signs of borderline personality disorder

10 Signs of Borderline Personality Disorder

Edited by Paul Alexander

Last updated May 15, 2019

The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that around 1.6 percent of Americans have a borderline personality disorder (BPD). At the same time, other estimates put the number much higher at nearly 6 percent.

Women comprise roughly three-quarters of cases of BPD. However, many experts suspect that men are frequently misdiagnosed as having depression when they actually have BPD.

Nevertheless, BPD certainly only affects a relatively small number of people. And yet, it’s one of the most misunderstood personality disorders.

You should know whether you or your loved one displays the signs of borderline personality disorder. You can receive treatment at a rehabilitation center to help you to best live with the mental health condition.

Do you want to learn more about borderline personality disorder symptoms? Read below for the 10 signs of BPD. Let’s get started!

1. Low Self-Confidence

Do you always have a voice inside your head that tells you that you’re worthless and incapable of anything?

People with BPD have extremely low confidence. They always look to other people for praise and reassurance.

It is also common to replicate the actions and behavior of other people. You don’t have the confidence to define your own identity and interests.

Instead, you constantly look for guidance from others. This prevents you from becoming an independent human being since you’re always dependent on somebody else.

2. Inability to Think Long-Term

This study shows that Americans struggle to think about the long-term future. So, this isn’t that unusual.

It’s also normal to fantasize and imagine your future. This could merely manifest as an aspiration in your relationships or dreams in your career.

This isn’t the case for people with BPD, who have almost no direction in life. They don’t know what they want to accomplish in their life beyond the here and now.

3. Lack of Compassion

Learning compassion for other people is a fundamental part of growing up to become an adult. Putting yourself in other people’s shoes allows us to empathize and connect with others.

People with BPD don’t have the same capacity for compassion or empathy. They don’t realize that their behavior impacts other people.

They fail to acknowledge that when they get upset this affects the emotions of other people around them.

4. Poor Social Relationships

As a consequence of the lack of compassion, people with BPD find it especially difficult to form and maintain relationships. This includes romantic relationships, as well as family and friends.

Many people with BPD who do find themselves in a relationship find that the relationship becomes abusive, both emotionally or physically.

They often distrust other people and portray themselves as desperate and intense in front of others. They often have an intense fear of being rejected by other people, which becomes more likely as they suck the oxygen from their unstable relationships.

5. Chronic Anxiety

Up to 40 percent of Americans say that they suffer from anxiety. However, the symptoms are often more severe for people with BPD.

For them, anxiety affects everything from their relationship with other people to carrying out the smallest of tasks.

As a result, chronic anxiety can frequently express itself through extreme impulsive behavior, such as screaming or outbursts.

6. Fear of Abandonment

BPD patients are terrified of being abandoned or rejected by other people. In a lot of cases, this is paranoia or irrational.

The desire to feel safe and secure for people with PBD can lead them to make huge demands on other people.

They can urge other people to commit to regular telephone calls or visits. If the person refuses, they can threaten them with self-harm, even a suicide attempt.

7. Serious Depression

Many people who actually have BPD are told they’re just depressed. However, depression is just one of many borderline personality disorder symptoms. Many people who actually have BPD are told they’re just depressed. However, depression is just one of the symptoms of BPD.

People with BPD can become so depressed with feelings of worthlessness that they experience suicidal thoughts.

This is extremely prevalent in people with BPD. Roughly 80 percent of whom report suicidal attempts. Tragically, up to 10 percent of BPD cases end in death by suicide.

8. Regular Mood Swings

In addition to depression, many people confuse the symptoms of BPD with bipolar disorder. This is especially in the case of regular mood swings.

This is described as when people experience manic highs followed by extreme low depression. This can be provoked by extremely mild things. For example, a minor comment made by a colleague at work can become an obsession, causing emotional instability.

9. Anger Issues

Many people with BPD respond to circumstances with disproportionate anger.

For example, a friend arriving ten minutes late to a meeting for coffee can be blown out of proportion. This can end with intense anger and even violence.

Moreover, since people with BPD are not aware of their own flaws, they can only recognize the mistakes of other people.

10. Lack of Self-Control

Ultimately, people with BPD are impulsive and lack self-control. Therefore, they often make rash decisions or engage in risky behavior.

For example, spending large amounts of money on things they cannot afford. Or, breaking off a relationship with a friend over minor disagreements.

It can also cause them to develop addictions to drugs and alcohol. This substance abuse can cause them to make decisions that harm themselves and others.

Signs of Borderline Personality Disorder

Now you know the symptoms and signs of BPD. Do any of the above signs ring a bell for you?

If several of the examples above reflect the behavior of yourself or a loved one, you should consider reaching out to a mental health professional for help.If several of the examples above reflect the behavior of yourself or a loved one, you should consider reaching out for professional help.

Northbound Treatment Center offers specialized treatment for those who may be suffering from this mental health disorder. Our experienced staff typically uses a cognitive behavior approach known as dialectical behavior therapy for those with a BPD diagnosis. The goal of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is to help each patient understand varying perspectives and to become aware of their intense emotions and unstable moods in order to better monitor them.

Each patient is looked after with the utmost care and will be given a course of treatment best suited for their own situation. 

We welcome any questions to do with you or your loved one’s mental health problems.

If you want to know more about our programs and services at Northbound, call us today.

Article Reviewed by Paul Alexander

Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.


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