To be formally diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD), a person must show frequent signs of at least five out of nine symptoms of BPD. Manage your BPD by understanding various treatment options, and if you know someone with borderline personality disorder, consider ways you can help him or her cope.
The Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder
Diagnosing borderline personality disorder (BPD) is complex, even trained mental health professionals may have difficulty with the diagnosis because the symptoms of BDP can vary dramatically between people. A range of BPD symptoms exist and are grouped into nine categories. To be diagnosed with BPD you must exhibit frequently at least five of these nine symptoms:
- Intense worries about abandonment and strong efforts to avoid it
- Unpredictable, rocky relationships
- Uncertainty about self-identity
- Reckless, risky behaviors
- Self-harming behaviors
- Highly volatile emotions
- Profound feelings of hollowness or emptiness
- Easily provoked rage
- Short-term flights from reality
Important Information about Borderline Personality Disorder
Don’t despair if you’re diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Seeking help and finding the right treatment can be effective. Keep these things in mind about BPD:
- Remember that BPD doesn’t define who you are. Try to view your symptoms as your BPD at work — not you.
- If you have BPD, realize that you have lots of company. Many millions of people have the same problem.
- Understand that treatment for BPD works, but it does take time and effort.
- Don’t rely on medications alone for help with your BPD problems — they won’t suffice.
- Know that other problems, such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse, often accompany BPD. These problems may require specific treatment in addition to the treatment you receive for BPD.
- Try to realize that your therapist is on your side. Your fears of abandonment may cause you to push your therapist away — try to resist.