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What is Borderline Personality Disorder

Updated on October 29, 2017

Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder (BPD), is a psychological condition which a long term disturbance of personality function, defined by unstable moods or emotions. People with BPD often have chaotic relationships and act impulsively or recklessly.

People with BPD tend to see things in terms of extremes, such as either all good or all bad. Their views of other people and things may change quickly. These suddenly shifting feelings often lead to intense and chaotic relationships.

The main criteria for BPD are:

· often uncertain about identity

· Often sees things in extremes. (all good or all bad)

· fear of abandonment

· feelings of emptiness or boredom

· often displays inappropriate anger

· Impulsiveness (money, drugs, sex, eating, stealing...)

· intolerance of being alone

· self injury (cutting)

BPD Traits

People with BPD can be extremely sensitive to the way others treat them and react strongly to perceived criticism or hurtfulness. Their feelings about others often shift from positive to negative, generally after a disappointment or perceived threat of losing someone. Self-image can also quickly change from very positive to very negative.

Notice how I keep using the word perceived. Often those with BPD aren’t seeing things the way they really are.


Drugs and Therapy

There are no drugs to help BPD specifically but there are some that can be taken to help with the coinciding problems that many have such as; depression and anxiety.

Many people can fully recover from BPD with therapy. The most used and common method is talk therapy. Many respond very well to this kind of help. A re-training of your brain and thinking patterns is how to get beyond the illness and with time most will be able to accomplish a recovery. There are other kinds of therapy such as; psychological therapies and therapeutic communities and even hospitalization for more extreme cases.

What Causes BPD

The actual causes of BPD are unknown. Family, genetics, and social factors are thought to play a role in it. BPD often shows symptoms in early adulthood. A disrupted family life, negative social experiences, abandonment and abuse can all be contributing factors in the cause of BPD.

How to help someone with BPD

How can you help someone living with BPD?

· Be positive, say nice things, give compliments

· Remain stable in your own moods

· Show your love for the person

· Be patient and don’t take it personally

The only thing a person with BPD wants is to feel as loved and as important as everyone else and sometimes will need your help to be able to see that they are because their own views of themselves are distorted.

How do I know this? I was diagnosed with BPD. I was really confused about what that actually meant at first. I now know that it can at times make me my own worst enemy and to have some understanding from others makes a tremendous difference.

These tests are not meant to be used as a diagnostic tool but rather give insight to potential disorders you may suffer from. If you think you have a disorder, see your physician.


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    • Kalux profile image

      Kalux 4 years ago from Canada

      I had to look up the Jodi Arias trial as I had not heard of it. Whew, hard to imagine what was going on in her mind.

    • azrestoexp profile image

      Arizona's Restoration Experts, LLC 4 years ago

      BPD was something I knew nothing about. With the Jodi Arias trial going on here in Arizona, am glad I saw your hub.

    • Kalux profile image

      Kalux 4 years ago from Canada

      BPD can be really confusing. I agree with you, it's important for sufferers not to blame themselves or look down on themselves.

      I too hope that people will seek help, I think many of us try to take on the world alone much of the time, and unnecessarily.

      Although, not everyone is as lucky to have any personal support. You and your family could very well be the difference for this person you're talking about.

      Thank you for taking the time to discuss here, I appreciate it.

    • Kalux profile image

      Kalux 4 years ago from Canada

      You sound very caring and at least he has someone like you in his life to help him along the way. Your understanding, even when other don't, will help him tremendously. One person really can make a difference for someone suffering.

      All the best,


    • Kalux profile image

      Kalux 4 years ago from Canada

      I'm sorry for the delay in my reply, suzzycue, I don't know how I missed your comment! To answer your question, yes, I do believe that people who suffer from BPD often isolate themselves.

    • suzzycue profile image

      Susan Britton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Very good information and I suppose the older they get the worst it gets. Do these people often live isolated from the world?

    • Kalux profile image

      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Thanks very much, DDE.

    • Kalux profile image

      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Very interesting, Techicated. Thanks for pointing that out.

    • Techicated profile image

      Kathryn Kutny 5 years ago from New York State

      Another thing that can cause this is eating toxic foods, vaccines that have mercury and other toxins in them and amalgam fillings which also has mercury in them. Did you know that amalgam fillings that have mercury in them can cause heart problems, depression and anxiety. If that is so, just imagine what all those toxins in Vaccines do to the nervous system. Its the nervous system that makes us feel all those emotions. And when our heart is affected, its not good as well.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A very helpful Hub of this disorder thanks for sharing you have explained very well thanks

    • Kalux profile image

      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      You're very welcome, Supersonic. :)

    • Supersonic777 profile image

      Supersonic777 5 years ago

      A really good read. Many thanks!

    • Kalux profile image

      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      I'm very glad it was useful to you, Simba. Thank you for your comment.

    • Simba73 profile image

      Simba73 5 years ago from UK

      The symptoms you have mentioned are all 100% accurate of my wives behaviour before she left ,

      Great hub answering a lot of my questions, thanks


    • Kalux profile image

      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Thank you, Motherbynature.

    • Motherbynature profile image

      Motherbynature 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      My sister has BPD and it is the most frustrating thing ever because she refuses to take mess. Great article and you explained the condition very thoroughly.

    • Jasmine J Martin profile image

      Jasmine J Martin 5 years ago from Australia

      I haven't been 'diagnosed' with BPD as such, but I have displayed most of these symptoms. A psychiatrist told me a few years ago that I have a chemical mood imbalance, which I suppose is much the same thing.

      I also have suffered severe anxiety and countless phases of depression... I'm currently on Cymbalta, an anti-anxiety and anti-depressant drug which has repressed these symptoms considerably.

    • Kalux profile image

      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Very difficult indeed. Depression is often an illness which goes hand in hand with BPD too.

    • SopranoRocks profile image

      SopranoRocks 5 years ago from Upper Peninsula, Michigan, USA

      Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder often go hand in hand. It is very common for people to have both, which makes it even harder for them and their loved ones. Very difficult illnesses.

    • Kalux profile image

      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Hey Rickrideshorses, I know it must be super frustrating for the people in the lives of those with personality disorders. I think that you must be the kind who makes an effort based on you reading and commenting here. I wish you and your girlfriend the best.

    • Rickrideshorses profile image

      Rickrideshorses 5 years ago from England

      A girl I'm dating dating has bipolar. She takes lots of medication for depression and anxiety and although her moods seem fairly stable it gets a bit frustrating for me as she has a completely chaotic life. Patience is definitely a big help. Thanks for sharing the info.