A doctor will diagnose borderline personality disorder in persons who have five or more of these symptoms and if the symptoms have a significant impact on them.
- Having emotions that are up and down (for example, feeling confident one day and feeling despair another), with feelings of emptiness and often anger
- Difficulty in making and maintaining relationships
- Having an unstable sense of identity, such as thinking differently about yourself depending on who you are with
- Taking risks or doing things without thinking about the consequences
- Harming yourself or thinking about harming yourself (for example, cutting yourself or overdosing)
- Fearing being abandoned or rejected or being alone
- Sometimes believing in things that are not real or true (called delusions) or seeing or hearing things that are not really there (called hallucinations).
Note: People with borderline personality disorder have high rates of other mental health related problems, such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders and substance misuse (drugs or alcohol).
What helps people with BPD?
- People with BPD have a strong need to feel accepted, heard and understood.
- They need a sense of safety; for instance consistent people and places where they can become attached while working through their difficulties.
- There are a growing number of talking therapies that may help, when a person is ready and able.
- Medication has helped some people to cope with difficult thoughts and feelings.