mental health, therapy, counseling and psychology terms glossary

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Borderline Personality Disorder is an illness that makes emotions difficult to manage. One may have difficulty relating to others, coping with stress, reckless behavior, strong feelings of isolation and abandonment, and challenges understanding other people’s points of view. BPD is sometimes also called Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD) as the name is more descriptive to the actual condition.

BPD commonly presents in adolescence or early adulthood with intense moods, suicidal thoughts, addictive behaviors, inability to maintain jobs and relationships, and paranoid thoughts. Because of the extreme mood swings, BPD is frequently misdiagnosed as Bipolar Disorder, however, the mood changes with BPD are typically much shorter in overall duration.

Treatment is typically a combination of psychotherapies including Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Mindfulness. There are no medications specifically to treat BPD but there are support groups that can help when struggling to cope with these significant emotions. People living with BPD are able to improve their lives with the help of therapy and other kinds of support.

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