BPD vs. Related Disorders


BPD can sometimes be misdiagnosed because it co-exists with other disorders (e.g., eating disorders or substance abuse) or shares some of the same traits with better-known disorders like depression or bipolar disorder.


While a person with depression or bipolar disorder typically endures the same mood for weeks, someone with BPD may experience intense bouts of anger, depression, and/or anxiety that may last for only a few hours to a day. Diagnostic differentiation between bipolar disorder, depression, and BPD and other personality disorders can be resolved by the careful evaluation of:

  • Depressive symptomatology
  • Presence and nature of suicidality
  • Presence or absence of true manic or hypomanic episodes
  • Cognitive functions
  • Quality of interpersonal relations
  • Characteristics of personality disorders
  • Role of substance abuse
  • Presence or absence and type of antisocial behavior