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Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) or emotionally unstable personality disorder has two subcategories: impulsive type and borderline type.

What is borderline personality disorder?

People with BPD have problems with mood swings and emotional outbursts. You can have many changing, intense relations with other people and often experience dependency on friends and family. You often get into conflicts and experience disappointment of expectations. The mood swings can result in considerable changes, for example from very close relations with others to strong rejection of other people.


Borderline personality disorders manifest themselves in impulsiveness, unstable moods, changing and intense relations to others, and a changing, conflicting self-image.

For the impulsive type, three of the following symptoms have to be present:

  • A tendency to act impulsively and unpremeditated
  • Quarrelsomeness, especially when meeting resistance
  • Fast emotional changes, violent emotional outbursts
  • Lack of endurance
  • Unstable and unpredictable mood

Additionally, two of the following symptoms have to be present for the borderline type:

  • A disordered and insecure feeling of identity
  • A tendency to intense and unstable relations
  • A pronounced tendency to avoid being left alone
  • A tendency to self-destructiveness
  • A chronic feeling of emptiness

All symptoms must have been present since childhood or youth.


The treatment can be psychotherapeutic or medicinal.
The starting point of the psychotherapy is often the defence mechanisms and particularly the pattern of experiencing oneself and others as either very good or very bad – also known as splitting.

Antidepressants can be prescribed to calm the symptoms of depression if depression occurs along with the personality disorder. If the mood swings and the changes in temperament are very pronounced, antipsychotic medicine can be prescribed  (this applies even if you’re not psychotic).  

Find more information here:

National Institute of Mental Health (US)
The Borderline Association (in Danish)


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