What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

1) Extreme instability of mood. Emotions can change rapidly within a short time and the person will experience intense feelings that last a few hours to a few days.

2) Fear of abandonment.

3) An uncertain sense of self of self-image. The individual may be confused as to where they fit in in the world. There may be confusion over sexual identity.

4) Chronic feelings of emptiness and/ or feeling numb.

5) Recurrent suicidal behaviour. For example, suicidal acts and/ or threats. Self-harming behaviours.

6) Impulsive behaviours that are potentially self-damaging e.g. spending excessively, risky sexual practices, substance misuse-drugs and/or alcohol misuse, reckless driving, under eating or binge eating.

7) Difficulties managing anger.

8) Volatile, intense and unstable relationships.

9) Transient, stress-related paranoid ideas or severe dissociative symptoms.

To be diagnosed with the disorder an individual needs to be experiencing five out of the nine criteria listed above. A diagnosis can only made by a Consultant Psychiatrist when it is clear that these symptoms have been present over time (usually starting in early adulthood) and across a range of situations.