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Borderline Personality Disorder is a very specific and serious mental illness which is characterized by persistent instability in moods, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and behavior.

This condition is also called emotional dysregulation disorder. This instability often disrupts family and work life, long-term planning, and the individual's sense of self-identity. There is a high rate of self-injury without suicide intent, as well as a significant rate of suicide attempts among the patients with this disorder.  Borderline Personality Disorder is one of the most difficult and controversial personality disorders in all of psychiatry.

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Incidence

Although definitive data are lacking, it is estimated that 1 to 2 percent of American adults have borderline personality disorder. Women are much more likely to suffer from this disorder and about one in every 33 has it. On the other hand, only one in a hundred men develops this disorder. In most cases BDP won’t be diagnosed until adulthood because the angst of puberty can mimic most of its’ symptoms.

Basics of BPD condition

This disorder was originally thought to be at the borderline between psychosis and neurosis. Even though BPD is more common than schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, its mechanisams are not yet studied that well. Here are some known facts:

  • The suicide rate is approximately 8-10%.
  • Patients often need extensive mental health services, and they account for 20 percent of psychiatric hospitalizations.
  • They often receive poor service, in part due to lack of sympathy with or understanding of self-harm

Taking emotional dysregulation as the core feature of BPD, most experts propose that the disorder arises from impaired modulation of subcortical inputs to consciousness. They hypothesize that the amygdaloid complex and its connections with thalamus, cingulate cortex and insular cortex are critical in the development and maintenance of the disorder. 

Signs and symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder

Impaired sense of self-being
Borderline personality disorder affects almost every aspect of human behavior. People with this disorder often have an unstable sense of who they are. They typically view themselves as evil or bad, and sometimes they may feel as if they don't exist at all.

Emotional Dysregulation
People with this disorder often have highly unstable patterns of social relationships. This means that they can develop intense but stormy attachments, but their attitudes towards family, friends, and loved ones may suddenly shift from idealization to devaluation.
Relationships are usually in turmoil. This is because people with the disorder have difficulty accepting gray areas - they usually see things as either black or white.

Impulsive behavior
Patients with this disorder often engage in impulsive and risky behavior and this usually leads to self-hurting, either emotionally, financially or physically.

Suicidal thoughts
People with Borderline Personality Disorder often engage in suicidal behavior or deliberately injure themselves for some kind of emotional relief.

Other signs and symptoms of borderline personality disorder may include:

  • Strong emotions that wax and wane frequently
  • Intense but short episodes of anxiety or depression
  • Inappropriate anger, sometimes escalating into physical confrontations
  • Difficulty controlling emotions or impulses
  • Fear of being alone

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