Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) - Symptoms
What are the symptoms of BPD and how is it diagnosed?
If your GP thinks that you may have borderline personality disorder (BPD), they should arrange for you to see a psychiatrist. They may send your details to your local community mental health team (CMHT). This is called a ‘referral’.
Your psychiatrist will decide if you have an illness based on the following guidelines:
- International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), produced by the World Health Organisation (WHO)
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), produced by the American Psychiatric Association
The guidelines tell your psychiatrist what to look for. They will diagnose you with BPD if you have at least five of the symptoms below.
- Extreme reactions to feeling abandoned.
- Unstable relationships with others.
- Confused feelings about who you are.
- Being impulsive in ways that could be damaging. For example, spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, and binge eating
- Regular self-harming, suicidal threats or behaviour.
- Long lasting feelings of emptiness or being abandoned.
- Difficulty controlling your anger. For example, losing your temper or getting into fights.
- Intense, highly changeable moods.
- Paranoid thoughts when you’re stressed.
Your psychiatrist will ask you about how you feel and about your life history. They may talk to other people close to you. They can diagnose you after one assessment if they have enough information to do this.
Previously, psychiatrists would not usually diagnose BPD in someone who is under 18. But more recently they are diagnosing young people with BPD.
Need practical advice & info? We can help.
Contact our Advice team about mental health & related issues
0300 5000 927 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm, not including bank holidays