Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as one of the ten standalone personality disorders. Based on similar characteristics and overlapping symptoms, each personality disorder is grouped into one of three categories (cluster A, cluster B, and cluster C). Borderline personality disorder belongs to cluster B, which are characterized by “dramatic, overly emotional or unpredictable thinking or behavior.” Borderline personality disorder is explained as a mental health condition “in which a person has long-term patterns of unstable or turbulent emotions and these inner experiences often result in impulsive actions and chaotic relationships with other people.” It is a complex psychological condition that is characterized by pervasive instability in moods, emotions, behaviors, and interpersonal relationships which interfere with one’s ability to function in everyday life. The diagnostic criteria of personality disorders are defined in the Section II: Diagnostic Criteria and Codes of the DSM-5. According to the diagnostic criteria outlined in the DSM-5, to be diagnosed with BPD an individual must experience five or more of the following symptoms in a variety of contexts:
- Emotional instability
- Feelings of emptiness
- Efforts to avoid abandonment
- Impulsive behaviors
- Identity disturbances
- Inappropriate, irrational and/ or intense bouts of anger
- Transient paranoid and/ or dissociative symptoms
- Unstable interpersonal relationships
- Suicidal and/ or self-harming behaviors
Updates and revisions are contemplated and considered prior to the publishing of newer
editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The Personality and Personality Disorders Work Group for DSM-5 proposed major revisions to the Personality Disorders section included in its previous edition, DSM-IV-TR. These revisions involved a “hybrid categorical-dimensional model of personality disorders and a reduction of the number of distinct personality disorders from ten to six.” This proposal was endorsed by the DSM-5 Task Force, but was rejected by the Board of Trustees of the American Psychiatric Association. Instead, the Board indicated the Work Group’s model be placed in the Section III: Emerging Measures and Models of the DSM-5, with other items requiring additional research. Consequently, the diagnostic criteria for borderline disorder in DSM-5, Section II, have remained essentially unchanged from DSM-IV-TR.
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