Borderline Personality Disorder (cont.)

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What are borderline personality disorder symptoms and signs?

As per the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition) definition, in order to qualify for the diagnosis of BPD, an individual must have at least five of the following symptoms:

  • Distorted, unstable self-image, in that they may drastically and rapidly change in the way they understand their own likes, dislikes, strengths, challenges, goals, and even their basic value as a person, even to the point of having feelings of worthlessness
  • Repeatedly unstable relationships, in that individuals with this disorder repeatedly, rapidly, and drastically change from seeing another person as nearly perfect (idealizing) to seeing the same person as being bad or nearly worthless (devaluing)
  • Unstable emotions (affects), in that the sufferer experiences marked, rapid mood swings (for example, severe depression, guilt, anger, irritability, joy, euphoria, anxiety, including panic attacks and sadness) that are stress related, even if the stresses may be seen as minor or negligible to others
  • Desperate efforts to avoid loneliness or being abandoned, whether the abandonment is real or imagined
  • Significant impulsivity (the person tends to act before thinking), in at least two aspects that can be self-damaging (for example, sexual behaviors, eating or spending habits, driving behaviors, or in the use of substances)
  • Repeated self-mutilating behaviors, thoughts of suicide, suicidal behaviors, threats, or attempts
  • Chronic, persistent feelings of emptiness
  • Inappropriate, intense hostility or anger, a lack of restraint or other difficulty managing those emotions when they occur
  • Transient, stress-related paranoid thoughts or severe dissociation (lapses in memory)
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/29/2016

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