Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness that affects our thoughts, emotions, behaviors and relationships. It is a form of personality disorder that can make you feel like you are on an emotional rollercoaster ride due to rapidly changing moods. Let’s take a close look at the symptoms of borderline personality disorder.
What is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?
Borderline personality disorder is a psychiatric condition that affects how we think and our ability to manage our own emotions. It can severely impair our daily functioning by impacting our emotion regulation abilities.
BPD is marked by poor self-image, impulsive behavior, mood swings, negative thought patterns, difficulty controlling emotions and unstable relationships. A person suffering from BPD may also be prone to self-injury and suicidality.
It is also known as emotional intensity disorder (EID) and emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD). However, there may be some debate regarding the use of these alternate terms for BPD.
Related reading: Understanding BPD
Researchers explain that BPD often involves the following characteristics-
- Fear of abandonment
- Feelings of emptiness
- Chronic dysphoria or depression
- Heightened risk-taking behaviors
Sufferers are often afraid of abandonment, feel insecure and find it hard to cope with loneliness. However, negative behavior patterns, like mood swings, impulsivity and anger makes it hard for them to develop close relationships. Onset often occurs during early adulthood, but the symptoms can get better in later life.
Treatment can help to relieve symptoms and enable someone suffering from borderline personality disorder to live a satisfying and healthier life.
Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder
People struggling with BPD tend to experience instability, uncertainty and rapid mood swings. Their relationships are usually unstable as their feelings change from liking someone to becoming intolerant of that person very quickly.
They see everything in extreme and act recklessly. However, as some of the symptoms of borderline personality disorder are similar to the signs of bipolar disorder, identifying BPD can be a bit confusing.
If you suspect that you or someone you know is suffering from BPD, then here are some of the most common borderline personality disorder symptoms and signs –
1. Severe mood swings
If you are coping with BPD, then you are prone to experiencing frequent mood swings and these episodes of variable moods may last for a few days. You may feel a wide range of moods and emotions in a short period of time, changing from anxiety, joy, guilt, hatred, uncontrollable anger, love, shame, fear or irritability.
These emotional changes can occur suddenly and rapidly leaving you feeling unstable and uncertain. This can affect how you interact with others, lash out at your loved ones and find it difficult to control difficult emotions.
Related reading: 10 BPD Facts Everyone Should Know
2. Intense fear of abandonment
People struggling with borderline personality disorder have a strong fear of being left alone, separated or getting rejected by others. They take a lot of effort to avoid perceived or real abandonment. This makes them build and end new friendships and relationships quickly.
They may spy on the people they love, constantly track their whereabouts or try to manipulate them to prevent break ups or relationship dissolutions. Contrarily, they may push someone away if they feel they are becoming too close, in order to avoid rejection.
3. Explosive outbursts
Uncontrollable and sudden anger outbursts are commonly experienced by people with BPD. You are likely to have a short temper and struggle with controlling extreme anger as a sufferer.
Once your anger is triggered, you become consumed by rage and start shouting and throwing anything you can grab. It should be noted that this anger is probably directed more at yourself than at others.
Related reading: The Temper Tantrums Of Borderline Personality Disorder
4. Impulsive & risky behavior
People with borderline personality disorder are prone to impulsivity and often engage in dangerous behavior. They are highly likely to drive recklessly, gamble, fight, have unsafe sex, and engage in drug abuse, binge eating, spending sprees etc.
If you have BPD, you may also engage in self-destructive behavior and sabotage your relationships, career and happiness. However, such reckless behavior is typically difficult to control for the sufferer.