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Borderline Personality Disorder | What is BPD? | Signs of BPD

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by ★ SF Staff (CP), Sep 21, 2015.

  1. ★ SF Staff (CP)

    ★ SF Staff (CP) Administrator Staff Member Safety & Support

    Hi there!!

    This thread is all about Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and provides information on what the disorder is, signs and symptoms, treatments and provides a list of links and resources that you may find useful. We also welcome you to discuss your experiences with BPD in this thread with other members.

    What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

    Borderline Personality Disorder is a disorder that can cause unstable and unpredictable mood swings, behaviour and relationships. Many people with BPD will normally have experienced some sort of traumatic event in their lives and will usually have a co-morbid illness such as depression, addiction, anxiety etc. It was once thought that BPD was the borderline between neurosis and psychosis, however this is not how the illness is defined in the present day. Some doctors now refer to BPD as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD) as they believe it defines the illness more accurately. It is believed that people with BPD develop traits from an early age as they inherit behaviours and traits from those around them and learned behaviours from the environment. Researchers also believe that the illness can be inherited and that genetics play a role in inheriting the illness. People with BPD tend to have a strong fear of abandonment which usually plays a role in their unstable moods, behaviour and relationships. BPD is usually more common in women but can affect men too.

    Signs and Symptoms

    BPD has a large array of signs and symptoms and can affect each individual differently:

    -Intense emotions that can last from anywhere between a few hours and a few days but can change very quickly e.g. feeling happy in the morning but feel depressed or angry in the afternoon.
    -Fear of abandonment.
    -Extreme reactions. This can include panic, depression or rage usually from feelings of abandonment or perceived feelings.
    -Unstable relationships. One moment you may feel close to and love somebody but the next you may feel very angry towards them or dislike them.
    -Impulsive, reckless and dangerous behaviour e.g. engaging in unsafe sex, spending sprees, taking illegal drugs, drinking excessively, binge eating, making yourself sick etc.
    -Unstable self-image or sense of worth that can result in sudden changes of mood, opinions, values and plans.
    -Recurrent thoughts of self-harm and suicide. You may also self-harm in reaction to an event or change of mood.
    -Feelings of loneliness and emptiness.
    -Have trouble with controlling anger and rage.
    -When you are under stress you may also feel numb and detached from the world, or you may begin to have paranoid thoughts and experience psychosis.
    -Black and white thinking. Something either is or it isn’t, there is no reasoning in between.


    If you suspect that you may have BPD then you should first see your GP or family doctor. They will take a history and may refer you to an appropriate mental health professional such a CPN (community psychiatric nurse) or a psychiatrist, however, only a psychiatrist can diagnosis BPD. They will take an in depth history and may ask you about life events, your childhood and if you have any family history of mental illness. You may have an assessment over a few sessions for your doctor to diagnose you accurately.

    There is no specific medication that can treat BPD but it may help relieve symptoms caused by BPD such as depression, anxiety and psychosis. Therapy is usually the recommended choice of treatment for BPD as it can tackle the underlying issues and thought processes behind the illness that can help you manage your thoughts, emotions and behaviour in a more productive and helpful manner. The recommended therapies for BPD are:

    -Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – This helps you understand how your thoughts affect your feelings and behaviour. It can help you identify and change your core beliefs and behaviours that are causing you to have inaccurate perceptions of yourself and others. It can also help you manage suicidal feelings and lessen feelings of depression and anxiety.

    -Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) – This type of therapy has been designed specifically to treat BPD. It focuses on mindfulness and being aware of the current time and situation. It teaches people how to control their intense emotions, improves relationships and reduces destructive behaviour.

    -Schema Therapy – This combines CBT and psychotherapy that focusses on reforming schema’s and the ways that people view themselves. This is to help build upon self-esteem and issues surrounding self-image and the way people react to their environment and cope with problems and stress and can improve relationships with others.

    There are other types of therapies such as Cognitive Analytical Therapy (CAT) and Mentalised Based Therapy (MBT). Therapy sessions can be undertaken as both individual sessions or group therapy sessions, but both types have good rates of success.

    There is also good evidence to suggest that developing your own self-management and relapse plans can reduce symptoms and prevent relapses.

    BPD is a complex illness to treat however it is treatable and manageable and many people with the illness lead stable and successful lives.

    Links and Resources
    Here a few links and resources that may help you when dealing with BPD:



    Here are some links to aid you in developing strong self-management plans:


    If you have any other useful links and resources then please share with us!

    Share Your Experiences!

    Please use this thread to share your experiences of BPD with other members. Sharing experiences and hints and tips are useful to other members, and be sure to post if are you are looking for support, help and advice.
    Angel368, OCDNihilism and Maniae like this.
  2. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    I am really hoping for good results from the therapy I will be getting next month. A little anxious about it but my doctor has reassured me that it's best to give it a try. I have been waiting for a break like this for years. I have high hopes going into this. I hope it helps improve my social skills and how I interact with other people. I hope it will help me be calmer and not as panicky as I usually am. I have severe anxiety so I just hope this is for me.

    Thanks for this very informative and helpful article!
    Jasonpi, Yang Gu and unique_arien like this.
  3. PorcelainDoll

    PorcelainDoll Member

    Im so tired. My family isolates me now. Theyre stonewalling me. My PD had swallowed me up. Game Over.
  4. libra

    libra Active Member

    I'm in the same boat now. It is so upsetting, that family can't understand what's being done isn't out of choice, I found myself back on here avoiding harm. I feel I've no one left
  5. libra

    libra Active Member

    I've waited 2 years for DBT and don't out October I'd been turned down, as I wasn't a danger to my self or others at that time. If anything hearing that triggers you to become a danger. Every chance is slipping out of my hands, friends & family, I feel empty and lost but don't want people to see me weakened. Have you started your therapy and would you say it's helping?
  6. may71

    may71 Well-Known Member

    Does anyone know if there are some good books on DBT? Maybe a self-help approach would be good for you or others.

    Also, maybe doing an individual or group meditation practice could help.

    hope that things can work out!
  7. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Still waiting on the therapy. The date I have been given is March 10th (that could be subject to change). I was given a choice last week of talk therapy So I am really looking forward to it. My BPD is extremely hard to live with. I find it extremely hard to socialise lately. It's hell.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
  8. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    It doesn't get any easier. Sure there are ways to cope but you can't just back down, isolate yourself from the world for years and be normal, I don't care who says otherwise. Walk in my shoes then tell me what is normal for me. I don't socialise at all these days, one of my very few friends only ever wants to drink alcohol which is bad for me but I'm an adult and am responsible for what I do. I drank a few (a few weeks ago) and had a good time. My room is the only place I feel safe but only during the day. Think there's some other personality disorder going on with me to be honest.

    I have had 3 pre-therapy sessions. I cried today :( but overall it was a good session and I learned a new coping skill.
    unique_arien likes this.
  9. ThePhantomLady

    ThePhantomLady Safety and Support SF Supporter

    I am starting to think I have BPD... My diagnosis so far is a bit vague... something like an unsure personality disorder with anxiety and depressive features.

    I don't know whether or not to ask my therapist... I'm worried that means they can't help me at that clinic and I then will be put on another waiting list. I've waited 8 months to get this therapy, and I'm very vulnerable because of it. I don't think it would be good for me to be put on yet another waiting list in this state...
  10. na-taya

    na-taya Well-Known Member

    Google Marsha linehan you maybe be able to find dbt techniques and information about it she is the lady who created dbt
  11. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Agreed @ThePhantomLady Google Marsha or google ''dbt skills'' there is lots of info on it online, you can find great coping tips and advice. I think you're amazing no matter what diagnosis you have anyway :) !
  12. tireedd

    tireedd Active Member

    This pd gave me and gives me so much trouble...My feelings usually wreak havoc.But for a good cause most of the time, I have a strong sense of justice and morality.

    I recently found out I have BPD.I did online tests and it fits me perfectly...when I was younger I knew about PDs but I didn't want to believe I have BPD.

    I had a very hard time having BPD & PTSD and also an INTJ personality (which I actually embrace now because I use logical reasoning more).The worst thing was my lack of sense of self I suppose.But I'm really working on that.I think I finally got a grip of myself after thinking about my behavior, bpd and ptsd, personality type (I did a lot of reading on that) and also when I met some of my friends who like me and don't make me feel bad for expressing my feelings.
    Bluetoo likes this.
  13. RetroJoe

    RetroJoe Member

    I've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder but my symptoms sound more like BPD. Plateau highs in the morning with plunging lows in the afternoon among a couple of the other symptoms really struck me.
  14. Cariad_Bach

    Cariad_Bach Staff Alumni

    My CPN and I agreed that schema therapy would be most beneficial to help me. Only problem is there's no provision available on the NHS. As I can't afford private, I wonder how long it will be until I'm discharged again on the basis that there's nothing more they can do for me...
  15. suzi

    suzi Well-Known Member

    I'm in a DBT group. I've only been going about a month, but I've learned more online than I have in group.
  16. AlexiMarie7

    AlexiMarie7 Staff Alumni

    Those of you with BPD/EUPD, can you tell me what you expect/need from a friend/partner? I'm having a tough time deciding between setting up boundaries, maybe no contact and still wanting to be there to love the person unconditionally which I do.

    The main issues for me are the lashing out, due to paranoia or no discernible reason, and sometimes disappearing/withdrawing in rage.

    What works best for you? How can those who love you help--what would you like us to do, and if different what do you need us to do please?
  17. RetroJoe

    RetroJoe Member

    My doctor suggested that I used a code word with my wife when I was experiencing these abnormal feelings. This may help. However, it doesn't work for me because when I'm on an upswing or downswing, I don't perceive anything being wrong. I think that people without mental illness can't comprehend that. My reality becomes different from the norm but since its MY reality, everyone else's reality is abnormal. It sucks.....
    Bluetoo likes this.
  18. AlexiMarie7

    AlexiMarie7 Staff Alumni

    Thank you for replying. When you are experiencing your reality in a downswing for example, what can your wife or others do then?

    Is it just "be there" doing nothing? Does anything comfort or help even to a minor degree that your loved ones can do/say? Is reassurance good? Space/time alone?

    The code words sounds useful.
  19. Greetings all. I am a little late to the conversation, but hope my contributions helpful. Your indulgence in appreciated, as I find sharing therapeutic. A code word is almost necessary, and still often too little. It seems to me, while it occurs, that my being a foul monster is hint enough there must be something off. How though, is one to shrug off such directed albeit temporary hatred? I recognize the difficulty in dealing with this, dealing with me while this occurs, and fault none their inability to cope. Very few have held with me through the years and who can blame them? Touch is one of the most helpful tools, it reaffirms the emotional connection, and in fact the very existence of the person dealing with one in a low of BPD, but the struggle there... As a.. visual aid, this is what that requires I ask of my friends or lovers; approach a pacing, snarling man, his fists clenching and releasing, barrel chested, six feet tall and 200 pounds, trained in violence, with a visage not out of place in American History X, whom likely has spent the previous hour or more verbally dissecting your words in... terrible ways, and hug him, or hold his hand, touch his face or shoulder. Never mind that you know him to be unfailingly gentle to animals, women, and children, that you've never known him to raise those large hands without physical provocation, that during lighter times his discussions are toward the betterment and empowerment of all. In those dark moments I am asking those I love to approach a seemingly rabid bear, and touch it. How to begrudge some reticence? We the broken seem to attract one another, so my wife, with her own struggles, tries, tries to understand and to help, and to hold this quaking beast when that is the cure, but what a thing to ask! The worst she must endure is just a look, I am able with her usually to hold my tongue, I've learned to recognize my symptoms, if not always quite early enough, but what a terrible look to endure. In those moments, that look contains decades of rage and hatred, blame and haughtiness. She's only been around for five years, but for that look she is the origin of all the suffering. The woman is a saint for trying at all. The point, I think, is that even the tools are difficult to employ, useful as they are. When she makes it through the... Terror? And gets to the touch I usually melt, often cry, always apologize and thank her, because that monumental effort is what this disorder asks of others, of those cursed to love us. I would advise those in similar straights, to utilize the upswing, and lavish love, affection, and compliments on everyone around you, because the withdrawal from that emotional bank always takes it near the red.
  20. SA76

    SA76 Active Member

    I had a diagnosis of BPD after another suicide attempt by a psychiatrist in hospital.
    My regular physcologist disagreed.
    I do fit many of the above symptoms as listed above. Not that is bothers me. But i have been with my physcologist for 3 years and I'm not getting any better. (if not worse)
    Bluetoo likes this.