Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness marked by unstable moods, behavior and relationships. Because some people with severe BPD have brief psychotic episodes, experts originally thought of this illness as atypical, or borderline, versions of other mental disorders.
Scientists generally agree that genetic and environmental factors are likely to be involved, however, studies suggest that the illness is strongly inherited. Social and cultural factors may increase the risk for BPD. For example, being part of a community or culture in which unstable family relationships are common may increase a person's risk for the disorder.
Signs and Symptoms:
Borderline personality disorder is often under-diagnosed or misdiagnosed.
A mental health professional experienced in diagnosing and treating mental disorder - such as a psychologist - can detect BPD based on a thorough interview and a discussion about symptoms. A careful and thorough medical exam can help rule out other possible causes of symptoms.
The mental health professional may ask about symptoms and personal and family medical histories, including any history or mental illnesses. This information can help the mental health professional decide on what the best treatment will be.