Health A-Z

Borderline Personality Disorder

Clinical Definition

Borderline personality disorder, or BPD, is considered a serious mental illness. It’s one of a group of conditions under the umbrella term of personality disorders. Those with BPD have often intense, unstable emotions and engage in risky behaviors such as overspending, unsafe sex or abusing drugs and alcohol.

In Our Own Words

Borderline personality disorder or BPD is a mental illness caused by a combination of biological and psychological factors. Those diagnosed may be born with a vulnerability to BPD and then later, symptoms may be triggered by stress or other factors such as abuse, inconsistent parenting or childhood trauma.

Those with BPD often have chaotic interpersonal relationships, mood swings and impulsive behavior. To diagnose BPD, doctors take a careful history to rule out other illnesses first; recommended treatments may include psychotherapy (”talk therapy”) and medication.

Symptoms and Side Effects

  • Mood swings
  • Discomfort when alone
  • Unstable personal relationships
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