Borderline personality disorder is a condition that impacts the way you think and feel about yourself and others, causing problems functioning in everyday life. It includes self-image issues, difficulty managing emotions and behaviour, and a pattern of unstable relationships. Borderline personality disorder usually begins by early adulthood. The condition seems to be worse in young adulthood.
The features include:
- Borderline personality disorder affects how you feel about yourself, how you relate to others and how you behave.
- An intense fear of abandonment, even going to extreme measures to avoid real or imagined separation or rejection.
- A pattern of unstable intense relationships, such as idealizing someone one moment and then suddenly believing the person doesn't care enough or is cruel.
- Rapid changes in self-identity and self-image that include shifting goals and values, and seeing yourself as bad or as if you don't exist at all.
- Periods of stress-related paranoia and loss of contact with reality, lasting from a few minutes to a few hours.
- Impulsive and risky behaviour, such as gambling, reckless driving, unsafe sex, spending sprees, binge eating or drug abuse, or sabotaging success by suddenly quitting a good job or ending a positive relationship.
- Suicidal threats or behaviour or self-injury, often in response to fear of separation or rejection.
- Wide mood swings lasting from a few hours to a few days, which can include intense happiness, irritability, shame or anxiety.
- Ongoing feelings of emptiness.
- Inappropriate, intense anger, such as frequently losing your temper, being sarcastic or bitter, or having physical fights.
People with BPD often have highly unstable patterns of social relationships. While they can develop intense but stormy attachments, their attitudes toward family, friends, and loved ones may suddenly shift from idealization (great admiration and love) to devaluation (intense anger and dislike).
Many people with Borderline personality disorder can benefit from psychological or medical treatment. Treatment involves individual and group therapy which is carried out by trained professionals. Effective treatment may last more than a year. With time, many people with borderline overcome their symptoms and recover.