What is BPD?

BPD is a complex mental illness, often confusing for both the person living with BPD and those close to them.

Bad Behavior

To help regulate emotional extremes, risky behavior creates an outer chaos to distract from the inner chaos.


Cutting uses physical pain as a way to deal with an intense emotion in the short term instead of its cause.

Suicidal Thoughts

Suicidal thoughts are a common reality among those living with BPD.

BPD is characterized by a persistent instability of one’s mood, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and/or behavior. Associated with this instability can be terrible anxiety, guilt, and/or self-loathing for which relief is sought at any cost, including drug/alcohol use, overeating, self-injury, and/or suicide.

The symptoms of BPD can occur in a variety of combinations and someone with BPD may have many, if not all, of the following traits:

  • Fears of abandonment
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Self-injuring acts
  • Difficulty maintaining relationships
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Unstable self-image
  • Transient psychotic episodes
  • Difficulty managing emotions

Only a mental health professional can diagnose BPD after a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation. Research shows that once properly diagnosed, BPD can be effectively treated and that many people who continue treatment improve over time.