Do I Have Borderline Personality Disorder? 

Symptoms of BPD from the DSM-5 

1. NEGATIVE EMOTIONALITY: EMOTIONAL LABILITY

Having unstable emotional experiences and mood changes; having emotions that are easily aroused, intense, and/or out of proportion to events and circumstances.

2.  NEGATIVE EMOTIONALITY: SELF-HARM

Engaging in thoughts and behaviors related to self-harm (e.g., intentional cutting or burning) and suicide, including suicidal ideation, threats, gestures, and attempts.

3.  NEGATIVE EMOTIONALITY: SEPARATION INSECURITY

Fears of rejection by, and/or separation from, significant others; distress when significant others are not present or readily available.

4.  NEGATIVE EMOTIONALITY: ANXIOUSNESS

Feelings of nervousness, tenseness, and/or being on edge; worry about past unpleasant experiences and future negative possibilities; feeling fearful and threatened by uncertainty.

5.  NEGATIVE EMOTIONALITY: LOW SELF-ESTEEM

Having a poor opinion of one’s self and abilities; believing that one is worthless or useless; disliking or being dissatisfied with one’s self; believing that one cannot do things or do them well.

6.  NEGATIVE EMOTIONALITY: DEPRESSIVITY

Having frequent feelings of being down/ miserable/ depressed/ hopeless; difficulty “bounding back” from such moods; belief that one is simply a sad/ depressed person.

7.  ANTAGONISM: HOSTILITY

Irritability, hot temperedness; being unfriendly, rude, surly, or nasty; responding angrily to minor slights and insults.

8.  ANTAGONISM: AGGRESSION

Being mean, cruel, or cold-hearted; verbally, relationally, or physically abusive; humiliating and demeaning of others; willingly and willfully engaging in acts of violence against persons and objects; active and open belligerence or vengefulness; using dominance and intimidation to control others.

9.  DISINHIBITION: IMPULSIVITY

Acting on the spur-of-the-moment in response to immediate stimuli; acting on a momentary basis without a plan or consideration of outcomes; difficulty establishing and following plans; failure to learn from experience.

10.  SCHIZOTYPY: DISSOCIATION PRONENESS

Tendency to experience disruptions in the flow of conscious experience; “losing time,” (e.g., being unaware of how one got to one’s location); experiencing one’s surroundings as strange or unreal.

Individuals who match this personality disorder type have an extremely fragile self-concept that is easily disrupted and fragmented under stress and results in the experience of a lack of identity or chronic feelings of emptiness. As a result, they have an impoverished and/or unstable self structure and difficulty maintaining enduring intimate relationships. 

Self-appraisal is often associated with self-loathing, rage, and despondency. Individuals with this disorder experience rapidly changing, intense, unpredictable, and reactive emotions and can become extremely anxious or depressed. They may also become angry or hostile, and feel misunderstood, mistreated, or victimized. They may engage in verbal or physical acts of aggression when angry. Emotional reactions are typically in response to negative interpersonal events involving loss or disappointment.

Relationships are based on the fantasy of the need for others for survival, excessive dependency, and a fear of rejection and/or abandonment. 

Dependency involves both insecure attachment, expressed as difficulty tolerating aloneness; intense fear of loss, abandonment, or rejection by significant others; and urgent need for contact with significant others when stressed or distressed, accompanied sometimes by highly submissive, subservient behavior. At the same time, intense, intimate involvement with another person often leads to a fear of loss of an identity as an individual. Thus, interpersonal relationships are highly unstable and alternate between excessive dependency and flight from involvement. Empathy for others is severely impaired.

Core emotional traits and interpersonal behaviors may be associated with cognitive dysregulation, i.e., cognitive functions may become impaired at times of interpersonal stress leading to information processing in a concrete, black-and white, all-or-nothing manner. 

Quasi-psychotic reactions, including paranoia and dissociation, may progress to transient psychosis. Individuals with this type are characteristically impulsive, acting on the spur of the moment, and frequently engage in activities with potentially negative consequences. Deliberate acts of self-harm (e.g., cutting, burning), suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts typically occur in the context of intense distress and dysphoria, particularly in the context of feelings of abandonment when an important relationship is disrupted. Intense distress may also lead to other risky behaviors, including substance misuse, reckless driving, binge eating, or promiscuous sex.

Symptoms of BPD from the Mayo Clinic 

People with BPD often have an unstable sense of who they are. That is, their self-image or sense of self often rapidly changes. They typically view themselves as evil or bad, and sometimes they may feel as if they don't exist at all. This unstable self-image can lead to frequent changes in jobs, friendships, goals, values and gender identity.

Relationships are usually in turmoil. People with BPD often experience a love-hate relationship with others. They may idealize someone one moment and then abruptly and dramatically shift to fury and hate over perceived slights or even misunderstandings. This is because people with the disorder have difficulty accepting gray areas — things are either black or white. For instance, in the eyes of a person with BPD, someone is either good or evil. And that same person may be good one day and evil the next.

In addition, people with BPD often engage in impulsive and risky behavior. This behavior often winds up hurting them, whether emotionally, financially or physically. For instance, they may drive recklessly, engage in unsafe sex, take illicit drugs or go on spending or gambling sprees. People with BPD also often engage in suicidal behavior or deliberately injure themselves for 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 

 If you recognize that you might have BPD and would like some help, fill out the New Patient Contact Form or schedule an Intake Appointment through the BLUE Scheduler button. 

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