10 Signs of Borderline Personality Disorder

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10 Signs of Borderline Personality Disorder

An estimated 1-5 out of every thousand people in the United States have borderline personality disorder (BPD). At the same time, 75% of people diagnosed with it are women, as many men may be affected yet misdiagnosed with depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

A serious mental health condition, BPD is characterized by extreme mood fluctuations, which can play out in a range of ways. And all of those symptoms can be helped by comprehensive treatment.

At her practice in Chicago at One Magnificent Mile, board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Amanda S. Kleinman compassionately treats borderline personality disorder to improve your well-being and quality of life.

If you believe you or a loved one may be dealing with BPD, read on to learn about common signs.

What causes borderline personality disorder

The exact cause of borderline personality disorder isn’t known, but it seems to derive from a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurological factors.

Having a close relative, such as a parent, with BPD raises your risk for symptoms as well. Environmental risk factors include emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. Being separated from your parents early in life may also fuel BPD. 

As far as your brain goes, borderline personality disorder impacts emotional regulation. In particular, the parts of your brain that control decision-making, rational judgment, and emotions may not work well together.

Common signs of BPD

Borderline personality disorder symptoms range from moderate to severe and may flare up at particular times or during particular scenarios in your life.

Some of the most common BPD symptoms include:

  1. Chronic feelings of emptiness 
  2. Dissociative feelings, or feeling “out of your body”
  3. Distorted and unstable self-image
  4. Bouts of anxiety, depression, or irritability that last for up to several days
  5. Frantic efforts to avoid abandonment (imagined or real) by loved ones
  6. Impulsive, risky behaviors, such as excessive spending and substance abuse
  7. Self-harming or suicidal behaviors 
  8. Uncontrollable bouts of anger, followed by intense shame
  9. Unstable relationships with extreme ups and downs
  10. Job instability

If you have BPD and experience extreme stress, you might experience brief psychotic episodes as well – especially if you haven’t started treatment. Signs of BPD psychosis may include disorganized thinking, hallucinations, and paranoia.

Treatment for BPD

Treatment for borderline personality disorder typically takes a multifaceted approach, all based on your specific symptoms. Dr. Kleinman offers medication management and psychotherapy for BPD, with very positive results.

Types of therapy she may recommend include:

  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Schema-focused therapy
  • Mentalization-based therapy (MBT)
  • Systems training for emotional predictability and problem-solving (STEPPS)

Because TFP is a more intense form of therapy requiring more frequent sessions, Dr. Kleinman may suggest it if other treatments haven’t sufficed.

To learn more about BPD symptoms or get started with the care you need, call our office or request an appointment with Dr. Kleinman through our website today.