Borderline personality disorder


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a disorder of mood and how a person interacts with others. It's the most commonly recognised personality disorder.

In general, someone witha personality disorder will differ significantly from an average person in terms of howhe or she thinks, perceives, feels or relates to others.

The symptoms of BPD can be grouped into four main areas:

  • emotional instability the psychological term for this is 'affective dysregulation'
  • disturbed patterns of thinking or perception ('cognitive distortions' or 'perceptual distortions')
  • impulsive behaviour
  • intense but unstable relationships with others

The symptomsof a personality disorder may range from mild to severe and usually emerge in adolescence, persisting into adulthood.

However, as with most conditions, BPD appears to result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Traumatic events that occur during childhood are associated with developing BPD.Many people with BPD will have experienced parental neglect or physical, sexual or emotional abuse during their childhood.

Readmore about the causes of BPD .

When to seek medical advice

If you're experiencing symptoms of BPD, make an appointment with your GP. They may askabout:

  • how you feel
  • your recent behaviour
  • what sort of impact your symptoms have had onyour quality of life

This is to rule out other more common mental health conditions, such as Depression , and to make sure there's no immediate risk to your health and wellbeing.

You may also find the MIND and Emergence websites useful.

Effective treatment may last more than a year.

Additional treatment is recommended for people whose symptoms return.

Associated mental health problems

Many people with BPD also have another mental health conditionor behavioural problem, such as:

  • misusing alcohol
  • generalised anxiety disorder
  • bipolar disorder
  • depression
  • misusing drugs
  • an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia
  • another personality disorder such as antisocial personality disorder

BPDcan be a serious condition, and many people with the condition self-harm and attempt suicide .

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 30 Aug 2016