Symptoms and Signs of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental illness characterized by a chronic pattern of unstable relationships, poor self-image, mood instability, and severe impulsivity. It usually begins in early adulthood.

Symptoms of borderline personality disorder include desperate attempts to prevent real or imagined abandonment, unstable and intense relationships with others that alternate between seeing the other person as flawless and as worthless, highly unstable self-image, potentially self-damaging impulsive behaviors, repeated suicidal thoughts or behaviors or self-mutilation, unstable emotional states, persistent feelings of emptiness, inappropriately intense anger or trouble controlling anger, and short-lived episodes of paranoia or dissociation caused by stress. In men, borderline personality disorder tends to include more explosive anger along with substance abuse and antisocial personality disorder, while in women, borderline personality disorder often occurs alongside eating disorders and mood and anxiety disorders.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.