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Borderline personality disorder


Disease: Borderline personality disorder Borderline personality disorder
Category: Psychiatric diseases

Disease Definition:

A distressful medical condition for both people who have it and for those around them is known as Borderline personality disorder.
When someone has borderline personality disorder (BPD), they will experience difficulty controlling their emotions, and are usually in a state of agitation, maybe because of a brain dysfunction, or because of a harmful childhood experience.    

Borderline personality disorder leaves a person feeling distorted, worthless and flawed.
People with this disorder crave a loving relationship while their anger, impulsivity and moodiness drive people away from them.

The treatment of borderline personality disorder is being improved by the increasing awareness and research. New evidence claims that people having borderline personality disorder improve over time and that they can live happy, peaceful lives.

Work Group:

Symptoms, Causes


The way a person feels about him/herself, as well as the way they behave and relate to others are affected by this disorder.

People with this disorder have a self-image that rapidly changes. They also have an insecure sense of who they are. Someone with this disorder may feel as if he/she doesn't exist at all, or they may consider themselves a bad or an evil person.

The instability of self-image results in frequent changes in jobs, friends, goals, gender identity and ethics.

Generally, relationships are upheaval. Love-hate relationships with others are often experienced. A person with this disorder might adore somebody for a moment and then suddenly and dramatically change to anger and detestation for small slips or minor misunderstandings. All of this is because people suffering from borderline personality disorder are hard to accept grey areas; things are either black or white.
 For example: from a BPD person’s point of view, a person could be good one day and evil the next one because for them, someone is either good or bad.

Borderline personality disorder may also cause some of these signs and symptoms:

  • Suicidal behavior
  • Fear of being alone
  • Difficulty controlling emotions or urges
  • Strong emotions that wax and wane frequently
  • Intense but brief episodes of depression or anxiety
  • Incompatible anger, sometimes escalating into physical confrontations
  • Impulsive and risky behavior, such as gambling sprees, unsafe sex, taking illicit drugs or risky driving.


The causes of borderline disorder are complex, just like other mental disorders.
The story behind the naming of borderline disorder goes back to the 1940’s and 1950’s, when theories said that this mental illness was on the border between psychosis and neurosis. Now, this view is overlooked. As a matter of fact, some advocacy groups demanded changing the name to something like emotional regulation disorder.

Meanwhile, the real cause behind borderline personality disorder remains to be discovered. Yet, possible causes could be:

Brain abnormalities:

In people with this disorder, changes have been discovered in certain areas of the brain that are involved in emotion regulation, aggression and impulsivity.
Moreover, brain chemicals that help regulate mood (like serotonin) could malfunction in people with this disorder.


Borderline personality disorder could be inherited. This idea is based on some studies of twins and families.

Environmental factors:

Childhood abuse, neglect and separation from caregivers or loved ones, are all factors that are reported in people with this disorder.

Usually, borderline personality disorder is the result of a combination of these problems.



BPD can negatively affect if not devastate many areas of a person's life; jobs, interpersonal relationships, school, social activities and self-image. Job losses and failed marriages are also common outcomes.
Scarring and frequent hospitalizations could result from self-injury, such as cutting or burning. Suicide percentage among people with BPD is very high, about 10 % to 15 %.

Some of the other mental health problems that people with borderline personality disorder may develop are:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Other personality disorders

Someone with this disorder may be involved in abusive relationships, either as the abused, or the abuser. People with this disorder also have an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, unplanned pregnancies, physical fights and sexually transmitted diseases due to their risky and impulsive behavior.


Recently, with the advancement of techniques, BPD treatment has improved a lot.  Treatment could be in form of medications, psychotherapy or hospitalization. 



It is the central treatment for BPD. Borderline personality disorder has two primary treatments:


Transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP):

TFP is more focused on the ‘patient-therapist’ cycle. This helps the patient see the emotions and difficulties arousing inevitably in all relationships. They can use the things that they've learned in their other relationships.


Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT):

This method was specifically designed to treat borderline personality disorder. It can be conducted through individual, group and phone counseling. This method teaches the patient how to tolerate distress, regulate their emotions and improve their relationships. All this is done by using a skills-based approach.



BPD cannot be cured by medications, but they can fix problems related to BPD like anxiety, depression and impulsivity. Anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants and antipsychotic medications are some examples. 



Some people might need more dense care for their BPD in a psychiatric hospital or clinic. It also keeps them away from harming themselves.

A person with borderline personality disorder is recommended to find a mental health provider who is experienced in treating this disorder because its treatment can be intense and long-term.


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