Borderline personality

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental health disorder that generates significant emotional instability. This can lead to a variety of other stressful mental and behavioural problems.

People with BPD have a severely distorted self-image and feel worthless and fundamentally flawed. Anger, impulsiveness and frequent mood swings may push others away from them even though they desire to have loving and lasting relationships.

People with BPD shouldn’t get discouraged. Many people with this disorder get better though treatment and live satisfying lives.

Signs and symptoms

  • Feeling abandoned or lonely.
  • Unstable and/or intense relationships.
  • Unstable self-image or sense of self.
  • Impulsive behaviours.
  • Unstable mood (mixture of depression, anxiety, rage, despair).
  • Chronic feeling of emptiness.
  • Difficulty controlling anger.
  • Distrustful or suspicious of others.
  • Recurring lifestyle of continuous crisis.
  • Suicidal behaviour or threats of self-harming behaviour.
  • Repetitive seeking out of others to meet their needs with no lasting self-change benefits.
  • Often seen as attention-seeking and manipulative by others.

Treatment

  • Assessment by a mental health professional
  • Psychotherapy, CBT and DBT
    • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help people identify and change core beliefs and/or behaviours that underlie inaccurate perceptions of themselves and others.
    • Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) teaches skills to control intense emotions, reduces self-destructive behaviours and improves relationships.
  • Coordination of care among professionals, e.g. family physician, mental health professional, psychiatrist