What comes to mind when you hear the term Borderline Personality Disorder?
For many people who are unfamiliar with the disorder, split personality is often a common misconception.
Split personality refers to a personality that is not always one way, but often changes in intensity and duration in such a way that it is impossible to predict when the person will switch up.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is best described to the families of many of my child and adolescent clients as an emotional disorder characterized by impulsivity, intense emotions, intermittent anger outbursts, severe bouts with depression or anxiety, repeated suicidal ideation, and self-injurious or risky behaviors.
As a therapist, I am often challenged with the duty of educating families, properly, to the symptoms most indicative of BPD. This article will discuss some of the most common symptoms and the symptoms you should aim to identify in someone you suspect might need therapeutic intervention.
Individuals with BPD tend to exhibit a pervasive pattern of unstable relationships with others (interpersonal difficulties leading to multiple emotional outbursts, let-downs, anger, and even suicidal thoughts), challenges with accepting self-image (self-esteem issues, distorted perceptions of self), marked labile affect (changes in mood that are extreme from one minute to the next), impulsivity (acting before thinking through decisions and considering the consequences), difficulty with perceived abandonment (unable to relax in relationships and be confident in the relationship’s permanency), and recurrent suicidal thoughts and gestures that often results in multiple hospitalizations and crisis intervention services.