Borderline Personality Disorder

(BPD)

Definition

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental health disorder. People with BPD may often have dramatic, emotional, erratic, and attention-seeking moods. This behavior disrupts family and work life, long-term planning, and the individual’s sense of self.

Causes

The causes of BPD are not fully understood. It is thought to be a combination of brain chemistry, genetics, and environmental factors. People who develop BPD are probably born vulnerable to the illness. Certain experiences and types of stress may then further increase their chance of developing BPD. Many BPD sufferers are often found to have experienced childhood abuse, neglect, separation, sexual abuse, violence, or brain injury.
Central Nervous System - Brain
Brain face skull
BPD is thought to develop from a combination of chemical imbalances in the brain and traumatic life experiences.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Risk Factors

BPD is more common in females. The following factors increase your chances of developing BPD:
  • A history of abuse, neglect, or abandonment as a child
  • A history of sexual abuse or violence
  • Inborn sensitivity to stress
  • Immediate family members with BPD

Symptoms

The symptoms of BPD vary. People with BPD tend to be extremely sensitive to rejection. They may react with anger and be upset at even mild separation from friends or family. Symptoms often become more acute when people with BPD feel isolated and lonely or during times of particular stress.Traits that are common to people with BPD include:
  • Fears of being left alone—resulting in frantic behaviors to avoid being left alone
  • Extreme and unpredictable mood swings and difficulty managing emotions or regulating moods
  • Difficulty in relationships—characterized by dramatic swings or viewing people as all good or all bad
  • Unstable self-image
  • Impulsive behavior
    • Excessive spending
    • Promiscuity, risky sexual behavior
    • Gambling
    • Drug and alcohol abuse
    • Binge eating
  • Repetitively injuring themselves through cutting, scratching, or burning
  • Feeling misunderstood, bored, and empty
  • Having deep-seated feelings of being flawed or bad in some way
  • Using defense mechanisms to avoid taking responsibility for behavior, or to blame others
  • Problems with anger management, manifested as periods of intense, uncontrollable and often unreasonable anger
  • Episodes of intense paranoia, dissociation, or thought patterns bordering on psychosis—often provoked by stress

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