Borderline Personality Disorder


Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) can be a difficult, long-lasting and complex mental health experience. People with BPD have difficulty regulating or handling their emotions and/or controlling their impulses. They can be highly sensitive to what is going on around them and can react with intense emotions to small changes in their environment. People with BPD have been described as living with constant emotional pain, and the symptoms of BPD are a result of their efforts to cope with this pain.


  • Marked changes in mood for brief periods of time
  • Having unstable, intense interpersonal relationships
  • Being prone to unpredictable action which could be self-damaging
  • Unstable self-image

Sometimes it can be difficult to diagnose BPD because the symptoms of the co-occurring disorder mimic or hide the symptoms of BPD. Relapse in one disorder may trigger a relapse in the other disorder. It is very common for someone with BPD to have other mental health illnesses.

Mental illnesses that may overlap

  • major or moderate to mild depression
  • substance use disorders
  • eating disorders
  • problem gambling
  • posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • social phobia
  • bipolar disorder

Treatment may include

  • Dialectical Behaviour therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioural therapy
  • Schema therapy
  • System Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving
  • Transference-Focused Psychotherapy
  • Mentalization-Based therapy.



For further reading and research
AMI-Quebec: Local and North American resources and support groups
Help Guide: Recognizing symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder
Mayoclinic: Diagnosis and treatment information
McGill: Treatment centre
CAMH: A centre that specializes in Borderline Personality Disorder