BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER
Extreme mood swings
difficulty regulating emotions may range from chronic emptiness to explosive anger
Unstab interpersonal relationships
difficulty maintaining social relationships
Impaired self image
Inflated ego with god complex or self-hatred/insecurity and/or feelings of worthlessness
Impulse control problems
can make impulsive and irrational decisions without thinking through the consequences
Fear of abandonment
can go to extreme measures to not be abandoned / left behind including manipulation and threats
Self destructive behavior
Impulsive and harmful behavior like over-spending or driving recklessly or using drugs recklessly
Chronic feelings of emptiness
Apathy, or feeling like nothing or no one
Either cutting or suicidal behavior. Self Harm is characterized as harm to oneself without suicidal intent. But behavior may include suicidal gestures or threats.
Psychotherapy / talk therapy
dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): learn how to manage emotions, cope with distress and improve interpersonal relationships
schema-focused therapy: helps change negative life patterns
mentalized-based therapy (MBT): identify and understand thoughts and emotions and re-evaluate perspective on a situation
systems training for emotional predictability and problem-solving (STEPPS): 20-week treatment with skills training and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques
transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP): understand emotions and interpersonal or social difficulties
no medication has been approved by the FDA for treatment of BPD, but medications like antidepressants, antipsychotics or mood-stabilizing drugs can be used for co-occurring conditions
hospitalization to prevent self-injury or address suicidal ideation or behaviors if necessary
1. Practice mindfulness and meditation
2. Managing anger & frustration: hit a pillow, rip up paper, exercise, listen to loud music
3. Managing depression & loneliness: write all of your negative thoughts and feelings on a paper and rip it up, listen to your favorite song, play with your pet, call a friend, wrap yourself in a soft blanket
4. Feeling anxious, tense or panicky: take 10 deep breaths and count them out loud, take a warm bath or hot shower, focus on and name everything you can think of about where you are right now (e.g. what day and time it is, the colors of the objects around you, etc.)
5. Feeling spaced out or dissociative: eat a sour candy, hold a cold water bottle or ice pack
6. Thinking about self harm: rub ice over or draw on the area you were thinking of hurting
7. Keep a journal or mood diary
8. spend time with friends & family
9. go outside and enjoy nature
BPD AND RELATED DISORDERS
"BPD and cPTSD often get confused because of their similar and often overlapping behavior and affective patterns. Both often come with significant overall emotional distress and/or emotional “triggers,” suicidalthoughts, dissociation, flashbacks, anxiety, and depression. Even with sophisticated diagnostic criteria, there are behavioral and affective overlaps between the two disorders which can complicate whether symptoms are exclusive to one disorder or a combination of the two" (Psychology Today).
"Both people with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) and borderline personality disorder (BPD) are significantly challenged in terms of understanding and responding to emotions and in interpersonal functioning" (NCBI).
BPD IN MEDIA
Clem’s impulsivity, substance abuse issues, emotional intensity and idealization of Joel could indicate BPD
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind(2004)
Susanna is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, but some resonate more with Lisa’s experiences
Girl, Interrupted (1999)
explores the family dynamics of people with borderline personality disorder
Welcome to Me(2014)
Alice, a woman with BPD, wins the lottery and uses her winnings to create a talk show about herself and her life
Lizzie navigates her first year at Harvard and depicts unstable relationships, fear of abandonment, impulsivity, substance abuse and an unstable self image
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Pat, a man with bipolar disorder, and Tiffany, who many believe exhibits BPD, navigate relationships and loss
Project Calendula is intended to be a prelude for your mental health journey by guiding your education and advocacy. We are not a mental health service.
If you or someone you know are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (U.S.): 800-273-8255.
If you or someone you know are struggling, please visit the resources at the bottom of this section to find a mental health professional near you.
Please visit any of the following websites for further information on mental illness education.
Recovery Resources for BPD from the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder: