Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder—also known as BPD, is a serious mental health condition that makes it difficult to control emotions and maintain relationships with others. People who have BPD will often experience intense mood swings and impulsive behaviors. They can also struggle with controlling anger and a poor self-image. It’s estimated that around 1.4 percent of the adult population in the United States has BPD, making it slightly more common than schizophrenia (.45% of US adults) or bipolar disorder (around 1% of US adults) but less common than PTSD or clinical depression. There has been some recent public interest in borderline personality disorder after it was mentioned in the legal case of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. It is important to note that borderline personality disorder is a complex mental illness that is often misunderstood and difficult to diagnose.

Symptoms and Causes of Borderline Personality Disorder

Though there are some distinct characteristics that set BPD apart, one main reason BPD is difficult to diagnose is that it can “hide” alongside other mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, substance abuse, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Borderline personality disorder symptoms can also vary widely from person to person, and may also change over time. Some symptoms include:

Though the exact causes of BPD are unknown, research has shown that it could be either inherited or developed through early life experiences. It can be caused by having a genetic predisposition, traumatizing childhood experiences, or a traumatic event in early adulthood. People who have a family history of BPD are four times more likely to develop it than those who do not have a family history of it. Experiences that may increase your risk include having an unstable or unsafe home environment as a child or teenager, sustaining abuse, neglect, or abandonment as a child, experiencing the loss of a loved one, living with a parent who struggles with substance abuse, or being separated from one or both parents for long periods of time.

Getting and Giving Support

People living with BPD struggle with self-identity and a profound sense of emptiness. They can feel extremely alone, empty, and sad for long periods of time. They may also exhibit impulsive behaviors (such as excessive spending or gambling) that can lead to destructive habits, reckless decisions, and dangerous situations. Depression is common in people with BPD, so it’s important to seek out treatment from a mental health professional or psychiatrist. Additionally, those with BPD often suffer from anxiety disorders such as panic attacks or agoraphobia. It’s important not to overlook or dismiss these associated disorders when seeking effective treatment for borderline personality disorder. If you have a friend or family member who is experiencing symptoms of BPD or has been diagnosed, here are some things to keep in mind that will help them on their path to managing symptoms:

Professional Help for BPD in California & Nevada

If you or someone you know in the Nevada or California areas is concerned about borderline personality disorder, contact Medens Health via our contact page or by calling us at (833) 624-5400. We offer comprehensive assessments to help you get a proper diagnosis and treatment options.

Treatment/Research Advancements for Borderline Personality Disorder (TARA), hosts a national hotline that is available on weekdays from 8 AM to 5 PM Eastern time. They can offer resources and referrals for your local area. (888) 482-7227.


The information provided in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Reliance on any information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical or mental health. If you don’t currently have a therapist, we can connect you with one who is qualified to give you safe, professional, and ethical advice regarding your mental health.

If you or someone you are responsible for is experiencing a medical emergency, is considering harming themselves or others, or is otherwise in imminent danger, you should call 9-1-1 and/or take them to the nearest emergency room.