Borderline Personality Disorder - Experience

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What is borderline personality disorder (BPD)?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental illness that is part of the group of mental illnesses called personality disorders. Like other personality disorders, it is characterized by a consistent pattern of thinking, feeling, and interacting with others and with the world that tends to result in significant problems for the sufferer. Specifically, BPD is associated with a pattern of unstable ways of seeing oneself, feeling, behaving, and relating to others that markedly interferes with the individual's ability to function. Also, as with other personality disorders, the person is usually an adolescent or adult before they can be assessed as meeting full symptom criteria for BPD.

Historically, BPD has been thought to be a set of symptoms that includes both mood problems (neuroses) and distortions of reality (psychosis) and therefore was thought to be on the borderline between mood problems and schizophrenia. However, it is now understood that while the symptoms of BPD may straddle those symptom complexes, this illness is more closely related to other personality disorders in terms of how it may develop and occur within families. BPD is now understood to occur equally in men and women in the general population, while mostly in women in groups of people who are receiving mental-health treatment (clinical populations). The frequency with which this disorder occurs is also thought to be considerably higher than previously thought, affecting nearly 6% of adults over the course of a lifetime.

Return to Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

See what others are saying

Comment from: Emily, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 28

Depression and anxiety have been the norm for me for about 20 years. I was just diagnosed with BPD (borderline personality disorder) last week. The information I have read makes me wonder how I had never been diagnosed before. I cannot stand the thought of being left alone or abandoned. I pull out my eyebrows and eyelashes, and more recently, my hair. My self-image is low. I've always hated myself. No one can hurt me any worse than I can myself. My mood swings terrify my children, although, I've never been violent or raging. In the past 5 years, I've had six different jobs and tried to go back to school, but gave up twice. It took me ten years to finish a bachelor's degree and I'm a special education teacher who misses work frequently. I'm exhausted from my frequent medication changes and have the attention span of a 2-year-old. I'm in constant search of attention and make very poor choices in my relationships. I've been divorced once and remarried a few years later. Now, this marriage is suffering. My brother, two years younger than I, is paranoid schizophrenic and lives in an apartment with other mental health patients. My mother neglected us terribly and has recently disowned me. My father has never been in the picture and doesn't acknowledge me. I don't know how to keep it together enough to heal and make my family stay together. In the past week, my impulsive behavior got me another car payment (we have 3). I think of ways to die about 20 times a day.

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Comment from: Matthew, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: May 22

I am 19 and have been recently diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). At the moment I am only just coping. I still find it really hard to control and hide my emotions from society, especially as I am in college at the moment. This makes it harder to cope as it builds up and I can't let it out as I am scared of what will happen. I have had reacquiring suicidal behavior and rage because of the strong emotions that sometimes leak out. I am a very introverted person and also suffer from social anxiety on top of the BPD making it harder for me to seek help. Although I have made that step and am now on medication for the anxiety as well as the delusions (voices) I hear. I find it really hard to talk to people and to admit to myself that I am mentally ill. I have also had unstable and damaging relationships in the past which have included impulsivity towards sex and over spending money. I need help!

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