Symptoms Of Borderline Personality Disorder

Published on October 14th, 2015

Updated on January 4th, 2024

Symptoms Of Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental health condition that can affect a person’s life in many ways. The symptoms of BPD cause real challenges for people that suffer with the condition. This is partly because people do not fully understand the symptoms.

It is typical for those with BPD to have an unstable sense of self-worth. They will also struggle with rapidly changing emotions and difficult personal relationships. Their moods can change very quickly between very elated to terribly low.

Suffering from BPD can be challenging for a person in many ways. It affects different areas of a person’s life. Relationships, career, and personal goals are all made more challenging when a person has BPD.

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An important part of finding proper treatment for BPD is knowing the symptoms of the condition. The following list is an overview of some of the most common symptoms associated with this difficult disorder:

Rapidly Changing Emotions.

For people with BPD, emotions can be very unstable. The condition can cause swings between highs and lows in mood. Typical feelings include:

Each of these feelings can be experienced unexpectedly, causing the affected person to appear erratic and impulsive.

Unstable Personal Relationships

People who suffer from BPD struggle with relationships. Romantic relationships tend to be especially affected. Mood swings, unpredictable behavior and extreme need for attention make relationships challenging.

People who suffer from BPD can place very high expectations on their primary relationship, making it very intense. They may feel dissatisfied when they do not receive the love that they believe they deserve.

When a person suffers from BPD, their behavior towards their partner can be very demanding. This demanding behavior can often seem ‘clingy’ and unreasonably intense. Such intense behaviors may include:

Distress at The Thought of Abandonment

Those with BPD like to feel secure and certain about their plans and relationships, but often struggle to achieve a sense of security. Despite their partner’s best efforts, a person with BPD will struggle to ever feel secure and safe in a relationship. If anything feels uncertain, or plans change last minute, people with BPD can feel extremely distressed.

People with BPD often struggle with separation anxiety with their partners, and will panic or react impulsively if they feel a real or imagined threat of rejection or abandonment.

No Fixed Personality

People suffering with BPD may experience sudden and dramatic shifts in their sense of self-image. They may change their opinions, careers, sexual identity and friends with no reason or warning.

Constant Feeling of Emptiness

People with BPD have a feeling of emptiness that they struggle to fill. This manifests itself in boredom, anxiety, restlessness and fidgeting. To cope with this empty feeling, they may pull away from loved ones. They struggle with a constant sense of dissatisfaction that causes them to feel on edge.

Disturbed Thought Patterns

Disturbed patterns of thinking are common symptoms of BPD. Affected people may experience upsetting thoughts. These thoughts can include feeling like they do not actually exist or are a bad person.

In more severe cases of BPD, out-of-body experiences and paranoid beliefs may also manifest in a person. These symptoms are signs that the condition is becoming more serious. It is important for affected people with these symptoms to seek professional help.


Depression causes heavy feelings of prolonged melancholy. It can affect a person with BPD in many ways. It will affect their ability to perform at work, socialize with others, and maintain a healthy self-image. Depression can have lasting effects on a person with BPD. Without professional help, a condition of depression is challenging to overcome.


Another common symptom of BPD seen in many affected people with this illness is dramatic impulsivity. Impulsive behavior exhibited by people with BPD can cause serious consequences. They will affect different areas of a person’s life.

Impulsive behaviors are reckless. They can negatively impact relationships, careers, and general life goals. Such impulsive behaviors may include:

Self Harm and Suicidal Thoughts

Sometimes the intense feelings of anger experienced by people with BPD can manifest into self mutilation. This may include cutting and burning. This can also lead to suicidal thoughts, threats and attempts to take their own life.

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