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You are here:DisordersBorderline personality disorderWhat are the symptoms of borderline personality disorder?

What are the symptoms of borderline personality disorder?

Some of the key signs and symptoms of borderline personality disorder are:

  • A deep fear of being abandoned or unloved by those close to you
  • Difficulty in creating and maintaining a sense of self – you may alter who you are according to who you are with or other environmental influences
  • You often feel empty, like there is nothing happening inside of you
  • Heightened sensitivity – you may feel emotions in a very extreme form, making experiencing certain emotions difficult to bear. Intense feelings of anger can be particularly problematic in borderline personality disorder
  • Emotions may change rapidly, from being elated one moment, to low and tearful the next
  • Issues establishing and maintaining relationships with others – these could be relationships of any kind: friendship, familial, romantic
  • High stress levels can cause you to feel paranoid and may even lead to dissociation, where your mind needs to distance itself from the world around you to cope

Responsive symptoms

The below symptoms could be described as a response to living with borderline personality disorder:

  • Self-harm is a common symptom, as a response to the intensity and difficulty of living with the disorder. People who self-harm sometimes describe doing so as a way of taking control of internal pain and regulating how and when they feel pain. They may struggle to articulate how they are feeling in words and use self-harm as a way of externally expressing emotional pain.
  • Suicidal thoughts and feelings are also a common response to the struggles that come with the disorder
  • Acting impulsively – you might take drugs, indulge in risky behaviour like like having several sexual partners, spend large sums of money or binge eat. Again, this is a response to the distress the disorder can cause. Sometimes these behaviours are acts of self-harm, or they can be an attempt to gain some sense of feeling emotions during periods where internal emptiness is prevailing.

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