FAQs

Whether you think you might have BPD, have already been diagnosed, or are worried about someone you love, you might have questions. We have shared below our most frequently asked questions about BPD.

Borderline Personality Disorder, or BPD, is a serious personality disorder. It’s an illness that causes you to struggle with your emotions, and that affects how you think, feel and interact with other people. It can also cause impulsive behaviour, mania, depression and self-harm.

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) can cause a wide range of symptoms, which can be broadly grouped into 4 main areas. The 4 areas are: emotional instability – the psychological term for this is “affective dysregulation” disturbed patterns of thinking or perception – “cognitive distortions” or “perceptual distortions” impulsive behaviour intense but unstable relationships with others

You should first speak with your GP about your concerns, they may then refer you onto a community mental health team (CMHT) or may recommend a form of therapy first to see if that helps you.

A combination of medications to alleviate symptoms, and a form of therapy to help you manage any trauma or distress you may be suffering, is usually the route you would take. There is no medication specifically for BPD, but there are medications that can help with a range of symptoms such as anxiety, depression, mood swings, etc.

Be there for them, in their good times and bad. People living with BPD need stability, they need to know they are cared for and that you won’t leave them. Many people with BPD have serious issues of abandonment, so reassurance can mean a lot. Listen to them, and let them know you are there for them and you care.

Recovery means different things to different people. To us here at Borderline Support UK, we mean recovery to mean living well with BPD. There is no cure for BPD, but recovery is an ongoing process of ensuring you can live a full, happy life despite your condition.

Medical professionals are divided on what causes BPD, and the short answer is we don’t really know a definite cause. A large percentage of people who have been diagnosed with BPD have suffered severe trauma in their lives – usually in childhood – so that is a potential cause, though there are some people who have BPD but have never suffered trauma. There is also thought to be a familial link, it seems more likely when a parent  has BPD.

They are both exactly the same condition, the only difference is the name.

In recent years, medical professionals have begun to refer to BPD as EUPD – emotionally unstable personality disorder. EUPD is largely viewed as a controversial term, and has negative overtones.

The word borderline has been used for people living with mental illness since 1938, when a doctor in the US described a group of patients on the ‘borderline’ between psychosis and neurosis, as he observed that the condition bordered on both conditions.

While neither term is ideal, most people prefer BPD as it is less negative and damaging.

In the UK you are not legally obligated to tell your employer about any medical conditions, whether mental or physical. Whether you tell your employer is a personal choice, but you are not obligated to do so.

There can be benefits to sharing your condition – your employer can be more aware of your needs at work, and can help prevent situations where you may become stressed, anxious or overwhelmed.

Ultimately, it is your decision to make, and you can say as much or as little as you like.

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