People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) have persistent difficulties in regulating their emotions and relating to other people.
There are many different borderline personality disorder symptoms including:
- Intense mood swings including outbursts of anxiety, anger and depression.
- A pattern of tumultuous relationships with friends, family and loved ones.
- Alternating between idealising and devaluing other people.
- Fear of being alone and frantic attempts to avoid abandonment.
- Unstable and distorted self-image or sense of self.
- Feeling neglected, alone, misunderstood, chronically empty or bored.
- Feelings of self-loathing and self-hate.
- Self-harm, such as cutting as a coping mechanism.
- Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.
- Impulsive and risk taking behaviour, such as unsafe sex, illegal drug use or gambling.
- Black and white thinking, or difficulty compromising.
- Paranoid thoughts in response to stress.
- Severe dissociative symptoms, such as losing touch with reality and feeling cut off.
We all see the world through different eyes, but a person with BPD has an abnormally distorted view of themselves and the environment around them.
A clinician can make a formal diagnosis of BPD. See 'Diagnosis of borderline personality disorder' for details. If you or someone you know has borderline personality disorder symptoms, seek professional advice. Treatment can help people with the disorder manage their symptoms.
Last reviewed: December 2016