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Borderline Personality Disorder

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is 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.

What are the signs and symptoms of BPD?

BPD causes shifts in moods, thoughts, and opinions from one extreme to the other. These shifts make it hard for you to function in relationships and in social settings, such as work or school. You may have many of the following:

How is BPD diagnosed?

There is no test to diagnose BPD. Your healthcare provider may be able to diagnose BPD after hearing about your symptoms. Your provider will ask if you have ever been a victim of physical, sexual, or mental abuse. Tell your provider if you ever want to hurt or kill yourself or others. Your provider may ask if you have other medical conditions or disorders. It is very common to have other disorders with BPD. Examples are drug or alcohol abuse, eating disorders, and other personality disorders.

How is BPD treated?

Treatment may need to take place in a hospital or clinic. Treatment works best if you learn about BPD and help create your treatment plan. Be patient. Do not give up if you have a setback. Treatment for BPD is a slow process, but over time you may improve symptoms or even recover from BPD.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

What should I do if I want to harm myself or others?

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:

How can I manage BPD?

Where can I find support and more information?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US), or have someone else call if:

When should I call my doctor or therapist?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

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Learn more about Borderline Personality Disorder

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Care guides

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Further information

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