Symptoms and Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder

November 12, 2012

Symptoms and Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder tends to develop during adolescents or early adult hood. It can produce a variety of symptoms and there is effective treatment available.

Introduction to the condition

Borderline personality disorder or BPD affects the individual’s ability to control and understand his or her own emotions. Typical symptoms include rapid mood swings, impulsive behaviour, intense relationships and poor self-imagery. Unpredictable behaviour coupled with sudden outbursts of anger means that self-injury is not uncommon. Suffers of BPD have a great fear of abandonment and are sensitive to rejection. There is treatment available that is highly successful and effective so if you think that you or anyone you know may be suffering from borderline personality disorder, seek advice from a qualified mental health care professional.


In most cases in order to be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder the individual should be suffering from five or more of the following symptoms:

  • Excessive or frantic efforts to avoid abandonment that may be real or imaginary

  • High-risk impulsive behaviour such as spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating etc.)

  • Chronic feelings of emptiness or worthlessness

  • Intense outbursts of anger or difficulty in controlling anger

  • Regular unstable and intense relationships

  • Persistently unstable self-image

  • Recurrent suicidal threats or behaviour

  • Extreme mood changes that only last for a few hours at a time

  • Symptoms of paranoia or dissociation


Treatment is available and is effective, especially in the long term. There are a number of kinds of therapy as a treatment option such as cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, family therapy and support groups. Therapy is often a very successful form of treatment for borderline personality disorder but is often most effective when used in combination with medicine therapy. Your GP or psychiatrist may prescribe this. Treatment should be sought as soon as symptoms are recognised in yourself or someone close to you. Impulsive behaviour a long with outbursts of anger that characterise this condition make it possible for the individual to cause harm to themselves, either accidentally or on purpose. Whilst in one minute they can be funny, witty and seemingly the life of the party, in the next they can become unpredictable and aggressive. Sufferers are drawn to high-risk impulsive behaviours and easily become submerged in alcohol and drug abuse or spending spree’s that trigger financial problems. The direct cause in unknown but is thought to be linked to genetics and environmental factors. Many but not all sufferers of BPD have a background involving some kind of physical, sexual or emotional abuse as a child.

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