Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder

Most people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) rarely get the help that they need because the average psychiatrist or psychologist cannot understand the condition entirely.

Thus, professionals tend to rely on medicines to suppress BPD symptoms and rarely does a professional counselor work with the patient to deal with the symptoms. Borderline personality disorder requires extensive and long-term therapy. While most therapy plans do not work, it is possible to overcome this disorder, especially if the patient is willing to work with a counselor to put forth effort to conquer the symptoms.

This is where we come in. We focus solely on the symptoms of BPD and other major mental health problems. Our intention is to help the patient conquer BPD to improve their lives. Yet, to make this happen we have to have willing patients who will take the time to listen and follow the steps in this guide to overcome those symptoms that lead to problems.

No matter what you have experienced in your lifetime, those are problems of the past. To conquer the people who have hurt you, the trick is to build strength and character and work toward achieving your goals. You will shame the people who caused you harm by doing this, because they will see that they failed at crippling you mentally for life. Before you can get well, however, you must learn and understand the symptoms, since these are warning signs that help us to diagnose your condition and help you to fight your disorder.

Understanding symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder

The symptoms of borderline personality disorder should be clearly understood to help you conquer this crippling disorder:

Unstable relationships - People with BPD tend to engage in unstable relationships with friends and lovers, partially because they cling to people too tight, fearing that they will abandon them. Most of the people they associate with have mental disorders themselves. Rarely can they get involved with someone mentally well and if they do it won't last long because they are prone to drama.

Low self-esteem - Most people with BPD have disturbingly low levels of self-esteem. One minute they think they are on top of the world and better than others when at another minute they think they are worthless. It is a case of extremes. They often demonstrate that they have low self-esteem to get attention.

Impulsive behaviors - Danger lurks around every corner for the BPD sufferers. These people will drink excessively to a disturbing level. Most people would die from the misuse of alcohol they consume. They often engage in illicit sexual activities and other dangerous activities just to fit in and be accepted. They strive to get attention from others because of their fear of abandonment.

Fear of being alone or abandoned even when the threat is not real - This is probably one of the most disturbing symptoms a BPD patient will encounter, and most times this single symptom drives them to react impulsively, express low self-esteem and involve themselves in unstable relationships.

Frantic attempts to hold on to others - Most BPD patients act frantically in an effort to cling to others because of their fear of rejection and abandonment. They will call 20-30- times a day just trying to get the attention of the person they are calling. They will appear as stalkers in most instances, but in fact they are not. They fear abandonment.

The feeling of abandonment tends to get worse as time goes on. When the feeling emerges they attempt to push others away from them. They put people to the test to see if they will still be there after the attacks. If they succeed it often makes them feel more at ease or better. It is like victory for them. Then it makes the people that stayed more special to them.

Dependent of others- BPD patients are mentally and emotionally crippled, which drives them to become dependent on others. They are needy people because of their reliance on others. The symptoms that they experience are often overpowering and to defeat them is very difficult but it can be done.

Fear of rejection - People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) tend to fear rejection. They often don't want to hear the truth because it frightens them. They fear that someone will reject them if they make the person mad or hurt them in some way. They have no connection with normalcy. Often they will push others away because they fear rejection and abandonment. They automatically assume that the person will leave them anyway, so they take control by getting their rejection in first.

Make frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
This is when they will push away people. Sometimes they get really mean when they make an effort to push others away. They may say very mean things to people and sometimes they will physically attack others.

Have a pattern of difficult relationships caused by alternating between extremes of intense admiration and hatred of others.
This problem does not just rest on the shoulder of BPD patients. Yes, they do go through patterns of difficult relationships caused by alternating amid extremes of intense admiration and hatred of others. But the fact is they also start relationships with people who have problems themselves that are not recognized. Most times, the relationships they encounter involve men or women who are emotionally or physically abusive.

Have an unstable self-image or are unsure of their own identity.
BPD patients tend to fail to identify who they are. They may feel as though someone else is taking over them. This is part of the projective image that they create and partially due to the abuse that they experienced in their past.

Act impulsively in ways that are self-damaging, such as extravagant spending, frequent and unprotected sex with many partners, substance abuse, binge eating or reckless driving.
BPD patients act impulsively, often in ways that are self-damaging. They may spend money recklessly, have sex with many partners without using protection, use drugs or alcohol excessively, eat compulsively or drive recklessly, especially if the fear of abandonment occurs.

Have recurring suicidal thoughts, make repeated suicide attempts or cause self-injury through mutilation, such as cutting or burning himself or herself.
BPD patients think about killing themselves often because they fear that no-one loves them and that they are worthless (Low Self Esteem. They make attempts at suicide but often they have no intention of dying. They regularly do this to get attention. They may cause self-injury through mutilation such as cutting or burning because they feel no pain and feel that it relieves them of stress. The biggest fear of all is that one day they will go too far and actually kill themselves unintentionally.

Have frequent emotional overreactions or intense mood swings, including feeling depressed, irritable or anxious. These mood swings usually only last a few hours at a time. In rare cases, they may last a day or two.
Most people that suffer from BPD will frequently overact from the emotional impacts that they encounter. They go through intense mood swings. One minute they feel depressed, the next irritable, and often anxious. The mood swings can last for hours or in rare cases, they last for days.

Have long-term feelings of emptiness.
Their lives often feel meaningless because they rarely know their purpose for living. Part of these feelings comes from the dwelling on negative and past experiences. They are left feeling blank due to the negligence, abuse and lack of parental love. When a person fears abandonment that sense of emptiness often appears and other times when the person does not release their negative energy they feel empty. It comes from denial.

Have inappropriate, fierce anger or problems controlling anger. The person may often display temper tantrums or get into physical fights.
Some of this fierce anger or problems of controlling anger comes from their inability to understand themselves or others. These people tend to throw temper tantrums or fits of anger and even physically fight others to get attention. Yet other times it is because they think that others do not understand them. Most times they are right.

Have temporary episodes of feeling suspicious of others without reason (paranoia) or losing a sense of reality.
At times, people with BPD will experience paranoia thinking that someone is out to get them. (This is confusing because it could be misunderstood as a symptom of Paranoid Schizophrenia) They may see something such as a light reflecting in the window from outside and fear that they are in danger. They lose a sense of reality.


We have gone over some of the symptoms of borderline personality disorder and how they affect the patient as well as others. We also briefly discussed with you what borderline personality disorder consists of and why most people never get effective therapy to conquer the disorder.

Learn more: Manage your bpd with online therapy.

Let us know what you think!


Join the conversation! Click on the stars from above.

Rachel (May 29, 2016)

Rating: [4 out of 5 stars!]

"Would love to know the answers to those above questions"

Kurt (April 05, 2015)

Rating: [4 out of 5 stars!]

"When people with BPD just pull away, what are they thinking? Do they just decide the person they withdraw from is useless or is it suspicion or some level of hate? What if they begin to come back? How does that mix with the reason they may have withdrawn? Can people who have low self-esteem help the BPD if they know what each is experiencing (empathy)? You mention that BPDs have low self-esteem and this fuels their mistrust, anger, rude and self depreciating behaviour. So I assume the times they brag are actually attempts at countering the low self esteem? If this is accurate how do therapies that are designed (I assume) to help the BPD sense a particular element of their disorder flaring work in counteracting the disorder element if their BPD highs and lows are already seemingly working that way? Can they shut down a bad reaction by recognizing it and finding its counter?"

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