Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) to be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder a person must exhibit a persistent pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, mood, and impulsivity. These patterns usually begin by early adulthood. To meet a diagnosis of BPD, the person must exhibit at least five of the following nine criteria:

Frantic efforts to avoid being abandoned by others — they may experience feelings of panic, depression, rage, or extreme reaction to being left alone, whether the threat is real or perceived.

A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships— seeing others as “good” or “bad”, and shifting from one view to the other suddenly.

Identity disturbance— distorted and unstable self-image, values, and aspirations with a sudden change in career goals, sexual identity, and types of friends.

Impulsivity— spontaneously engaging in at least two areas that are potentially dangerous such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, and binge eating.

Recurrent suicidal behavior– gestures, threats, or self-harming behavior such as cutting, burning or drug overdose. About 25% of people with BPD will attempt suicide and 10% will complete those attempts.

Emotional instability— highly changeable moods, with episodes lasting from a few hours to a few days.

Chronic feelings of emptiness— feeling misunderstood, neglected, alone, empty, or hopeless.

Inappropriate, intense anger— these behaviors can often be aggressive and escalate into physical fights.

Periodic stress-related paranoid thoughts– including out-of-body experiences, feeling cut off from oneself or losing touch with reality.  TREATMENTS→