According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “borderline personality disorder is a mental illness marked by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, self-image, and behavior.” Being alone is difficult for those with borderline personality disorder, but they also experience difficulties in their relationships with others. They can harbor unreal and untrue perceptions of those relationships, such as a loved one being mad at them when that is not the case.
Mood swings are also common in those who have borderline personality disorder, and they may also be impulsive and partake in dangerous behaviors, such as self harm, drug use, and alcohol abuse.
The following information about the signs and symptoms of borderline personality disorder comes from the Mayo Clinic. Signs and symptoms of the disorder can include:
- An intense fear of abandonment, even going to extreme measures to avoid real or imagined separation or rejection
- A pattern of unstable intense relationships, such as idealizing someone one moment and then suddenly believing the person doesn't care enough or is cruel
- Rapid changes in self-identity and self-image that include shifting goals and values, and seeing yourself as bad or as if you don't exist at all
- Periods of stress-related paranoia and loss of contact with reality, lasting from a few minutes to a few hours
- Impulsive and risky behavior, such as gambling, reckless driving, unsafe sex, spending sprees, binge eating or drug abuse, or sabotaging success by suddenly quitting a good job or ending a positive relationship
- Suicidal threats or behavior or self-injury, often in response to fear of separation or rejection
- Wide mood swings lasting from a few hours to a few days, which can include intense happiness, irritability, shame or anxiety
- Ongoing feelings of emptiness
- Inappropriate, intense anger, such as frequently losing your temper, being sarcastic or bitter, or having physical fights
Treating borderline personality disorder is possible. Treatments include medication and psychotherapy, and hospitalization is sometimes required for a period of time, particularly if the patient is a danger to themselves or others.
If you or a loved one is struggling with borderline personality disorder, it is important to seek professional help. If you need support throughout your treatment and recovery, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help.