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What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental health disorder that is characterized by dramatic, overly emotional or unpredictable thinking or behavior.Individuals with BPD have an intense fear of abandonment and may have difficulty tolerating being alone. Unfortunately, mood swings and inappropriate anger may lead them to push others away despite their desire to have loving and lasting relationships. Feeling towards others can change quickly, going from extreme closeness to extreme dislike. They may also often experience ongoing feelings of emptiness.

What is the impact of Borderline Personality Disorder?

BPD can impact an individual’s social and occupational realms. It can negatively impact relationships to self (self-image/perception), intimate relationships, school/employment,legal trouble, and possible hospitalizations due to possible risk of self-harm of suicidal ideation.

Some individuals with BPD may also have recurring thoughts of suicidal behavior/self-injury that are sometimes even utilized as threats in an effort to maintain close relationships they do not want to lose. BPD usually gets diagnosed in late adolescence or young adulthood and seems to be worse in young adulthood and may gradually get better with age.

How can someone cope with Borderline Personality Disorder?

BPD is mostly treated with therapy, but medication may be added in accordance to an individual’s treatment plan. Medication may help treat some of the symptoms or co-occurring problems such as depression, impulsiveness, aggression, or anxiety, but no drugs have been approved specifically for the purpose of treating BPD. At times, an individual’s life may be at risk and a doctor or clinician may recommend hospitalization.

This page is also part of the Roamers Therapy Glossary; a collection of mental-health related definitions that are written by our therapists.

While our offices are currently located at the South Loop neighborhood of Downtown Chicago, Illinois, we also welcome and serve clients for online therapy from anywhere in Illinois and Washington, D.C. Clients from the Chicagoland area may choose in-office or online therapy and usually commute from surrounding areas such as River North, West Loop, Gold Coast, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lake View, Rogers Park, Logan Square, Pilsen, Bridgeport, Little Village, Bronzeville, South Shore, Hyde Park, Back of the Yards, Wicker Park, Bucktown and many more. You can visit our contact page to access detailed information on our office location.