What is Borderline Personality Disorder ?


Borderline personality disorder is characterized by rapidly shifting moods like bipolar but the difference is that borderline moods shift within seconds or minutes and this change is usually brought on by an interaction. Whereas bipolar moods are consistent for days or even weeks.

Borderline also is characterized by:

  • A strong fear of being abandoned (whether real or perceived abandonment) and attempts to not be abandoned.
  • Not being able to control anger: having episodes where they re extremely angry for no justified reason, get angry easily, may be violent.
  • Self-harm is also usually present in borderline personality disorder.
  • Feeling as if they have no identity/rapidly changing identities, which can manifest in switching careers, friend groups, ideals, values, morals, locations rapidly without a cause or warning.
  • Periods of dissociation, feeling as if they are not really “there” , feeling as if they are in a dream, feeling as if someone else is controlling them.
  • May engage in impulsive such as gambling, reckless sex, binge eating, drug use, alcohol abuse.
  • Splitting is also a phenomena associated with borderline personality disorder – it means seeing someone as all “good” or all “bad” they have a tendency to idealize others and want to be very close with them rapidly, and then can switch to hating the person, wanting nothing to do with them and thinking they are bad for them. Minor conflict can trigger this but it can also happen independently of that.

Overall, BPD is characterized by an unstable sense of sense, the world and mistrust of others. The key difference in bipolar and borderline is that bipolar is a mood disorder ranging from extreme happiness to sadness whereas borderline is a personality disorder, which has other factors, and their change in moods is brought on by interpersonal interactions not themselves. Also, they moods switch rapidly to many other emotions than the dichotomy experienced in Bipolar  (manic vs. depressive)