What are the symptoms of borderline personality disorder?

Borderline personality disorder is a psychiatric disorder that includes problems with intense mood instability, severe difficulties in interpersonal relationships, problems with behavioral control, including suicidal behaviors, and often a disrupted cognitive process during periods of high stress.
Symptoms include:
  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
  • A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating extremes of idealization and devaluation
  • Identity disturbance
  • Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging
  • Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures or threats, or self-mutilating behavior
  • Affective instability due to marked reactivity or mood
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger
  • Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms
Katherine Lee
Social Work
Borderline Personality Disorder symptoms (BPD) include:

• Pattern of unstable interpersonal relationships
• Engaging in impulsive and risky behavior, such as risky driving, unsafe sex, gambling sprees or illegal drug use
• Strong fear of abandonment
• Suicidal gestures/ideations
• Intense mood changes lasting a few hours
• Intense but short episodes of depression or anxiety
• Chronic feeling of emptiness
• Intense anger
• Transient paranoid ideation
Karyn Hall
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is primarily an emotion regulation disorder. This means that the individual with BPD has difficulty effectively managing his or her emotions. Dr. Marsha Linehan, treatment developer of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, says that BPD is about self dysregulation, relationship dysregulation, cognitive dysregulation, emotion dysregulation, and behavior dysregulation. The dysregulation of self is about not having a clear identity, chronic feelings of emptiness, and some experiencing episodes of dissociation. Relationship dysregulation reflects the fears of abandonment and chaotic relationships. Cognitive dysregulation includes occasional paranoid thinking and cognitive distortions. Behavior dysregulation includes self-harm actions and suicide attempts as well as other impulsive and destructive behaviors. Emotion dysregulation refers to the intense anger and the difficulties with mood that interfere with their daily functioning.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.