What Are the Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder?

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Borderline personality disorder has a range of symptoms that include impulsive behavior with harmful consequences, mood swings and feelings of low self-esteem, according to WebMD. This mental illness can sometimes have a deep adverse impact on a person’s relationships with others.

The exact cause of borderline personality disorder is not known, but it is possible that brain chemistry may play a role, specifically those functions that regulate mood. The first signs of borderline personality disorder usually manifest when someone is a child, but don’t start to become serious until the person is a young adult, says WebMD. Sometimes people with this condition have had a traumatic experience during childhood in addition to having a hard time dealing with stress or anxiety.

When symptoms start to appear, they can include mood swings characterized by strong emotions, impulsive behaviors such as abusing drugs, spending recklessly, driving irresponsibly and having unsafe sex. Difficulty with relationships is common, as is low self-esteem. Many other symptoms can manifest, such as anger problems, feelings of emptiness, self-harm, suicidal thoughts and attempts, fear of being alone, aggressiveness and paranoia.

In many cases, it is difficult to treat this disorder. With the right counselor or therapist, progress can be made. When used together with therapy or counseling, medications such as antipsychotics, antidepressants and mood stabilizers can help with the symptoms.