Causes of Borderline Personality Disorder


Cause details for Borderline Personality Disorder: Although the cause of BPD is unknown, both environmental and genetic factors are thought to play a role in predisposing patients to BPD symptoms and traits. Studies show that many, but not all individuals with BPD report a history of abuse, neglect, or separation as young children. Forty to 71 percent of BPD patients report having been sexually abused, usually by a non-caregiver. Researchers believe that BPD results from a combination of individual vulnerability to environmental stress, neglect or abuse as young children, and a series of events that trigger the onset of the disorder as young adults. Adults with BPD are also considerably more likely to be the victim of violence, including rape and other crimes. This may result from both harmful environments as well as impulsivity and poor judgement in choosing partners and lifestyles.1

Underlying condition causes of Borderline Personality Disorder: The list of possible underlying conditions (see also Misdiagnosis of underlying causes of Borderline Personality Disorder) mentioned in various sources as possible causes of Borderline Personality Disorder includes:

  • Child abuse (type of Criminal injury) - when the patient was young causing problems now
  • Childhood neglect

Related information for causes of Borderline Personality Disorder: Further relevant information on causes of Borderline Personality Disorder may be found in the risk factors for Borderline Personality Disorder and underlying causes of Borderline Personality Disorder.

1. excerpt from Borderline Personality Disorder: NIMH

Last revision: July 1, 2003

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