10 Signs of Borderline Personality Disorder

Written by Pliro
Mar 24, 2017 Last updated: Apr 21, 2017

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by emotional instability that affect one’s feelings and behavior. Furthermore, the symptoms of this mental health disorder can take their toll on relationships and responsibilities. Some of the symptoms include anger, mood swings, low self-esteem or self-worth and impulsiveness among others. Therefore, it greatly affects how the person feels about themselves as well as others. Let us read up on a few signs of borderline personality disorder.

Fluctuating Mood Swings

These can be intense episodes of dysphoria, anxiety or irritability that may last for a few minutes or hours. In other words, emotions become so unstable that small things that may be seemingly insignificant for normal people can become hard for you to cope with. You may feel happy one moment and utterly devastated the next.

Distorted Self-Image

A persistent lack of stability regarding your self-image is a common symptom of BPD. You may have made up a delusional character about yourself in your mind that others wouldn’t agree to. On the other hand, you may even keep switching opinions about yourself. At one point you may be happy and proud of yourself and on the other you may think you are evil or worthless. This results in difficulty coping with professional as well as personal life. You tend not to stay in the same job, relationship, religion etc. and your goals keep changing.

Impulsive Behavior

Frequent emotional shifts may make you anxious and unsettled, for which you may seek thrill or an adrenaline rush. This causes impulsive, self-damaging behavior such as rash driving, drug abuse, binge eating and reckless spending among many others. Such actions may give you the sensational high you need at that time, but are exceptionally harmful actions in the long run.

Self-destructive Behavior

Self-harm is common with BPD patients, whereby they indulge in self-destructive and suicidal behavior. This includes thinking about ways of suicide, or carrying out suicidal attempts which include threats and gestures. On the other hand, self-harm isn’t necessarily as extreme as a suicide attempt, but one tends to hurt themselves by cutting, burning or other harmful behavior.

Fear of Abandonment


There is a major fear of being alone in people with BPD. This fear may be triggered by insipid events such as a loved one going away for a while or coming home a little late. As a result, you become desperate in keeping that person close. This can lead to possessiveness, jealousy, stalking, becoming too clingy, or even threatening for the other person. As an unfortunate consequence, it often does exactly what you don’t want – of driving the person away due to lack of personal space.

Chronic Feelings of Hopelessness and Emptiness

It is an exceptionally unsettling sensation when you feel empty, hollow or unsatisfied all the time. You may even feel like you have no purpose and your whole existence doesn’t matter. Therefore, in order to be fulfilled, drugs, food, and other reckless behavior is carried out but nothing works to truly satisfy you.

Unstable Interpersonal Relationships

It is exceedingly hard for people with BPD to handle and cope with long-term relationships. For this reason, their relationships are intense, fragile and short-lived. Expectations are searingly high, whereby you easily fall in love but one disappointment can make you end everything. Furthermore, loved ones feel like they are being juggled in an alternating series of idealization and devaluation. Relationships are either perfect or disastrous with no middle ground or room for compromise.

Anxiety and Paranoid Thoughts

Paranoid thoughts and feelings of suspicion tend to make BPD patients out of touch with reality. This experience is known as dissociation, whereby you may feel foggy or delusional due to your stressful thoughts. Others’ motives are questioned and you lose track of the facts due to your own suspicions. Furthermore, these thoughts pave the way for intense episodes of anxiety or depression.

Bouts of Inappropriate, Explosive Anger

Short temper is a common symptom of people with BPD. This is because you have trouble keeping your emotions in control and the reactions are therefore stronger than they need be. Something small and innocuous may cause you to yell, throw a tantrum, or break things. Physical fights may even break out, but the anger is often directed to one’s self and not others.

Difficulty Empathizing with Others

Research from the University of Georgia show that people with BPD have low brain activity in regions for empathy. This is because they have difficulty in understanding how others feel. Part of the reason may be because they find it so difficult to understand themselves that understanding others is an even more arduous task for which they lack the mental capability.

In conclusion, just like insignificant things can have a huge impact BPD patients, those without it should be sensitive enough to understand these behaviors. To be aware of the symptoms means that those who can show empathy, should show it before jumping to conclusions about someone being too moody or too emotionally unstable. It is wise to look into the reasons behind every individual’s actions and emotions, since they may be going through things that none of us should hope to experience.