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Borderline Personality Disorder


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a pattern of thoughts and behaviors that causes most areas of your life to be unstable. Your thoughts and behaviors seem normal to you, but not to others. You often make choices that are impulsive and risky without thinking about the outcome. Your moods, thoughts, and opinions change from one extreme to the other. Treatment can help you learn to control your symptoms and may help you recover from BPD.



You may need any of the following to treat symptoms that occur with BPD:

  • An antidepressant called an SSRI treats anxiety and depression.
  • Mood stabilizers control mood swings and may decrease impulsive behavior.
  • Antipsychotics help regulate thought and judgment, and may reduce anxiety, paranoia, and hostility.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider or psychiatrist as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Create a crisis plan:

Your healthcare provider will help you create a crisis plan to follow if you have thoughts about hurting yourself or someone else. The plan will include the names of people to call during a crisis. Share your plan with friends and family. Ask someone to stay with you if a crisis occurs.

  • Contact a suicide prevention organization:
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK)
    • Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-2433 (1-800-SUICIDE)
    • For a list of international numbers:


Therapy helps you learn skills to control your moods and improve your relationships. You also learn how to replace negative thoughts and beliefs with positive ones. You might work alone with a therapist, or attend group therapy with others who have BPD.

Manage BPD:

  • Create a daily routine. Eat meals at the same time each day. Go to sleep at the same time each night. Tell your healthcare provider if you have trouble sleeping.
  • Reduce stress. Exercise regularly, or do other activities you enjoy. Make time to relax each day. Spend time with people and in places where you feel safe and at ease.
  • Set realistic goals. Your healthcare provider can help you develop short-term and long-term goals. Break large tasks into small ones so you do not feel overwhelmed.

For support and more information:

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
    3803 N. Fairfax Dr., Suite 100
    Arlington , VA 22203
    Phone: 1- 703 - 524-7600
    Phone: 1- 800 - 950-6264
    Web Address:

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

You or someone close to you should seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You lose touch with reality. You see, hear, or feel things that are not real.
  • You want to harm or kill yourself or someone else.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Borderline Personality Disorder (Discharge Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Symptoms and treatments

Mayo Clinic Reference Guides (External)

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.