Borderline personality disorder – PubMed Health

Many People are not aware of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), so here are some fun facts from a quoted source. I say “fun” because I have to make light of life and throw humor in wherever possible. My mental struggles are nothing to laugh about, but if I am the one laughing, join in! Laughter is good for the soul.

Over the years, I have known that I suffered and was diagnosed with Depression, and Bipolar Disorder (which from here on out I will refer to Manic Depression), but Borderline Personality Disorder was new to me. A couple years ago it had been mentioned in therapy but nothing ever came of it. Then, during this past summer, it was added to my list of brain malfunctions. HAHAHA. I didn’t care one bit. I like to think of myself as a piece of art… always a work in progress… so I don’t mind the extra work needed to mold me into who I wish to be. We are all striving to find who we are… and we are all working on the person we want to be, that we KNOW we can be, and the person we WILL become with due diligence. And I believe that goes for everyone, mood disorders or not.

I have the privilege of knowing several men that have severe forms of Autism, Mental Retardation, and Schizophrenia. These men are in their 50’s and 60’s, and they are constantly working on who they are to this day. They amaze me each time I get to visit with them. They are not stagnant, they continually learn social skills, motor skills, and they have special talents unique to themselves.  They humble me, put my life into perspective.

And so I embrace my mood disorders. They will help me become great. They will help mold me into the Mom I know I will be, the Wife I know I will be, the very person I STRIVE to be daily.

Borderline personality disorder – PubMed Health.

Borderline personality disorder

Personality disorder – borderline

Last reviewed: November 15, 2010.

“Borderline personality disorder is a condition in which people have long-term patterns of unstable or turbulent emotions, such as feelings about themselves and others.

These inner experiences often cause them to take impulsive actions and have chaotic relationships.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The causes of borderline personality disorder (BPD) are unknown. Genetic, family, and social factors are thought to play roles.

Risk factors for BPD include:

  • Abandonment in childhood or adolescence
  • Disrupted family life
  • Poor communication in the family
  • Sexual abuse

This personality disorder tends to occur more often in women and among hospitalized psychiatric patients.


People with BPD are often uncertain about their identity. As a result, their interests and values may change rapidly.

People with BPD also tend to see things in terms of extremes, such as either all good or all bad. Their views of other people may change quickly. A person who is looked up to one day may be looked down on the next day. These suddenly shifting feelings often lead to intense and unstable relationships.

Other symptoms of BPD include:

  • Fear of being abandoned
  • Feelings of emptiness and boredom
  • Frequent displays of inappropriate anger
  • Impulsiveness with money, substance abuse, sexual relationships, binge eating, or shoplifting
  • Intolerance of being alone
  • Repeated crises and acts of self-injury, such as wrist cutting or overdosing

Signs and tests

Like other personality disorders, BPD is diagnosed based on a psychological evaluation and the history and severity of the symptoms.


Many types of individual talk therapy, such as dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), can successfully treat BPD. In addition, group therapy can help change self-destructive behaviors.

In some cases, medications can help level mood swings and treat depression or other disorders that may occur with this condition.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outlook depends on how severe the condition is and whether the person is willing to accept help. With long-term talk therapy, the person will often gradually improve.


Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if you or your child has symptoms of borderline personality disorder. It is especially important to seek help right away if you or your child is having thoughts of suicide.”


  1. Blais MA, Smallwood P, Groves JE, Rivas-Vazquez RA. Personality and personality disorders. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Biederman J, Rauch SL, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2008:chap 39.

Review Date: 11/15/2010.

Reviewed by: Linda Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; and David B. Merrill, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director,

10 thoughts on “Borderline personality disorder – PubMed Health”

  1. I really like the positive attitude you have about bpd. You embrace your disorder to improve yourself everyday. I believe when I reflect on my view of the disorder I may be to serious of my view maybe I should sometimes look at it as a positive and always a negative. I really appreciate your outlook on life. I found it to be a much needed boost in my mood.


    1. Thank you for reading my post, I greatly appreciate it.
      As I am sure you experience as well, some days are better than others. I am truly trying to keep a positive attitude.
      We are all unique and what I find beautiful about mood disorders, is whether we feel good or bad, we feel it to the core of our being.Isn’t that a beautiful thing? We FEEL and truly FEEL. Now, whether we enjoy it or not is another matter. LOL.
      There are days I find it a curse, and others a blessing. It’s an explanation as well, and knowledge is important so that we can prevent the future from being identical to our past.
      Glad you enjoyed the post. :)
      May peace be with you.


  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this topic specifically! When you talk about co-morbiditiy, i.e. anxiety tagging along with depression of bipolar disorder, borderline is rarely mentioned. But it’s more common as a singular “diagnosis” (hate that word!) but also as a tag on with other disorders, especially PTDS. As a person in recovery from BP, gen anxiety disorder, and Borderline – have that 3rd one thrown out by the therapist was a shock. Thought what I already had was enough! But a mindfulness based therapy called DBT, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, was a life-saver and has helped with the BP and anxiety as well. It has it’s roots in Buddhist philosophy / practice but is non-denominational. Highly recommend even reading about it as the ideas challenge a lot of destructive Borderline thinking. Radical Acceptance is a major concept and I use it every day. There’s a book by Tara Brach on it, as well as great books on Borderline P. D. Shared this to give another personal perspective as well as applaud you for your attitude and positive perspective on mental issues in general. Even though a person may be lumped under a label, that doesn’t mean that they are in an episode 24 hours/day, etc., etc. They are a whole, unique person who may have thoughts and/or behaviors from time to time that can be challenging for them. We are not a label. We are people coping with physical or chemical issues that propel us to move forward and do the best we can with our lives in spite of them!


    1. YES! YES! YES!! DBT has been a true eyeopening experience. I am grateful you commented, and I will look into the book by Tara Brach. I kind of stumbled into mindfulness with “The Power Of Now” in late 2009 after a very horrible life experience pushed me nearly to my own destruction. Then this last year I was introduced officially to DBT during therapy. I am excited to look further into Radical acceptance.
      You are correct… we are NOT a label. It’s just a another beautiful piece of who we are. We have the choice to allow it to destroy us, or we can use it to transform into the amazing person we already are… some of us just haven’t realized it yet. :)
      Thank you for bringing this to light. One of my next posts was going to be on DBT.
      Thank you… for sharing your own personal experience!


  3. Thanks for posting this–Very informative. I do not have an official diagnosis of BPD, but I fit alot of the symptoms. What exactly is DBT or do you have a prior post you can reference me too?


  4. Sophia,
    Here is a very good link that directs you to different information about DBT.
    The best way to describe this type of therapy is to live in the “now”. Thinking of the past can cause pain, we have regrets, shoulda, woulda, couldas, perhaps we had very bad childhoods and hold onto allot of pain. So the concept is to refrain from looking into the past, as it makes you depressed. Yet at the same time, you do not ignore the pain it causes. When you experience the pain of the past (I will use the abuse of my son as an example), you acknowledge the pain, perhaps have a short cry about it, then you redirect your brain to something positive or distracting. So, when I get very upset thinking back to my sons abuse and the circumstances that got him into the position to be abused, obviously it hurts to my core. I cry, blame myself, wish death upon myself for not preventing it. With “mindfulness”, I say to myself ” I have the right to be angry and hurt for my son. I have the right to cry”. So I cry for a bit. Then if the thoughts keep nagging at me… I say to myself ” is this thought pattern helping or hurting me” ? Of coarse the answer is hurting because it is not productive. At that point I redirect my thoughts to what I am grateful for… my son is safe and happy, all of my children are safe, happy, and healthy. I am learning to love myself and others.. ect. If that doesn’t work, I do something distracting that I enjoy. Watch a good movie, make candles, go for a walk. Basically, the goal is to retrain your brain… when the negative thoughts pop up… accept them, then redirect your thoughts.
    Anyhow, sorry for the long post. :) Check out that link.
    I am planning to do a complete post on DBT. :) It is amazing and life changing.


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