BPD or Borderline Personality Disorder is defined as a serious mental disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of instability in moods, behaviour, self-image, and functioning. These experiences often result in impulsive actions and unstable interpersonal relationships.

Symptoms can vary greatly from person to person, and no one person’s experience of BPD will be the same as another’s
It is also known by many other names around the world, such as:
Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD)
Emotional Intensity Disorder (EID)
Emotional Regulation Disorder (ERD)
Emotion-Impulse Regulation Disorder (EIRD)
and Impulsive Personality Disorder (IPD)
Good question. The thing is no one really knows for sure the exact cause of borderline personality disorder. However it is widely researched and there do seem to be a couple of underlying factors which can make someone more inclined to have BPD; such as a mixture of genetic and environmental factors.

It used to be thought that people with this disorder were on the ‘borderline’ between psychosis and neurosis. Many people find the term ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’ implies that their personality is flawed. However research has proved this to be an outdated observation, and it is now more widely recognised as a mood disorder, hence the various terms such as emotional instability.


I always get asked this question. People essentially want to know how ‘crazy’ I am. It’s difficult to pin down in a few words the effect that BPD has on someone’s life, so I’ve also got a page dedicated to the DSM5 Criteria (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)

Like any mental health issue, borderline personality disorder causes problems in a person’s social and life functioning. Here’s some bullet points of the main areas that are affected by BPD:

  • very intense emotions that come and go frequently
  • episodes of extreme anxiety or depression
  • self-harming behaviour, including self-mutilation
  • impulsive and risky behaviour, such as risky driving, unsafe sex, gambling sprees or taking illicit drugs
  • inappropriate expressions of anger, sometimes escalating into physical confrontations
  • difficulty controlling impulses
  • emotional eating, including binge eating and purging, anorexia, or bulimia
  • suicidal behaviour
  • fear of being alone
  • unstable sense of identity

A person with borderline personality disorder has an unclear sense of self, and often feels worthless or fundamentally flawed. Seemingly inexplicable anger, impulsivity and mood swings usually push others away, even though the sufferer wants to experience loving relationships. Borderline personality disorder affects how a person feels about herself, how she relates to others and how she behaves.

When someone has BPD, she often has an insecure and sometimes rapidly changing sense of who she is, which is referred to as identity diffusion. A person may view herself as evil or bad, and sometimes may feel as if she doesn’t exist at all. This unstable self-image often leads to frequent changes in jobs, friendships, goals, and values. It also one of the most common causes of the self-harming behaviour and risk-taking behaviours associated with this disorder.

Borderline personality disorder can have significant effects on relationships, often causing them to be in turmoil. A person with the disorder will often experience what appears to be a love-hate relationship with others. She may idolise someone one moment and then dramatically shift to fury over perceived slights or even minor misunderstandings. This is because a person with borderline personality disorder has difficulty accepting grey areas and tends to see things in the extreme, as either black or white.