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What Are The 9 Symptoms Of Borderline Personality Disorder?

What Are The 9 Symptoms Of Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic, mental health disorder. It is a serious 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. Although the cause of borderline personality disorder remains unknown, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) alludes to research that “suggests that genetics, brain structure and function, and environmental, cultural, and social factors play a role, or may increase the risk for developing a borderline personality disorder.” Teenagers with borderline personality disorder feel prolonged, intense emotions and are unable to return to a neutral emotional baseline after facing an emotionally charged experience in a timely manner. This can affect all areas of one’s life as the duration it takes a young person with BPD to process, integrate, and recover from emotional challenges is elongated. 

9 Symptoms

The nine symptoms of borderline personality disorder are highlighted in the diagnostic criteria that are outlined in the DSM-5. According to the DSM-5, to be diagnosed with BPD a young person must experience five or more of the following symptoms in a variety of contexts:

  1. Emotional instability
  2. Feelings of emptiness
  3. Efforts to avoid abandonment
  4. Impulsive behaviors
  5. Identity disturbances
  6. Inappropriate, irrational and/ or intense bouts of anger
  7. Transient paranoid and/ or dissociative symptoms
  8. Unstable interpersonal relationships
  9. Suicidal and/ or self-harming behaviors

BPD directly affects how one feels about him or herself, one’s behavior as well as how one can relate to others. Hence, teens with a borderline personality disorder often struggle with relationship issues, lack self-esteem, have a poor self-image, and have an inability to appropriately self-regulate. The symptoms that manifest because of borderline personality disorder often mimic those of other mental health disorders such as histrionic personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and bipolar personality disorder. Due to its elusive nature, a borderline personality disorder can be extremely difficult to diagnose. As such, to obtain the most accurate mental health diagnosis it is imperative to undergo a comprehensive evaluation that is conducted by one or more qualified mental health professionals.

For Information and Support

Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times.

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, the long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.


We are available to answer any questions you may have regarding mental health treatment and our residential program, anytime. Contact us today using the form to the right.

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