Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder
General information about symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder: The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder. This symptom information has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder. Furthermore, symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of symptoms and whether they are indeed symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder.
List of symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder: The list of symptoms mentioned in various sources for Borderline Personality Disorder includes:
- Mood changes
- Difficulty with relationships
- Self-image problems
- Unstable self image
- Behavioral problems
- Self-destructive behavior
- Excessive spending
- Binge eating
- Unprotected sex
Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder: While a person with depression or bipolar disorder typically endures the same mood for weeks, a person with BPD may experience intense bouts of anger, depression and anxiety that may last only hours, or at most a day. These may be associated with episodes of impulsive aggression, self-injury, and drug or alcohol abuse. Distortions in cognition and sense of self can lead to frequent changes in long-term goals, career plans, jobs, friendships, gender identity, and values. Sometimes people with BPD view themselves as fundamentally bad, or unworthy. They may feel unfairly misunderstood or mistreated, bored, empty, and have little idea who they are. Such symptoms are most acute when people with BPD feel isolated and lacking in social support, and may result in frantic efforts to avoid being alone.
People with BPD often have highly unstable patterns of social relationships. While they can develop intense but stormy attachments, their attitudes towards family, friends, and loved ones may suddenly shift from idealization (great admiration and love) to devaluation (intense anger and dislike). Thus, they may form an immediate attachment and idealize the other person, but when a slight separation or conflict occurs, they switch unexpectedly to the other extreme and angrily accuse the other person of not caring for them at all. Even with family members, individuals with BPD are highly sensitive to rejection, reacting with anger and distress to such mild separations as a vacation, a business trip, or a sudden change in plans. These fears of abandonment seem to be related to difficulties feeling emotionally connected to important persons when they are physically absent, leaving the individual with BPD feeling lost and perhaps worthlessness. Suicide threats and attempts may occur along with anger at perceived abandonment and disappointments.
People with BPD exhibit other impulsive behaviors, such as excessive spending, binge eating and risky sex. BPD often occurs together with other psychiatric problems, particularly bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and other personality disorders.1
More symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder: In addition to the above information, to get a full picture of the possible symptoms of this condition and its related conditions, it may be necessary to examine symptoms that may be caused by complications of Borderline Personality Disorder, underlying causes of Borderline Personality Disorder, associated conditions for Borderline Personality Disorder, risk factors for Borderline Personality Disorder, or other related conditions.
Medical articles on symptoms: These general reference articles may be of interest:
1. excerpt from Borderline Personality Disorder: NIMH
Last revision: July 1, 2003
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