What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

By | 28 April 2021

The concept of borderline personality was introduced by Adolf Stern in 1938. The concept of borderline personality disorder was defined by an Austrian psychiatrist named Otto Kernberg in 1975. People with borderline disorder have problems with their self-control mechanisms, and there is instability in their thinking and behavior.

What is a borderline personality disorder?

Borderline personality disorder; is a psychiatric disorder that causes problems in the way of thinking and perception of the person, in his feelings towards people, and in his mutual relationships. The word “borderline” defining the disorder means “borderline, indeterminate”. The reason for this is in the period when borderline personality disorder was first defined; It is accepted as the boundary between two psychiatric conditions called neurosis and psychosis.

Borderline personality disorder usually occurs during adolescence (adolescence) and young adulthood.

What are the symptoms of borderline personality disorder?

Sudden mood changes can be seen in people with a borderline personality disorder. People with this disorder often; are caught in thoughts that question their role in life, who they really are, and for what purpose they live. The rapid change in these thoughts; causes a change in the values ​​and interests of the person. People with borderline disorder take events and situations sharply. According to these people, an event is either very good or very bad, not average. People with the borderline disorder can also change their opinion about people quickly for no reason. One day he can treat someone he sees as a very sincere friend, the next day as an enemy. Therefore, their bilateral relations with people are unstable. In addition to these, these people may feel intense emotions in bilateral relations and exhibit exaggerated behaviors.

In people with borderline personality disorder;

  • Having rapidly changing extreme emotions (such as love, excessive love, or hate) about family, friends, and people in the social environment
  • Impaired sense of self, don’t overdo it
  • Establishing a close relationship with someone too quickly or suddenly interrupting communication with someone close to them for no reason
  • Do not hurt yourself
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • Careless and fast driving, gambling, excessive and unnecessary spending, exaggerated sexual behavior, acting under the influence of urges such as substance use
  • Sudden and intense mood swings,
  • Problems in controlling anger
  • Feeling empty
  • Symptoms such as having an unwarranted skepticism about other people, having a problem of trust can be observed.

Not all symptoms listed may be seen in patients with borderline disorder. Some patients have most of the symptoms, while some patients may have only a few symptoms. The number, duration, and severity of the symptoms seen vary from patient to patient. Symptoms can be triggered by ordinary daily events. In people with this disorder, situations such as fighting and separation, especially in a romantic relationship; can act as a trigger for symptoms to occur.

What causes borderline personality disorder?

Although the circumstances that cause borderline personality disorder have not been fully elucidated, the presence of some factors contributes to the development of this disorder. For example, genetic bases are thought to play a role in disease development. Because the risk of having borderline personality disorder in their first-degree relatives has increased. In studies conducted to better understand the development of the disease, some structural and functional differences have been found between the brains of a healthy person and a person with the borderline disease. However, the relationship between these differences and the disease has not yet been fully established. Social, cultural, and social factors may also be effective in the development of the disease. Among people with borderline personality disorder, the number of people who experience neglect, abuse, and abandonment during their childhood is quite high. These traumas encountered at an early age may also play a role in the development of the disease. Psychiatric illnesses occur when many different factors come together. For this reason, it would not be a correct approach to say that anyone with borderline disorder in every traumatic person or a family member has a disease.

What problems does borderline personality disorder cause?

People with a borderline personality disorder may face serious problems in their daily lives due to the ailment. The life of patients whose disease is not recognized, diagnosed, and treated appropriately; is adversely affected due to borderline disorder. Patients with borderline personality disorder in their lives;

  • Failing to continue education, dropping out of school
  • Changing jobs frequently, losing your job
  • Conflict in bilateral relations, inability to maintain marriage, divorce
  • Being abrasive in your relationships
  • Taking risky actions and having legal problems as a result of this, going to jail
  • Self-harm and related hospitalization
  • Encountering consequences such as unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, substance abuse, traffic accident, and getting
  • involved in a fight due to impulsive behavior.
  • He may encounter events such as suicide attempts and ending his life.

Borderline disorder; causes undesirable effects in many different areas from the health status of the patient to his social life, from his economic conditions to his criminal record. The person needs to receive treatment to continue his life more healthily and to be protected from the complications of the disease. Since psychiatric illnesses generally do not cause serious physical problems in the patient, they can be ignored by both patients and their relatives. However, psychiatric diseases can also have serious consequences leading to the end of life. For this reason, people who show signs of illness should either go to the doctor themselves or be taken for control by their relatives as soon as possible. The early recognition of borderline disorder is of great importance in correcting the disorder without leaving a serious impact on the patient’s life.

The incidence of some other psychiatric diseases has increased in patients with a borderline personality disorder. These diseases are:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Alcohol/drug addiction
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • It can be counted as Attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder.

What is the diagnosis and treatment of borderline personality disorder?

Borderline diagnosis; The interview with the doctor, the psychological evaluation by which the patient is asked to fill in some tests, the patient’s medical history (his / her diseases, medications, etc.), and examination, signs, and findings. The diagnosis of borderline personality disorder is usually for adults. Signs and symptoms suggestive of borderline disorder in childhood and adolescence may improve with the growth of the child. Therefore, a borderline personality disorder is not usually diagnosed in the pediatric age group.

The main method used in treatment is psychotherapy. If deemed necessary, drug therapy can be added to psychotherapy. If the doctor is concerned about the patient’s safety, he or she may request hospitalization for the patient.

Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is the main treatment approach in borderline personality disorder. In the psychotherapy method, the patient works with the therapist. With this treatment, the patient;

  • Recovering functionality that can continue normal life
  • Managing feelings and thoughts that cause discomfort in the patient
  • Reduction of impulsivity
  • Making bilateral relations healthier by improving the ability of empathy
  • It is aimed to have information about the disease.

A borderline personality disorder is not a condition that can be treated very quickly. It should be kept in mind that the treatment will take time and the patient needs some time to feel healthy. It will be beneficial if the patient’s immediate environment also exhibits supportive behaviors and does not put pressure on the patient.

Borderline personality disorder; is a serious condition that negatively affects the quality of life of the patient in all aspects and has complications that can extend to the patient’s self-harm. Therefore, it will be beneficial for people with a suspected borderline personality disorder to apply to a well-equipped health center and have the necessary controls.

We wish you healthy days.


The page content is for informational purposes only. Items containing information about therapeutic health services are not included in the content of the page. Consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment.