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Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

What is Borderline Personality Disorder? 

According to the National Institute of Mental Health

(Borderline personality disorder is a mental illness marked by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, self-image, and behavior. These symptoms often result in impulsive actions and problems in relationships. People with borderline personality disorder may experience intense episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety that can last from a few hours to days.

General Statistics

National Institute of Mental Health

Based on diagnostic interview data from the National Comorbidity Study Replication (NCS-R), Figure 1 shows the past year prevalence of U.S. adults aged 18 and older with personality disorders.1

  • The prevalence of any personality disorder was 9.1% and borderline personality disorder was 1.4%.

  • Sex and race were not found to be associated with the prevalence of personality disorders.

"Borderline Personality Disorder, Self-Harm and Eating Disorders. In this video I talk about their relationship. Many of the symptoms of BPD lead us to acting out in SH or ED."

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?


PTSD Affects First Responders Too--Hear One Story

By The Mighty Staff

"And you can’t be a first responder, doing the things that we do, seeing the things that we see, experiencing things that we experience, and not be affected.’ And there’s no shame in that..."


The Contradiction That Defines Part of Borderline Personality Disorder on The Mighty

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"One of the defining characteristics of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a contradiction — the push-pull mechanic that many people with the disorder find themselves using subconsciously. It’s so common that a famous book written about BPD is called “I Hate You — Don’t Leave Me.” Love/hate. Can’t live with you/can’t live without you. It has its basis in the black and white thinking that is also typical of BPD. No gray areas. Things are either one extreme or the other, not in the middle. This contradiction is no different, but we can experience both extremes at the same time, or flip between them often."

Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

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"Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious psychological condition that's characterized by unstable moods and emotions, relationships, and behavior. It's one of several personality disorders recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Personality disorders are psychological conditions that begin in adolescence or early adulthood, continue over many years, and, when left untreated, can cause a great deal of distress. Thankfully, the treatment that's targeted to BPD can help significantly... BPD can often interfere with your ability to enjoy life or achieve fulfillment in relationships, work, or school. It's associated with specific and significant problems in interpersonal relationships, self-image, emotions, behaviors, and thinking".

9 Surprising Physical Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder on Yahoo! Lifestyle

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"Because borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental illness that affects emotional regulation, people tend to focus on the mental and emotional symptoms people experience.

But people with BPD can also experience physical symptoms we need to talk about."

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"Someone with BPD, as discussed earlier, experiences many extreme symptoms, all of which are related to emotional disturbances. Many of these, as discovered by scientists, are a result of extremely low levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is the chemical that helps to maintain order and limit impulsivity. With low levels of serotonin, the patient becomes considerably more impulsive. A lack of Serotonin usually leads to criminal-like areSomeone with BPD, as discussed earlier, experiences many extreme symptoms, all of which are related to emotional disturbances. Many of these, as discovered by scientists,   behaviour, anger-related traits, violent suicidal behaviour, and impulsive aggression.  

          When there is a low amount of Serotonin in the brain, this means that Dopamine is predominantly present. According to studies, high amounts of Dopamine have the same, or quite similar, effects as a lack of Serotonin. This is because elevated levels of Dopamine directly correspond with aggression. The resulting aggression tends to be so severe that by the end of the aggressive phase, the patient almost fails to recognize angry expressions. The increased impulsivity causes the brain to remain less focused on certain tasks which is what causes impairment in simple tasks, such as reading and recognizing facial expressions.

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"(DBT). This treatment was originally developed to help chronically suicidal individuals. DBT combines crisis intervention support with other intervention practices that are theoretically grounded in Eastern meditative and acceptance-based philosophies. Research conducted on this treatment dialectical behavior therapy. The most successful and effective psychotherapeutic approach to date has been Marsha Linehan’s have shown it to be more effective than most other psychotherapeutic and medical approaches to helping a person to better cope with this

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disorder. DBT focuses on helping the client build skills in acceptance and tolerance of intense negative emotions as a means to take better control of their lives, their emotions, and themselves. In DBT, the therapist and client are expected to build a relationship where the therapist can help the client start to bridge the gap between “emotional” and “rational” interpretations of their world. In addition, client and therapist exchanges help the client negotiate a balance between acceptance and change of certain client tendencies (hence the term “dialectical”). The client must give the therapist permission to question/identify (in a moderately non-confrontational manner) distorted interpretations or inappropriate reactions the client may display over the course of therapy that are based on emotional reactivity rather than rational processing. Treatment targets are agreed upon, with self-harm taking priority. It is a comprehensive approach that is most often conducted within a group setting. Because the skill set learned is new and complex, it is not an appropriate therapy for those who may have difficulty learning new concepts."



TRIGGER WARNING: Self-harm, depression, suicidal ideation


When I was hospitalized for my depression, I was there for about a month. Generally, people stayed for around two weeks, and I was planning to until I had a bit of a breakdown. It was three days before I was to be dismissed from the program, I found out that my school was going to make me go to the last week of school to take all my finals. I was completely overwhelmed and started crying like crazy. My therapist had gone into the bathroom before I started crying and by the time he got back, I was crying under a desk. He asked me if that happened a lot and I said yes, and he said that he thought I might have something called borderline personality disorder. This happened about twenty minutes before dismissal on Friday, so I was to have the entire weekend to think about this. He told me that he couldn't formally diagnose me until I was 18, because that when they could be surer that I showed all the symptoms, and it wasn't just hormonal mood swings. He gave me a packet on BPD, and I was left to my own devices for the weekend. I read the packet about a thousand times. It sounded so much like me, but the packet only described the negative things about it, so I read it over and over. I took the whole thing to heart, and increasingly grew to feel like a monster.

My family decided to take me out for a movie, and we went to see the new "Mummy" movie, and Jekyll and Hyde were in the film, and all of a sudden, I started to become overwhelmed in a feeling that I was that monster. I was angry, and I had the capability to hurt people around me. I was terrified of myself. 

I told someone about the possible diagnosis, and they asked me "is that the thing from 'Split'?". Someone had just validated the fear that had consumed me. I was a monster.

I lashed out and relapsed in myself harm, and after that, I was placed into inpatient at McLean, the hospital I was going to. It wasn't as scary as the movies make it out to be. It was comfortable, clean, and safe. I was safe.


Since then, I have started intensive DBT therapy at McLean's outpatient's facility, and have continued to heal. I relapsed in self-harm in my sophomore year, but since then, I have been clean for a year and a half. My interpersonal relationships have become stronger, and I have a great group of friends and a boyfriend that I have been with for almost seven months.


BPD can be caused by neglect, and also be caused genetically. I think that it was a combination for me. I had a difficult relationship with my parents growing up, but therapy has helped us become a stronger family.


While there are many downsides to BPD, I do think that there are also some good sides to living with it. Because you feel emotions more strongly, you don't just feel sadness or anger more, you also feel love more, and even happiness. In addition, I think overall, the experience of living with BPD has made me a more empathetic and courageous person.



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girl, interrupted

by Susanna Kaysen


"In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she'd never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital. She spent most of the next two years in the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clientele—Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles—as for its progressive methods of treating those who could afford its sanctuary."

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the bell jar

by Sylvia Plath


"Sylvia Plath's shocking, realistic, and intensely emotional novel about a woman falling into the grip of insanity. 

Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies.
A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic."

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get me out of here: my recovery from borderline personality disorder

by Rachel Reiland


"With astonishing honesty, this memoir reveals what mental illness looks and feels like from the inside, and how healing from borderline personality disorder is possible through intensive therapy and the support of loved ones.

With astonishing honesty, this memoir, Get Me Out of Here, reveals what mental illness looks and feels like from the inside, and how healing from borderline
personality disorder is possible through intensive therapy and the support of loved ones. A mother, wife, and working professional, Reiland was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder at the age of 29—a diagnosis that finally explained her explosive anger, manipulative behaviors, and self-destructive episodes including bouts of anorexia, substance abuse, and promiscuity. A truly riveting read with a hopeful message."



"Davidson had some genuine (and some funny) things to say about what it’s like living with BPD, from how he’s in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) — 'It’s steps, it’s thought processing, you have these thoughts, you have these feelings, you have these urges, you’re going to freak out. Try waiting it out 10 minutes. Try going for a walk.' — to his fear of abandonment — 'When people say they’re leaving and coming back, I get a really big fear that they’re not coming back.'"

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