There are nine (9) diagnostic criteria for getting a Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) diagnosis which I will be outlining in today’s blog post, however, I want to add a few disclaimers which I have outlined below. These symptoms come straight from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders, Fifth-edition (DSM-5) in 2013 from the American Psychiatric Assosiation.

1) If you experience all 9 of these symptoms it does NOT necessarily mean you have BPD. You need to be past the age of 18 and experience these symptoms for 2+ years before a proper diagnosis can be reached and this diagnosis must be reached by a professional. Self-diagnosis is irresponsible and dangerous especially when it comes to something as serious as Borderline.

2) If you think you are struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder please seek professional help. 1 in 10 people with this diagnosis will die from complications. This diagnosis is nothing to be taken likely and needs active treatment. The first step is to talk to your General Practioner (GP) about your symptoms and you will be directed to community supports and treatment from there. 

3) If you think a family member or friend is struggling with BPD please approach it delicately and remember to validate their experience. This can be really difficult to come to terms with so remember to respect the sufferer and share the love and possible concern you have. 

Domain A: Excessive, unstable, and poorly regulated emotional responses…

1. Chronic feelings of emptiness 

2. Inappropriate anger that is difficult to control 

3. Emotional instability including intense, episodic emotional anguish, irritability, and anxiety/panic attacks

 

+ Emotional hyper-reactivity, under-reactive responses, and frequent episodes of boredom and/or loneliness.

Domain B: Impulsive behaviors that are harmful to you or to others…

4. Self-damaging acts such as excessive spending, unsafe and inappropriate sexual conduct, substance abuse, reckless driving, and binge eating. 

5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats, or self-injurious behavior such as cutting, burning, or hitting yourself. 

 

+ Other impulsive behaviors such as actions that are harmful and destructive to yourself, others, or property

Domain C: Inaccurate perceptions of yourself and others, and  high levels of suspiciousness…

6. A markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of yourself (identity)

7. Suspiciousness of others thoughts about you, and even paranoid ideation, or transient and stress related dissociative episodes during which you feel that you or your surroundings appear unreal.

 

+ Other symptoms include split- or “all-or-nothing” thinking, difficulty “pulling” your thoughts together so they make sense, and irrational problem solving, especially in social conflicts.

Domain D: You may experience tumultuous and very unstable relationships…

8.You may engage in frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment

9.Your relationships may be very intense, unstable, and alternate between the extremes of over idealizing and undervaluing people who are important to you.

 

+ You may have overly dependent and clinging behavior in important relationships. In addition, you may consistently have expectations of negative and harmful attitudes and behaviors from most people, and difficulty in reasoning clearly in stressful social situations.

I want to reiterate the three disclosures…

1) If you experience all 9 of these symptoms it does NOT necessarily mean you have BPD. You need to be past the age of 18 and experience these symptoms for 2+ years before a proper diagnosis can be reached and this diagnosis must be reached by a professional. Self-diagnosis is irresponsibly dangerous especially when it comes to something as serious as Borderline.

2) If you think you are struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder please seek professional help. 1 in 10 people with this diagnosis will die from complications. This diagnosis is nothing to be taken likely and needs active treatment. The first step is to talk to your General Practioner (GP) about your symptoms and you will be directed to community supports and treatment from there. 

3) If you think a family member or friend is struggling with BPD please approach it delicately and remember to validate their experience. This can be really difficult to come to terms with so remember to respect the sufferer and share the love and possible concern you have. 

Could you be suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder?

The 9 symptoms of BPD are discussed within this quiz which can help reveal if you should seek medical attention in regards to your mental health. This quiz is 100% not a diagnostic tool - you must see a professional, be over 18 years of age, and experience symptoms for 2 + years before a proper diagnosis can be rendered.

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