An initial borderline personality disorder test and self-diagnosis is recommended if you or your loved one is facing impulsive mood shifts, including extreme anger, having suicidal thoughts or any sort of self-harming or destructive behaviour.
A person affected by borderline personality disorder (BPD), also known as the emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUD or EUPD), will attempt to avoid situations where they feel they might be abandoned. This feeling of being abandoned, can be assumed (or imagined), or could be an actual one.
People with BPD are highly likely to push people close to them (friends, family) away because of their impulsive and aggressive behaviour.
A simple borderline personality disorder quiz can help you give you some direction on whether you need to consult a mental health professional.
Taking a BPD self-diagnosis will help you see your score. Try to take it yourself once, and then ask friend or family member to take it for you, because we as people are the worst possible judges of our own behaviour. People close to us may see us in a different light versus our own perception of ourselves.
Do keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with you (or your loved one), if you are diagnosed with BPD. And self-evaluation, realization and acceptance is the beginning of a healthier way to live.
Having knowledge of your condition is an important step in identifying borderline personality disorder traits, and in taking control of your life.
Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder
What is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?
If you’ve been concerned with questions like “do I have BPD” and “what exactly is BPD,” we’ve put together this guide to help make it simple for you to understand.
Firstly, you have to understand that having diagnosed with BPD is not the end of the world. Potentially, hundreds of thousands of people live with borderline personality disorder symptoms, and they are clueless about their condition.
Taking this borderline personality disorder quiz as a first step in self-diagnosis, is the best thing you can do to taking back control of how you behave.
Having a personality disorder is defined in a person as having feelings (or their behaviour), that seems justified to them – even though those feelings (or actions) are likely to cause repercussions in their life.
Borderline personality disorder is a sub-type of personality disorder, which is defined as having extreme emotional reactions to internal and external triggers, suicidal behaviour or when a person is inclined to induce self-harm, or any other destructive behaviour.
BPD disorder falls under Cluster B personality disorders which are related to mental disorders showing signs of impulsive actions, extreme dramatism, unpredictable actions and being highly sensitive to internal and external emotional triggers.
Other types of Cluster B personality disorders include narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and histrionic personality disorder. We will not be discussing these other types of Cluster B personality disorders in this post.
Do I Have BPD?
Whether or not you have BPD, will be diagnosed by a mental healthcare professional. But you can start by answering and self-analyzing your responses to the following questions and statements:
- Do you feel you have no control over your intense emotions?
- Do your emotions overwhelm you?
- Is impulsive reaction and anger something you can’t control?
- Are you second-guessing yourself?
- Do you have self-esteem issues related to your capability, self-image and appearance?
Having bordering personality disorder is like a viscous cycle of going through an intense high, before free-falling – uncontrollable emotional reactions and feelings.
One of the symptoms of BPD is being super sensitive where negligible triggers can lead to extremely emotional reactions. And once the person is affected and gets upset, it is very difficult for them to bounce back to normalizing their emotions.
Continuously living with borderline personality disorder can lead to affecting relationships with friends and family – and in one’s work environment too. Blurting out before putting much thought into what one intends to say, and speaking out to an emotional reaction, may lead to words that can hurt people around you.
This can make the person affected by BPD feel worse about themselves. And before you know it, this can turn into a never-ending loop.
As mentioned above, BPD is one type of several personality disorders, and is a controversial diagnosis, because there is no concrete way to determine whether someone has it. Also, there is a disagreement between mental health professionals on how “personality” differs from the “self.” This leads to a difference of opinion on the diagnosis of BPD.
Considerable research has been done to decipher this condition, and ways to identify and diagnose borderline personality disorder in order enable mental health care professions to help people affected with it.
Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms
According to the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), a mental health professional or a medical professional may diagnose a person with borderline personality disorder (BPD) symptoms if he/she has 5 of the following conditions:
- Being delusional, or believing in things that are not true or imaginary
- Having hallucinations, or hearing, believing or seeing things that don’t exist or are unreal
- Causing or potentially thinking about any sort of self-harm (drug or medication abuse, suicidal attempts or thoughts, inflicting pain to self)
- Being irrational and impulsive, and not thinking about the consequences of one’s actions
- Polar in the way you act and behave around different people, i.e. not having a stable sense of self-identity, or being a different person with different gatherings
- Holding on to relationships is difficult or impossible, due to feelings, thoughts, and reactions
- Have a history of unstable relationships
- Feels you are on an emotional rollercoaster all the time, not being able to maintain your emotions, feel too sensitive, or struggle to calm yourself down
- Struggle with healthy relationships with your family
- Unable to maintain stable jobs
A person diagnosed with BPD, may also feel other mental health issues including:
- Binge eating
- Panic Attacks
- Mentally or Psychologically Disturbed
The Commonality of BPD
BPD is not very prevalent, and only 1% of the total population is said to be diagnosed with it. But there may be others, who are undiagnosed. Even though, kids might also be affected by this personality disorder type, but it is mostly adults that are diagnosed with it.
About 75% of BPD patients are estimated to be women. And this may-be due to low self-esteem issues in women (that’s just an educated guess).
If you feel you have BPD, you are not alone. Make sure you speak to a mental healthcare practitioner after taking a BPD test.
Types of Borderline Personality Disorder (Video)
Causes of Borderline Personality Disorder
So what really causes borderline personality disorder in an individual? It’s not surprising, but causes that lead to borderline personality disorder is still in the process of being understood.
What causes BPD is not completely certain, however, there are deductions from the researches that have been done.
It is believed that borderline personality disorder is developed as a consequence of a number of elements:
- Trauma, or difficult turning points in life – loss of a loved one, physical abuse, sexual abuse
- Neglection in childhood – having busy parents, abusive parents, careless parents, harsh punishments by parents
- Shattered Confidence – ridiculed as a kid or as an adult, bullied by a group of kids in school
- Sexual Abuse with Children causes all sorts of problems in kids – low self-esteem, living with fear, too much emotion (or lack thereof), and perhaps even more importantly, absence of a parent to listen to them, lack of emotional support from parents leading to isolation as a coping mechanism
- Having a Weak Influencer – when growing up, kids idealize people around them; and if the person or a parent being idealized has a weak character, the kids’ personalities end up being influenced by such characteristics
- A mix of an individual’s personality (too sensitive), childhood experiences (emotional abuse), and a life-event (loss of parents)
- Some other experiences that can cause a person extreme stress – laid off from a job, blamed for a crime that one never committed, break-up from a long-term relationship
- Denial of emotions or feelings – when a person (or a kid) is continuously denied of speaking about their emotions, or there is no one to listen to them, or no one tries to understand them
- Brain chemistry leading to lack of control over rational thoughts in some people – this often leads to emotional instability
- Lower levels of serotonin – a chemical in the brain – is also often associated with BPD
- Abnormalities in the brain due to genetics, head injury, or trauma – these may lead the child’s brain to develop with abnormalities causing BPD
Borderline Personality Disorder Risks
Further to the causes of BPD, there are risks associated with the condition as well. These risks are said to increase the likelihood of leading an individual into having a borderline personality disorder.
These BPD risks are a good way to preempt if someone is potentially going in a direction to develop borderline personality disorder.
As a result, prevention might be an option.
Borderline Personality Disorder Risk Factors
- Individuals with a first-degree relative (parents, siblings) affected by any sort of mental disorder, is twenty-two times more likely to develop borderline personality disorder
- If childhood sexual abuse is prevented, there will be less likelihood of developing BPD
- Individuals living in remote areas, not so populated areas, or outside of urban centres have a higher risk of developing BPD – this could primarily be because of the isolation, or not having too many opportunities to interact with people
- If a person is in the 30 to 40 years age-group, they have a higher risk of BPD – this is an age when people are going through many changes in their lives, family, kids growing up, career struggle, parents passing away, health issues or mid-life crises
- Individuals and families belonging to low income groups are at risk of developing BPD, potential because of the stresses of survival and their future
- People who have incurred a trauma, or a loss of a loved one (child, parent, spouse, partner) – this can also include people who have gone through break-up, divorce or separation
- Individuals who are affected by other illnesses, or have been affected by conditions while growing up – to them the world seems to be filled with problems, and that’s the lens that they always look through
Importance of Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnosis
If you are wondering why a proper diagnosis is needed for BPD, then you must know that ensuring that a person is aware of BPD, they are well equipped to take the driving seat of their lives.
A thorough diagnosis will also enable the person to seek effective treatment options, and also have a knowledgeable conversation with a mental health professional.
How to Diagnose Borderline Personality Disorder?
A mental healthcare professional will help you diagnose whether or not you have borderline personality disorder, by taking a detailed assessment.
They will ask a list of personal questions about your feelings, actions, your behaviour and relationships to be able to diagnose your condition properly, and whether you show any borderline personality traits or not.
If they feel, you are not affected by it, but are at a risk of acquiring BPD, they will guide you to improve your lifestyle.
List of Common Diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder
Here are the most common diagnosis for borderline personality disorders:
Type 1 – Significant Negative Personality Impairments
- How do you perceive yourself?
- Do you have any feelings of darkness, and self-worthlessness?
- Do you often criticize yourself?
- Are you ambitious?
- Do you have any goals that you aim to accomplish?
- How do you feel about where you stand in life today?
- Are you confident of where your life is headed?
Type 2 – Self-Absorbent Relationship with Others
- Do you feel empathy towards other people?
- Perception of other people about you?
- Are you vulnerable, or do you feel threatened by someone?
- Do you feel if someone is out to get you?
- How do you feel about your spouse / partner?
- Do you feel your partner feels the same about you?
- What do you expect from people you love?
- How would you describe your family life?
- What would your friends say about you?
Type 3 – Affected by Any Pathological Personality Traits
- Depicting intense emotions and mood swings
- Anxious and feelings of depression
- Overwhelming fear of something or someone
- Insecurity due to separation or a future event that has not occurred or is not likely to occur
- Fear of rejection
- Hopelessness, feeling down
- Suicidal behaviour
Type 4 – Disregard for Consequences Arising from One’s Actions
- Impulsive behaviour, or acting without thinking
- No consideration of other people’s feelings
- Irrational risk taking that may lead to self-damaging consequences
- Hostility or angry feelings towards insignificant triggers
Type 5 – The Individual’s Personality Trait Expression and Impairments in Functioning are Stable and Consistent Across Situations
Type 6 – The Individual’s Personality Trait Expression and Impairments in Functioning are Not Better Understood as Normative for Developmental Stage or Socio-Cultural Environment
Type 7 – The Individual’s Personality Trait Expression and Impairments in Functioning are Not Solely Due to the Direct Physiological Effects of Substance or a Medical Condition
Take the Borderline Personality Disorder Test
You will find several different types of BPD test formats on the internet, and you can take several of them to have multiple opinions.
Taking multiple borderline personality disorder diagnosis tests will help you to get a more clear understanding of where you stand with your condition.
Remember, the objective you should take this BPD quiz, is to have a thorough understanding of your condition before you decide to visit a mental healthcare professional.
We want to reiterate again, DO NOT use this test, to diagnose yourself with borderline personality disorder. This BPD test is to be used for directional purposes only.
This borderline personality disorder test will take you 2 minutes to complete, and is based on Mary C. Zanarini’s model, called the Zanarini Rating Scale.
Answer the questions below, and count 1 for every “Yes” that you respond to. If you get a score of 8 or more, it might be an indication that you should schedule to meet a healthcare professional for a detailed diagnosis.[wpt_test_first_page id=14080]
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Treatment
Let’s say you are diagnosed with BPD by a mental healthcare professional. Now, you are probably wondering whether this is treatable or not?
Here is one to put you at ease. Yes. Borderline Personality Disorder is treatable. There are a variety of treatment options.
A minor catch is that many people affected by BPD struggle to identify which treatment approach is better for their condition.
Can I Get Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Medications?
Another catch is that borderline personality disorder can’t be treated (or cured) with medications. Even though medications may be prescribed by your mental healthcare professional to reduce feelings of anxiety or depression. It may even reduce BPD symptoms.
But unfortunately, if you were googling for medication to solve your BPD, that’s out of question.
So, what are those borderline personality disorder treatment options? Are they effective?
There are 3 most common BPD treatments used by mental healthcare professionals.
- Schema Focused Therapy (SFT)
- Transference Focused Therapy (TFT)
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
1. Schema Focused Therapy (SFT)
SFT or Schema-Focused Therapy addresses BPD by focusing on enhancing personality traits, rathar than trying to solve for surface-level symptoms.
This is done by addressing the root causes that may have led to the development of BPD. Their behavioural responses are corrected through constant practice and monitoring of their condition.
SFT is said to have a significant reduction in the severity borderline personality disorder symptoms. It is also known to have low-drop out rates by patients, and is considered cost-effective. Those of have tried SFT, have reported to have an uptick in their quality of life.
2. Transference Focused Therapy (TFT)
Similar to SFT, TFT or Transference Focused Therapy, also helps to reduce the severity of the patients’ BPD symptoms.
TFT is implemented through exercises that limits the patients’ thoughts around self-identity, and the attempts to cause self-harm. Unlike SFT, TFT focuses on fixing the surface level symptoms to reduce risk of self-harm.
TFT is also known to improve the patients’ quality of life and personality traits.
3. Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)
DBT or Dialectical Behavioural Therapy works to encourage borderline personality patients’ to stop causing self-harm and impulsive self-damaging reactions.
DBT is known for helping to reduce suicidal attempts in patients, by enabling them to seek the importance in living life. This further helps patients to stick to therapy, by instilling a sense of understanding of why they should continue with therapy to overcome their borderline personality disorder symptoms.
Once DBT minimizes exteme impulsive behaviours, the attention is then diverted to develop emotional stability. DBT is recommended for people who are prone to suicide thoughts and attempts.
How to Cope with Borderline Personality Disorder?
It is not easy to cope with borderline personality disorder, but it’s not impossible. A person affected by BPD, should start with acceptance of the condition and that they may need professional help.
In addition to this, dealing with BPD will require a lot of patience, perseverance, support from family and friends, and a therapist that help stay persistent, and one who you are comfortable with.
Not having any of these in the mix, might make it very cumbersome to stay on track for the BPD patient.
Make sure to seek professional help to deal with your BPD – do it as a first priority if you’ve been having suicidal thoughts.
Here are some self-help tips that can help your borderline personality traits and symptoms:
- Speak to someone you trust. Tell them about how you feel. Maybe your best friend? Or one of your parents? A teacher that you might have been close to?
- Avoid isolation by being around people. Go spend the weekend with your parents, or maybe a sibling? Isolation can direct the mind into negative thoughts.
- Don’t be discouraged if a friend doesn’t respond to you, how you wanted them to. Avoid taking their response personally, and think what might have limited that person to respond in the way you wanted them to? Maybe, try talking to them and have a heart to heart.
- Try to be observant of things and thoughts that trigger negative thoughts and make a note. Carry a small notebook with you, to write those triggers down, and try to avoid situations that lead to those triggers.
- Stay away from drugs or company that arise negative feelings in you
- Coping with borderline personality disorder becomes relatively easy if you distract yourself with uplifting music, a video game, or a favourite activity to distract your mind off negative thoughts
- Resort to connecting with your maker, go on a spiritual journey. Read your religious book, or meet someone who inspires you.
- Make a conscious effort to direct your suicidal and self-harm related thoughts towards things and objects around you
- Try not to have “nothing to do,” keep yourself busy with a healthy routine throughout the day
- Make a to-do list and attempt to follow a strict schedule
- Avoid responding or reacting out of instinct. Be conscious, and try to take a step back and think of the consequences of you are going to say or do
- Coping with borderline personality disorder is not easy, but make a conscious effort to be wary of your feelings and triggers that led to them
- Remember to not get agitated because coping with borderline personality disorder requires a lot of patience
Don’t be too harsh on yourself, it’s okay if your mind tells you that you have done something wrong, or if you have made a mistake
Whether or not the above tips to cope with BPD work for you, it is highly recommended to seek professional help. It is highly recommended that you reach out to a mental healthcare professional today for counseling.
Coping with borderline personality disorder needs a ton of effort and persistence. Don’t get discouraged.
How Difficult is Living with Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder?
It is not easy living with someone with borderline personality disorder. Why? Because not only does BPD affects the person who has it, but it also affects loved ones or people around them.
Imagine living with a partner who has borderline personality disorder? You can expect them to react irrationally, and impulsively, causing yourself, and even your kids unnecessary stress. This can be a traumatic experience especially for the kids, if one of their parents have BPD.
However, there is a positive side to this situation. Being close to a person who is affected by BPD, can enable you to help them. It is not going to be easy, but if you truly love the person, you will help them through this difficult condition.
If you understand that your family member is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, it will be easier for you to handle him/her.
This is because you understand they are not attacking you personally, but are behaving in an inappropriate manner due an uncontrollable personality disorder.
You have to disregard their mistakes and behaviour, and give them them opportunity to improve their condition by being supportive physically and emotionally.
You would also need to understand their state of mind and put their insecurities at ease.
Managing Borderline Personality Disorder Relationships
Here are some ideas that you can implement if you live with someone with borderline personality disorder:
- Try to have open conversations with them to understand their deep secrets and things that throw them off
- Be emotionally and physically available for them
- Understand potential behavioural outcomes, and set certain limits in order to make outcomes predictable for both you and the person affected by BPD
- Don’t leave anything unsaid, communicate, communicate, communicate. Leaving things unsaid, and feelings unattended to, can cause confusion, desperation, anger and unpredictable behaviour in people affected by BPD
- Use distraction to take their mind off a topic that is upsetting them. Talk about something that interests them.
- Clarify what you can’t and can’t do. For example if you are going to be driving for long, and won’t be able to answer your phone, make sure you clarify it to the person with BPD beforehand, so they expect for you not to respond during those times
- Inculcate a sense of trust and mutual understanding by clarifying and identifying things that can spiral out of proportion
- Be very elaborate about your thoughts and feelings because people with borderline personality disorder don’t get non-verbal cues
- Take everyday as it comes, and take the progress slow. You should not make all changes and rules on day one.
- Don’t tolerate physical, emotional or verbal abuse. Set boundaries and limits for them to understand that abusive behaviour will not be tolerated. Set these limits at a time when both of you are connecting rationally. Setting them when both of you are emotional or fighting, it will not work.
- Don’t get hung up on what your friend / partner / parent with BPD says. Instead, read in between the lines and focus on the underlying emotions.
- Don’t react to their impulsive behaviour. Stay as calm as you can at all times.
- Avoid becoming egoistic, and push your opinions on them if they don’t agree.
Living with someone with borderline personality disorder is not an easy think to do. It will drain the energy out of you, but you have to be the mature one of the two. You are in control of your emotions, and you need to guide your relationship in a positive direction.
Q1. Borderline Personality Disorder vs Bipolar Personality Disorder
Both Borderline Personality Disorder and Bipolar Personality Disorder have symptoms are similar to each other. And due to this reason it becomes a challenge for mental health professionals to differentiate between their diagnosis.
Extreme impulsive behaviour, mood swings, and fear of abandonment are shared by patients affected with Borderline Personality Disorder, as well as Bipolar Personality Disorder. What differentiates them is that people with Bipolar Personal Disorder have extreme highs and lows (or mood swings) – one moment they will feel an emotional high of something positive, whereas the next moment they would feel extremely hopeless, worthless and powerless.
Unfortunately, there is no concrete way to identify both, and this often leads to misdiagnosis.
Q2. How Extreme is Borderline Personality Disorder in Men?
Because of their instinctively aggressive nature, borderline personality disorder in men can be very dangerous.
Some borderline personality disorder traits in men include extreme jealousy, negative self-worth, resort to physical or verbal violence, sabotaging their own self-interests, narcissism, rebound relationships, rigid behaviour, inability to comprehend other people’s behaviour, highly insecure, and a potentially suffocating and dominant head of family figure.
Personally, I know a family who suffered due to a man affected by borderline personality disorder. As an outcome, the whole family suffered. The person was so controlling, that it wasn’t even possible to have an open conversation with him.