Patterns Associated with Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is diagnosed when a person experiences unstable moods, behavior and relationships. It wasn’t until 1980 that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders listed BPD as a diagnosable illness.

Because some people with BPD have periodic psychotic episodes, doctors and experts first considered the illness to be a version of another disorder, making it harder to diagnose and thought of as less serious on its own. Most people with BPD also suffer from other disorders such as depression, substance abuse, anxiety, eating disorders, self-harm and a high risk of suicide attempts.

Statistical data reports that as many as two percent of world’s population suffers from BPD. Experts have not pinpointed an exact cause for the disorder, though many cases show that individuals who experience some kind of childhood trauma like abuse or neglect have an increased chance for developing BPD later in life. Research has shown that BPD runs in families, so symptoms could be hereditary. In addition, chemical imbalances can be contributing factors as they cause mood swings and depression.

People with BPD may experience the following:

  • Distorted self image
  • Intense and dramatic mood swings
  • Persistent feelings of listlessness and boredom
  • Impulsive or dangerous behavior, such as illegal drug use, gambling, excessive spending and/or unsafe sex
  • Irrational reactions to normal occurrences or events
  • Unstable, intensive relationships with family members and friends, changing rapidly from love and adoration to aggressiveness or hateful treatment
  • Unnecessary paranoia
  • Violent temper tantrums
  • Feelings that are “out of body” or not in touch with reality
  • Self-harm
  • Problem communicating and maintaining long-term relationships
  • Obsessive behavior, especially in relationships, as many BPD sufferers have irrational fears of abandonment. 

These experiences are what make BPD so severe. Frantic, irrational and unstable thoughts associated with BPD affect a person’s ability to live a level, normal life. It can affect their ability to get and keep a job and maintain meaningful relationships.

Treatment options:

  • Long term and routine treatment
  • Counseling and therapy
  • Medicines, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics and mood stabilizers
  • Healthy lifestyle choices, such as regular exercise, getting enough sleep and habits that reduce stress and anxiety.

Individuals who believe they may be suffering from BPD or know a family member or loved one experiencing symptoms of BPD should contact their doctor immediately.