What are the symptoms of BPD?
You might be given a diagnosis of BPD if you experience at least five of the following things, and they’ve lasted for a long time or have a big impact on your daily life:
- You feel very worried about people abandoning you, and would do anything to stop that happening.
- You have very intense emotions that last from a few hours to a few days and can change quickly (for example, from feeling very happy and confident in the morning to feeling low and sad in the afternoon).
- You don’t have a strong sense of who you are, and it can change depending on who you’re with.
- You find it very hard to make and keep stable relationships.
- You act impulsively and do things that could harm you (such as binge eating, using drugs or driving dangerously).
- You have suicidal thoughts or self-harming behaviour.
- You feel empty and lonely a lot of the time.
- You get very angry, and struggle to control your anger.
- When very stressed, sometimes you might:
Because you only need to experience five of these possible symptoms to be given the diagnosis, BPD can be a very broad diagnosis and include lots of different people with very different experiences.
Does BPD mean I have a bad personality?
If you’re given a diagnosis of BPD, it’s understandable to feel like you’re being told that who you are is ‘wrong’. But BPD does not mean that you’re a bad person, or that you have a bad personality.
We all have both positive and negative personality traits, and we all have feelings and behaviours that can be useful at times and a problem at others. But if you experience BPD, some of your feelings or behaviours might be so difficult for you to manage that they’re stopping you from living your life as you’d like to. Treatment for BPD can help you work out which thought and behaviour patterns are useful to you, and which aren’t.
Who can diagnose me with BPD?
You can only be diagnosed with BPD by a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist – not by your GP. If you speak to your GP about your mental health and they think you might have BPD, they can refer you to your local community mental health team (CMHT), who will be able to assess you. (See our pages on who’s who in mental health to find out more about different mental health professionals).
Taken from the Mind website