Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental illness that:
- makes it hard for a person to feel comfortable in themselves
- causes problems controlling emotions and impulses
- causes problems relating to other people.
People with BPD have high levels of distress and anger. They can easily take offence at things other people do or say. People with BPD might struggle with painful thoughts and beliefs about themselves and other people. This can cause distress in their work life, family life and social life. Some people with BPD harm themselves.
For most people with BPD, symptoms begin during their teenage years or as a young adult, then improve during adult life.BPD is a condition of the brain and mind. If someone has BPD, it is not their fault and they did not cause it.
What causes BPD?
The exact causes of BPD are not yet known. It is probably caused by genes as well as experiences – not just one or the other.
For a person who is naturally very sensitive, life problems while growing up might be especially damaging. These problems could include bad experiences or having another mental health condition.
It is not possible to predict who will develop BPD.
Symptoms of BPD
Someone with BPD will have several of these signs or symptoms:
- Being prone to fear that other people might leave them
- Having relationships that are unusually intense and unstable
- Being very unsure about themselves
- taking risks or acting impulsively in ways that could be harmful
- Repeatedly harming themselves, showing suicidal behaviour, or talking and thinking about committing suicide
- Experiencing short-lived but intense emotional ‘lows’ or times of irritability or anxiety. This is usually only for a few hours at a time but sometimes this can last longer
- Experiencing a persistent feeling of being ‘empty’ inside
- Experiencing anger that is unusually intense, and out of proportion to whatever triggered the anger, and being unable to control it
- When stressed, becoming highly suspicious of others or experiencing unusual feelings of being detached from their own emotions, body or surroundings
Diagnosis of BPD
There is no test for BPD. It can only be diagnosed by a mental health professional after talking to the person and getting to know them.
The diagnosis of BPD can be made if a person has several of the signs or features. There are many combinations of these features, so people with a diagnosis of BPD can seem very different from one another.
If someone has signs of BPD, their doctor or psychologist will carefully ask questions about their life, experiences and symptoms before making the diagnosis. It could take more than one session to be sure of the diagnosis, because some of the symptoms of BPD are similar to the symptoms of other mental health conditions.
BPD is usually not diagnosed in children before puberty.
Recovery from BPD
With treatment, most people with BPD recover from their symptoms for at least some of the time. If someone recovers there’s a good chance they won’t develop symptoms again.
Most people find that their symptoms improve within a few years after getting the diagnosis.
BPD is a treatable condition and most people with BPD can recover.
How can we Help?
Psychological treatments (talking therapies) are the best way to treat BPD. These treatments usually involve talking with a health professional one-to-one.
Medication is not recommended as a person’s main treatment for BPD.
At Hellodoc, we have Psychiatrists and Psychologists who can assess, diagnose, and manage borderline personality disorder and related conditions.
If you and your loved ones need assessment, please contact us after obtaining a referral from your GP.
The information on this website is NOT a substitute for proper diagnosis, treatment or the provision of advice by an appropriate health professional. Please speak to your doctor for advice about your situation. HelloDoc is not liable for any consequences arising from relying on this information.