What is Borderline Personality Disorder?


Borderline personality disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder is a serious mental illness characterized by intense fear of abandonment, rage and anxiety. It exists within a framework of ten other personality disorders classified within the DSM-V, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual which is used by the American Psychiatric Association. DSM-V diagnoses are used primarily for insurance purposes but are widely considered to be accurate within the mental health community. 

People who have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) have a difficulty understanding who they are and often have no sense of personal identity, no stable identity. They also display serious attachment issues and tend to have disordered personal relationships with other people. People with BPD also experience intense mood swings and often feelings of rage which causes them to act out and further disrupt their personal relationships.  


Rage is the hallmark of BPD. People with BPD often describe their rage as being able of going from zero to nuclear in moments. Often they do not even realize what triggers it but are simply overcome and overwhelmed by the feeling. Because they are unable to contain the strong emotions they try to distance themselves from it by lashing out and end up self-sabotaging the relationship(s) which matter the most to them. This kind of behaviour makes it extremely difficult for them to maintain long-term, healthy relationships. Many BPD sufferers often find themselves feeling trapped by co-dependent relationships with their partner. 


It is thought that BPD is generally more prevalently diagnosed among women but that is primarily because women tend to gravitate more towards the mental health system whereas men are more often caught up in the judicial system and their BPD goes undiagnosed.  

Most women’s introduction to the mental health system with regard to their BPD tends to be following either a suicide gesture or a suicide attempt which lands them in the hospital. Men, on the other hand, rarely attempt suicide. When men feel suicidal they tend to complete the act violently with a firearm. 

A cry for help

Suicide or para-suicide though often dismissed by loved ones is a serious cry for help and should not be ignored by caregivers or the mental health community.