The information below includes a limited overview of the disorder based on the DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria. Only a licensed therapist can provide a diagnosis.

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is one of several personality disorders recognized by the American Psychological Association (APA). BPD is a serious psychological disorder displayed by a pattern of emotional instability that can hinder one’s ability to enjoy fulfillment in relationships, career, and personal lives. 

BPD is often characterized by the following: 

  1. Fear of abandonment. 
    • (BPDs will often avoid ending a relationship even after its been established that the relationship is unhealthy due to fear of abandonment).
  1. A pattern of unstable romantic and non-romantic relationships. 
  1. Impulsivity in at least two of the following areas that can cause potential self-damage: 
    • Reckless spending
    • Sex
    • Alcohol or Substance abuse 
    • Binge eating
  1. Suicidal threats or behaviors. 
  2. Recurrent displays of inappropriate anger.
  3. Unstable self-image. 
    • (We all have an internal critic, individuals with BPD struggle constantly with overwhelming self-doubt, and negative internal messages about themselves, therefore, they constantly rely on others’ approval for their identity).
  1. Emotional instability. 
    • (This often creates difficulty for BPDs to sustain employment). 
  1. Chronic feelings of meaninglessness and lack of motivation.
  2. Periods of extreme paranoia, and suspicion.


It remains unknown as to what causes BPD, however, research suggests that contributing factors include brain structure, and a lack of nurturing environment. 

** It’s important to note **

Many of the symptoms of BPD are symptoms that every person experiences from time to time. Also, some of the symptoms of BPD overlap with other mental health conditions. Only a Licensed Professional can diagnose BPD. If you think you may have BPD, please consult a licensed mental health professional for a thorough assessment. 

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