy.

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline personality disorder types

Four forms of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are generally recognized. It is the potential to experience multiple BPD types simultaneously or sequentially. It’s also viable to fall outside of these stereotypes for borderline personalities.

  1. Petulant BPD
  2. Discouraged BPD
  3. Impulsive BPD
  4. Self-Destructive BPD

1 Petulant BPD

People with this kind of BPD may experience sudden swings in emotion, from anger to sadness or sulkiness. They might abruptly switch from one emotion to another. They could also feel neglected and undeserving. Relationship problems and an unhealthy need for control may result from this.

This kind of BPD can make its sufferers manipulative. They frequently experience severe relationship dissatisfaction. Substance misuse and other risky actions often follow.

People who exhibit these characteristics are said to have this form of BPD.

  • Impatience and irritability
  • obstinacy and defiance
  • Passive-aggressiveness
  • extreme mood changes

2 Discouraged BPD

A silent borderline personality disorder is another name for Discouraged BPD. This type of person fears being left behind. To avoid actual or imagined abandonment, they could resort to drastic measures.

People who have this type of BPD may suppress their feelings more than those with other types. They also frequently place more blame on themselves than on others.

Discouraged people might:

  • Be aspire to perfection
  • Be incredibly prosperous
  • Be highly functioning
  • Feel distant and alienated from others in groups
  • Feel distant and alienated from others in groups
  • Try to win favour but also alienate themselves
  • practise self-destructive or suicidal behaviour
  • frequently experience loneliness and emptiness

Discouraged BPD symptoms include:

  • Clinginess
  • Codependency
  • Neediness
  • If abandonment problems are activated, emotional mood swings and anger may occur.

Impulsive BPD

The main characteristic of BPD is impulsive conduct. BPD patients are prone to sudden and frequently risky behaviour. They may act this way without considering the effects on other people or themselves.

An individual with this form of BPD might look like this:

  • energetically engaging
  • energetic
  • elusive, or distant,
  • charismatic
  • enticing
  • Engaging or inspiring

4 Self-Destructive BPD

These BPD sufferers battle with self-hatred and are frequently resentful.


Self-destructive BPD symptoms are comparable to those of other illnesses. These other signs can aid in differentiating it:

  • a boost in energy
  • less inclination to sleep
  • Euphoric emotions

Who is affected by borderline personality disorder?

Most personality disorders start in adolescence when your personality is still growing and developing. Because of this, practically everyone with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder is older than 18.

Although anybody can develop BPD, those with a familial history of the disorder are more likely to do so. Additionally, those who suffer from other mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, or eating disorders, are more susceptible.

Approximately 75% of those with BPD diagnoses are born female (AFAB). According to research, those given the masculine gender at birth (AMAB) may also experience BPD, albeit they may receive the wrong diagnosis of depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Signs and Symptoms of BPD

Borderline personality disorder signs and symptoms typically appear in late adolescence or early adulthood. An upsetting or stressful situation can bring on symptoms or exacerbate them. Symptoms usually get better with time and sometimes even disappear entirely.

The following symptoms, which can be present in any combination, can range in severity from very mild to manageable:

1. Fear of abandonment

People with BPD frequently experience anxiety when left alone. People with BPD experience extreme dread or rage when they believe they are being mistreated or abandoned. They might find out where their loved ones are or prevent them from departing. To prevent rejection, they would also push individuals away without getting too close.

2. Unstable and intense relationships

They are capable of switching swiftly between idealizing and undervaluing other people. Their marriages, friendships, and ties to their families are frequently tumultuous and unstable.

3. Self-image or sense of self-instability:

People with BPD frequently have a distorted or confusing self-image, experience guilt or shame, and perceive themselves as “bad.” Additionally, they might significantly and unexpectedly alter their goals, viewpoints, jobs, or social circles. They frequently obstruct their advancement. For instance, they might purposefully fail an exam, damage relationships, or lose their jobs.

4. Rapid mood swings:

People with BPD may go through abrupt shifts in how they genuinely feel about themselves, others, and the outside environment. Irrational emotions fluctuate frequently and abruptly, including uncontrollable wrath, fear, anxiety, hatred, sadness, and love. These oscillations rarely continue longer than a few days and typically last a few hours.

5. Impulsive and risky behaviour:

People with BPD frequently engage in episodes of hazardous driving, gambling, fighting, substance usage, binge eating, and unsafe sexual activity.

6. Self-injury or suicide threats regularly:

Self-injury is a behaviour that BPD patients may engage in or try. They might even consider killing themselves. These suicidal behaviours are typically brought on by being rejected, perhaps abandoned, or being let down by a caregiver or lover.

7. Constantly feeling empty:

Many BPD sufferers have emotions of sadness, boredom, unfulfillment, or “emptiness.” Self-hatred and feelings of worthlessness are also frequent.
6. Problems with controlling rage: People with BPD frequently experience great anger and have trouble managing it. They might use cutting sarcasm, bitterness, or angry outbursts to vent their rage. Shame and remorse often follow these incidents.
7. Temporary paranoid thoughts: Extreme stress, typically a fear of abandonment, can cause dissociative episodes, paranoid ideas, and occasionally hallucinations. Most of the time, these symptoms are transient and not extreme enough to be classified as a separate condition.

These symptoms are not present in every person with borderline personality disorder. Each person has different intensity, frequency, and duration of symptoms.

Causes of Borderline personality disorder

Healthcare professionals feel that several factors, such as:

Childhood abuse or trauma:

Approximately 70% of patients with BPD had suffered either sexual, physical, or sexual abuse as children. BPD is also linked to parental substance use disorder, poor maternal attachment, inadequate family boundaries, and maternal separation.


Borderline personality disorder is inherited, according to studies. You’re more likely to get BPD if someone in your family has it, but it’s not a given.

Brain changes:

People with BPD have improper communication between the areas of their brains responsible for emotion and behaviour. These issues have an impact on how their brains function.

Environmental, societal, and cultural aspects:

Many patients with borderline personality disorder report going through terrible life events, including abuse, abandonment, or adversity as children. Others might have been introduced to tumultuous, demeaning partnerships or disputes.


Borderline personality disorder can be identified by a thorough interview and discussion of symptoms by a qualified mental health professional with experience in diagnosing and curing mental disorders, such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, or clinical social worker. A comprehensive medical examination can also aid in excluding other potential causes of symptoms. Providers will talk about a person’s symptoms and inquire about their family’s medical histories, including any history of mental illness.

Early adulthood or late youth are the typical diagnosis times for borderline personality disorder. Occasionally, if symptoms are severe and persist for at least a year, a person under 18 may be identified as having a borderline personality disorder.

Borderline personality disorder treatment

The most successful treatment approach for BPD is psychotherapy, which has been developed and researched for many years. The best treatment for BPD seems to be long-term therapy combined with medication to control symptoms.

1 Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT which Marsha Linehan developed in the 1970s, is frequently the treatment of choice for those with BPD. 10 DBT is a multifaceted therapeutic strategy initially designed to stop suicidal thoughts in BPD patients. DBT, which incorporates components of group and individual therapy, crisis phone calls, and treatment workbooks, is currently successfully used to treat many mental health issues.

People often report progress after six months of therapy, and significant and long-lasting change happens after two years. DBT concentrates on developing abilities in four areas:

  • Mindfulness
  • Tolerance for stress
  • Emotional control
  • Relationship effectiveness

This BPD treatment combines behaviourism, humanism, and mindfulness to promote holistic and long-lasting improvement.

2 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

For more than 50 years, BPD treatment has used aspects of CBT. A person can assess, keep track of, and modify their ideas and beliefs that impact their feelings, experiences, and interpersonal interactions through CBT.

This talk-therapy-based technique helps people become aware of their negative and dysfunctional thinking and then challenges them to alter those false beliefs and thoughts.

3 Schema-Focused Therapy

People can comprehend the maladaptive schema they established as children with schema-focused treatment. This method can help people recognize how unfulfilled demands can result in weak interpersonal interactions and daily life patterns.

When we become adults, things beneficial to our survival or prosperity as children could be counterproductive and encourage unfavourable social connections. To facilitate significant changes, schema-focused treatment aids in identifying these negative social behaviours and modes of existence. Schema treatment patients with BPD report enhanced self-knowledge, increased emotional awareness, and improved emotional regulation.

Schema-focused therapy displays long-lasting encouraging effects, although additional study is required to substantiate this method’s efficacy.

4 Mentalization-Based Therapy

This method of treating BPD considers the mentalizing process, which is how we interpret one another and our daily personal experiences. The use of various interventions to encourage the growth of mentalizing is part of the highly structured, time-limited strategy known as mentalization-based therapy. It aims to empower individuals to comprehend their emotions and thoughts and develop a different, more optimistic viewpoint.

MBT makes a more stable feeling of self and more emotional control possible, which helps people come up with socially acceptable ways to meet their needs. It has shown enhanced outcomes with long-lasting benefits when explicitly used for BPD sufferers.

5 Psychotherapy that focuses on transference

This technique, a subset of psychodynamic treatment, is based on the hypothesis that BPD results from “identity diffusion,” or a splitting (black-and-white thinking) that begins in infancy and progresses to problematic adult connections and a shortage of self-identity. This method depends on clients working intimately with a psychotherapist to recognize and comprehend the dynamics of previous interactions, particularly those from childhood, emphasizing present-day responses.

Through the therapist detecting interaction patterns and assisting the patient in forging more fulfilling interactions in their immediate surroundings, transference-focused psychotherapy aims to assist individuals in more effectively integrating perceptions of themselves and others. It has been demonstrated that this method of treating BPD improves patients’ capacity for reflection, which affects how they regard themselves. A transference-focused therapist will probably refrain from giving advice or opinions in favour of helping the patient comprehend emotions and interpersonal dynamics.


Another form of therapy that lasts 20 weeks is called STEPPS, or “Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving,” and it has been shown to lessen the severity of BPD symptoms. With the help of this method, you can discover your negative patterns of thought and find ways to combat them. Family and friends can engage in STEPPS and support the patient with BPD. Additionally, these advocates receive training on de-escalation methods for BPD flare-ups.

7 Creative therapies

An artistic expression of emotions can be pretty satisfying. Whether the art is created using paint, dance or music, innovative art therapies reframe our experiences and remind us that there is glory in the individuality of each of our tales. With the support of encouraging therapists, these therapies enable us to express our emotions in healthy ways, fostering self-love and allowing us to stand firm in the face of internal hardship.

8 Additional Therapies You Might Experience

Other ideas and procedures may be beneficial in controlling symptoms and creating a stronger sense of self besides the concrete proof and finest therapy approaches for BPD. These methods might improve the quality of relationships and enable BPD sufferers to live more purposeful, valuable lives.


The success of therapy with BPD patients is correlated with patients’ ability to find purpose in life, which is positively correlated with logotherapy and negatively connected with BPD symptoms.

Gestalt psychotherapy

Gestalt therapy helps a person learn how to maintain meaningful touch with others while also working to develop an awareness of oneself and others.

Family Therapy

Family systems therapy is frequently a method that can provide long-lasting and significant results due to the heredity of BPD and the trouble in family and social connections that are intrinsic to this condition. The whole family system can be involved in treating BPD, allowing for new coping mechanisms while assisting in a fresh way of living.

The Importance of BPD Treatment

Lack of reliable, dependable connections is caused by untreated borderline personality disorder since most BPD friends or family cannot sustain their ongoing emotional instability. Everyone needs social and familial ties; without them, mental and physical health outcomes are diminished and may suffer long-term impacts.

Additionally, eating problems, addiction, imprisonment, and suicide rates are higher in people with untreated BPD. Effective care and support networks are crucial for those with BPD.

Can therapy cure BPD?

There is a lot of potential for living a long, entire life, even if there is no cure for BPD. BPD can be managed with the right help and treatment, and many people who continue their treatment for a long time see excellent results. According to a recent study, 35% of people with BPD managed their condition with minimal symptoms after two years, while 91% had the same outcome after ten years.

Medication for Borderline Personality Disorder

The preferred form of treatment for BPD is talk therapy, while the medication is frequently used to help manage challenging symptoms and quickly regulate mood.

A psychiatrist or psychiatric physician assistant should prescribe medications to treat BPD. Although the FDA has not approved any drugs specifically for treating BPD, doctors can still prescribe drugs to treat BPD co-occurring diseases, including sadness, impulsivity, anger and severe wrath, or anxiety.

There is a possibility of side effects with any drugs. Some medications have the potential to create habits. Consult your doctor or pharmacist to find the right prescription and learn about the side effects.

Antidepressants: Since 80 to 90 per cent of people with BPD also have a co-occurring mood disorder, medications such as Selective Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs) and Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) may help treat depression in these patients.
Anxiolytics: Up to 88% of patients with BPD report co-occurring anxiety illnesses, making anxiety a frequent experience for those diagnosed. An anti-anxiety drug may benefit persons with trouble controlling their pressure. Due to the potential for addiction, many drugs in this category must be prescribed by a psychiatrist, general practitioner, or mental nurse practitioner.
Mood stabilizers: A mood stabilizer may be a useful treatment option for BPD patients who also have co-occurring bipolar disorder, which affects 15% of those with BPD. BPD is characterized by unstable mood and trouble managing emotions. Mood stabilizers are the most typical medication given to people with BPD.

Self-Help Techniques for Coping with BPD

Utilizing coping mechanisms, learning about the condition, and adopting self-help techniques daily benefit people with BPD. People with BPD can be more intentional in their social interactions and build more good connections by being aware of the symptoms, triggers, and coping mechanisms associated with the disorder.

Among the most effective coping mechanisms and self-care techniques used by those with BPD are:

  • Do Your Research on BPD
  • Create Coping Mechanisms to Lower Self-Harm
  • Practice Mindfulness
  • Find Positive Ways to Deal with Your Emotions
  • Make Your Relationship With Yourself More Powerful
  • Practice Making Your Social Skills Better
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Journaling

Taking Care of a person with Borderline Personality Disorder

The ability to be patient, have practical communication skills, set clear limits, and be eager to learn more about Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are all necessary for caring for someone with this problem. The signs of Borderline Personality Disorder can be effectively managed with treatment, but it takes time. Family members must be informed about BPD, the treatments available, and how to help a loved one who is determined to recover.

It will be challenging to know how to support family members and friends who are experiencing symptoms of BPD or even how to view the topic of mental illness respectfully and effectively, given the stigma, the lack of adequate research, and the lack of public teaching on mental illness, especially disorders like BPD that are heavily stigmatized.

People with BPD are stigmatized as being innately aggressive, abusive, and manipulative due to the disorder’s strong stigma. Due to perceptions that demonize those with BPD and frequently alienate them, many people with the condition refrain from talking about it.

  • Think before you speak, pay attention, and when necessary, ask questions.
  • Find out what prompts them.
  • Discover the coping methods they favour.
  • Be straightforward, sincere, and polite.
  • Keep trying to be kind, patient, and empathic.

Basic information on borderline personality disorder

  • A borderline personality disorder affects 1-2% OF THE General Population.
  • Females make up about 75% of persons with BPD diagnoses (APA, 2000).
  • Compared to the general population, people with BPD are fivefold more prone to have a first-degree biological relative who also has the disorder.
  • Despite having a low prevalence, BPD patients make up 14–20% of mental health inpatients and 8–11% of outpatients.
  • BPD patients account for 9 to 40% of high users of psychiatric treatment.
  • BPD criteria are met by 30–60% of people with personality disorders.
  • Self-inflicted injury is a deliberate, acute physical self-injurious activity with or without the aim of dying. It has been estimated that 69–70% of those who fulfil the criteria for BPD engage in this behaviour.
  • Persons with Borderline personality disorder have a lifetime rate of suicide of 8–10%, makeup 7–38% of people who successfully commit suicide, and exhibit significant rates of nonsuicidal, intentional self-injury as well as suicide attempts.
  • Although BPD has a similar suicide rate to other diagnostic groupings, over time, more BPD sufferers self-mutilate, make repeated parasuicide attempts and attempt suicide.

How many women have borderline personality disorder?

BPD1 is estimated to affect 1.4% of American adults, and 75% of those who have been given a diagnosis are believed to be female. More recent research shows that BPD may be equally common in men but is frequently wrongly diagnosed as another disorder, such as post-traumatic stress disorder or depression.

Demographic information

The table summarises the demographic information of BPD patients admitted to HJH in 2010 and showed that younger, white females made up the majority of these patients.

Age Percentage
18-29 yrs 31%
30- 39 yrs 31%
40-49 yrs 28%
50 and above 11%
Gender Percentage
Male 21.2%
Female 79.8%
Race Percentage
Asian 3.1%
Black 15.4%
White 72.2%
Mixed Race 9.3%

Some Quotes About Borderline Personality Disorder

1 “BPD sufferers resemble those with third-degree burns covering 90% of their body. Since they lack emotional defences, even the smallest touch or action causes them pain.”

2 “When you alternate between fearing and encouraging abandonment, you know you’re borderline.”

3 “People with BPD require help, not judgement.”

4 “Because of my thin skin, others’ kind words can easily get through me.”

5 “One moment I’m fine, the next it’s like a lava burst inside me, and I’m terrible.”


A persistent pattern of instability in interpersonal interactions, affect regulation, impulse control, and self-image are hallmarks of borderline personality disorder. Patients who exhibit emotional dysregulation, impulsive aggressiveness, recurrent self-injury, and persistent suicidal thoughts are frequently seen in mental health facilities. These are clinical indicators of the illness. Although the exact causes of the condition are only partially understood, genetic predispositions and traumatic experiences throughout childhood, such as sexual and physical abuse, have been demonstrated to play a part in its emergence. Treatments for out-of-control individuals include dialectical behaviour therapy, psychodynamic partial hospitalization, and medication therapy, which can lessen impulsive aggression, despair, and anxiety. More study is required to comprehend and treat this debilitating clinical disease fully. The current strategies include creating better, more affordable treatments for physicians and the neurological foundations of the condition.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The mental health condition known as a borderline personality disorder (BPD) is widespread and treatable. It impacts people’s behaviours, thoughts, and emotions, making it challenging to function in all facets of life. Below are some frequently asked questions people may ask about Borderline Personality Disorder:

1 What symptoms of borderline personality disorder are present?

Wide-ranging mood fluctuations can last from a few hours to a few days, including extreme happiness, irritation, guilt, or anxiety. Endless emptiness of sensation. Intense, inappropriate anger, such as acting out physically, being caustic or spiteful, or constantly losing your temper.

2 Is Borderline Personality Disorder a severe condition?

A severe, persistent, and intricate mental health condition is borderline personality disorder (BPD). People with BPD struggle to manage emotions, impulses, and emotion regulation.

3 What is a borderline personality disorder’s primary cause?

Being a target of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse. Being a child who experienced constant dread or distress. Being ignored by one or both of your parents. Growing up with a family member with a severe mental illness, such as manic depression or a problem with alcohol or drugs.

4 Do borderline toxic personalities exist?

Due to their symptoms, many still think folks who have it may be dangerous. While a tiny number of persons with BPD may exhibit this behaviour, most of them struggle with their relationships and sense of self. It’s crucial to remember that we are not a threatening group.

5 Are borderlines empathic?

According to earlier studies, people with borderline personality disorder are more susceptible to dismissive emotions. They frequently exhibit poor cognitive empathy but show retained or even improved emotional hearts.

6 Are you envious of borderline personality?

A BPD sufferer may appear possessive, jealous, or overly sensitive in close relationships. These people frequently experience extreme emotions of worthlessness and anxiety about being left alone. This disorder often arises as a direct consequence of childhood neglect, abuse.

7 Do borderline individuals have friends?

Due to their volatile dispositions, individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) sometimes struggle to establish friendships. But even amid the emotional upheaval, these friendships can provide stability.

8 Do borders have a trust?

BPD patients have unpredictable mood swings and have trouble trusting and comprehending the intentions of others. Consequently, they struggle with tense friendships, professional relationships, and romantic partnerships.

9 Why do people with BPD harm those they care about?

The borderline person frequently blames other people for their feelings when they first appear since they are unaware of how they are feeling. They might not be aware that their emotions are their own, so they blame their spouse for bruising them and making them feel this way.

10 How can you tell if someone on the fence loves you?

You may notice the following behaviours from BPD if you think you’re their favourite person:

Ongoing want for certainty.

Fervent demonstrations of their affection or gratitude towards you.

When you don’t react, It’ll reach out more regularly.

Fear that you’ll abandon them or stop loving them.

11 Are those who have BPD special?

Happiness, inventiveness, and empathy for others are all matched in intensity and irrationality by BPD symptoms. People with BPD fight their internal suffering and are healers, lovers, and fighters.

12 Are borderlines possessive?

Manipulative. Untreatable. Clingy. This is how others, including mental health experts (BPD), describe individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder.

13 Do people with borderline personality disorder cause drama?

People with Borderline personality disorder frequently display the Drama Triangle (BPD). The severe emotional upheaval that the individual and the people around them go through is often a sign of BPD.

14 Are those with BPD psychopaths?

Both persons with psychopathy and patients with BPD exhibit a high prevalence of psychopathic and BPD-specific characteristics.

15 How many borderline cases result in suicide?

According to research, over 70% of individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) will make at least one suicide attempt during their lifetime. 10% of people finish the act. This rate of suicide is higher than that of the general population and any other psychiatric illness.

16 How do those on the border think?

Another characteristic of BPD patients is a propensity for dichotomous or “black-or-white” thinking, often known as “extreme thinking.” 2 People with BPD frequently find it challenging to understand the complexity of other individuals and events. They are incapable of understanding that most things are neither perfect nor terrible but rather fall somewhere in the middle.

17 What types of jobs can you perform with BPD?

Many individuals with BPD experience intense emotionality and find fulfilment in functioning in a caring capacity. Consider careers in teaching, child care, nursing, and animal care if you have empathy.

18 How long will someone with BPD live?

With a life expectancy of about 20 years less, individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder are more likely to suffer from physical illnesses, particularly cardiovascular diseases. Obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, a poor diet, and smoking are risk factors.

19 Is working with those having BPD challenging?

BPD may exist alongside success in both school and job. In reality, many people with BPD who can manage their symptoms continue to have successful professions. However, some BPD sufferers struggle with their careers, leading to unemployment, underemployment, or dissatisfaction at work.

20 Can those with BPD form happy relationships?

The outlook for BPD is favourable despite the various difficulties it faces. This indicates that while most BPD sufferers experience symptoms, long-term healing and fulfilling relationships are still attainable even after treatment and time have passed.


As a result of its fluctuating moods and conduct, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is regarded as a deadly mental illness. Regarding the audit described in the article, it is evident that the general public feels the association with BPD rates and that borderline personality disorder predominates in many detainee investigations. These people, for instance, struggle with controlling their emotions and thoughts. According to this study, a significant portion of the female convicts displayed BPD symptoms, with past factors including youth sexual abuse appearing. Because of their inability to control their emotions, people with BPD have also been documented to have committed many egregious legal crimes. Long-standing impulsivity in someone with BPD is linked to marginal identity.

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