Personality disorders are some of the most commonly diagnosed mental health conditions. In the United States, it’s estimated that personality disorders affect up to 9% of adults. Sometimes, personality disorders can exist alongside other mental health conditions such as an eating disorder, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

People who have mental health conditions such as a personality disorder often have issues interacting with others. As a result, they can find it hard to participate in social situations and cope with the changes and demands that life tends to throw at us.

The most common personality disorders are narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, and borderline personality disorder. Any one of these personality disorders can cause a person’s mental health to diminish if left untreated. Since May is Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month, this blog will focus on all you need to know about this condition.

Borderline personality disorder is a mental health condition that can cause people to experience intense emotions, have difficulty regulating their emotions, and have issues with impulsivity.

People with borderline personality disorder often have a hard time maintaining healthy relationships due to their instability. If you or someone you know has this condition, it is vital to seek professional help. With treatment, people with borderline personality disorder can learn to manage their symptoms effectively and improve their mental health.

What are the symptoms of borderline personality disorder?

People with borderline personality disorder may experience intense emotions, including anger, sadness, anxiety, and fear. They may also have difficulty regulating their emotions, leading to impulsive behavior and difficulties with mental health. Common symptoms include:

  • Intense mood swings

  • Unpredictable behaviors

  • Impulsivity

  • Self-harming behaviors

  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

  • A fear of abandonment

  • Hyper-sensitivity and reactivity to rejection

  • Relationship difficulties

  • Emotional instability

  • Low self-esteem or sense of self-worth

  • Paranoia

Adolescents who have the following mental health symptoms tend to have a higher risk of developing borderline personality disorder:

  • High impulsivity

  • High-risk behaviors, including self-harm

  • Inability to control emotions

  • Uncontrolled outbursts of anger

  • Frequent paranoia

In addition, a study published in Personality and Individual Differences found that adolescent girls who exhibit an excessive amount of “self-disgust” may be in danger of developing borderline personality disorder as adults. This “self-disgust” goes beyond the typical self-consciousness, anxiety, and sadness teen girls experience.

How emotional dysregulation plays a part in borderline personality disorder

Emotional dysregulation entails difficulties regulating emotion automatically or on one’s own initiative. This means that individuals who are low in this capacity cannot control their involuntary bodily reactions and can’t talk themselves out of it when they become upset, frustrated, stressed, or overwhelmed. Needless to say, emotional dysregulation has a negative impact on mental health.

People with borderline personality disorder are frequently tormented by their emotions and their mental health suffers. This condition influences self-esteem, preferences, and goals, often leading to uncertainty about identity. A person with this condition is unable to relax in their own skin.

A person with borderline personality disorder often cannot regulate their emotions, resulting in impulsive, irresponsible behavior. When distressed, many people with this condition act impulsively, experience intense emotions, dissociate and become paranoid. Borderline Personality Disorder patients are also highly agitated when distressed, which means they may quickly become enraged.

This emotional volatility can cause significant strain on the relationships they have with family and friends. Furthermore, many people with this condition struggle with self-awareness and how others perceive them. They have issues with their own and others’ image of them, which can cause a wide range of problems.

People living with borderline personality disorder often have problems being alone, which stems from a strong fear of abandonment and a need for stability. This can often lead to being vulnerable to relationships and friendships where they are victimized and emotionally manipulated, also causing their mental health to suffer.

Common misconceptions about borderline personality disorder

Borderline personality disorder is often misunderstood and sometimes misdiagnosed as alternative mental health illnesses or disorders. Unfortunately, this confusion can impact how people are treated, and the stigma and myths surrounding the condition often discourage people from seeking the mental health services they need.

Some of the more common myths and misconceptions are:

“It’s not treatable.”

Borderline personality disorder is very manageable. Because it affects a person’s personality, many have assumed it is untreatable because someone’s personality typically cannot be altered.

A diagnosis of borderline personality disorder doesn’t mean that someone will live with symptoms forever. Even with treatment, the symptoms will ebb and flow, but many people who live with the condition can manage it very well with the proper treatment.

“All people with borderline personality disorder are victims of child abuse.”

While many people who live with borderline personality disorder have been the victims of abuse, most cases may result from a combination of environmental circumstances. Biological and social factors may also play a part.

“It affects only women.”

Borderline personality disorder affects over 14 million Americans. Previously considered more common in women, more recent studies have found that it occurs equally often in women and men.

Another theory is that the condition was diagnosed more often in women because women are typically more likely to seek psychological treatment and acknowledge their mental health than men. Borderline personality disorder is also often misdiagnosed in men. Many with the condition are often diagnosed with depression or PTSD.

Treatment and Effective Therapies for Borderline Personality Disorder

Early signs of borderline personality disorder require professional intervention when the symptoms affect their ability to function daily. Many people suffer intensely because of the condition, isolating themselves from others, making poor judgments on impulse, or engaging in self-harming behaviors. This is why early treatment is crucial in managing symptoms. It’s important for people who are suffering to contact a therapist near them to get started with services.

Borderline personality disorder is a mental illness that can cause various symptoms, including extreme mood swings, impulsivity, and problems with relationships. While there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for borderline personality disorder, several effective therapies and treatments can help people manage their symptoms and live better lives.

One of the most effective treatments is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that focuses on helping people develop skills to cope with stress, regulate their emotions, and improve their relationships.

Another effective treatment for borderline personality disorder is mentalization-based therapy (MBT). MBT is a type of psychotherapy that helps people understand how their mental states and emotions affect their behavior.

Other effective treatments for borderline personality disorder include medication, individual therapy, and group therapy. Medication can help reduce symptoms such as anxiety and depression, while therapy can help people develop coping skills and change negative thought patterns. Group therapy can provide support and allow people to share their experiences with others. While there is no cure for borderline personality disorder, the condition can be managed with an effective treatment plan. Your mental health does not have to suffer because of this mental disorder.

If you have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder or suspect you may have it, and want to connect with mental health services, give Serene Health a call. We offer a variety of behavioral health and mental health services, and our telehealth platform enables you to speak to a therapist online from the location of your choice. Call us at 844-737-3638 or visit us at to schedule an appointment.