Borderline Personality Disorder (also called BPD) is a mental health disorder that is usually diagnosed through the presence of symptoms relating to a patient’s impulsive behaviours, erratic relationship patterns and distorted self-perception.
The symptoms of impulsiveness related to this disorder could include behaviours that can be very harmful to the patient. He or she might have large shifts in self-image that are quickly influenced by external circumstances. BPD affects every aspect of a patient’s life, including school, work, social functioning, interpersonal relationships, and even economic status. Here are the most common symptoms of BPD to look out for.
The first and most common symptom of this disorder is a history and pattern of shaky interpersonal relationships. A person with this condition often experiences rapidly changing views of their friends, family members and significant others.
This can manifest as the person viewing a new friend as perfect, but later seeing the same person as dangerous or untrustworthy. A fear of loneliness can lead a BPD patient to cling to others, but they may also reject others in an attempt to protect themselves from future abandonment. These attitudes can also alternate; at times, someone with BPD would rather play slot games online than socialise, and at other times they can seem naturally bubbly and drawn to others.
Impulsiveness is a classic symptom of borderline personality disorder. Actions can range from unexpected to self-injurious, and often include reckless driving, gambling and shopping sprees, drug use and casual sex with multiple partners. This impulsive behaviour could also present as a tendency to become inappropriately angry, which takes a toll on social connections and can also lead to fights. The less structure there is in a setting, the more pronounced this impulsiveness can be.
Another common sign of BPD is frequent changes in a person’s sense of personal identity. The patient may over-identify with those closest to them because they cannot identify their own preferences, morals and goals. Others may see this behaviour as unwanted mimicry or adoration. This instability of self-identity can cause work and personal relationship issues, along with self esteem problems that stem from a lack of consistent self knowledge.
When the Disorder Manifests
The symptoms of borderline personality disorder often become obvious by early adulthood. A diagnosis requires the continuous presence of at least 5 symptoms that have a notable impact on a person’s day to day life. The symptoms must also be distinguished from those of another possible medical condition, medicine regime, or mental illness.
BPD is also sometimes confused with – or mistaken for – antisocial personality disorder, bipolar disorder, or histrionic personality disorder. It also tends to occur alongside other mental health issues such as eating and mood disorders and substance abuse. If you or a loved one resonate with the symptoms above, speak to a qualified mental health professional for advice and diagnosis. Remember, like most other mental conditions, BPD can be successfully managed and treated with good assistance and the right mindset!