Do I Have Borderline Personality Disorder?

My relationships are very intense, unstable, and it fluctuates between extremes of undervaluing and idealizing people who matter to me. I have heavy mood swings and emotional ups and downs. Often, I experience intense incidences of irritability, sadness, and panic attacks, or anxiety.

Do I have a borderline personality disorder? It’s a typical example of queries that mentally disorderly people ask their psychiatrist or counselor.

The diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) recommended by the American Psychiatric Association is the best criteria to test whether you suffer from BPD condition or not.

If you doubt that you have a borderline personality disorder, you should consult a psychiatrist or mental health expert for BPD tests.

What is a personality disorder?

A personality disorder is a psychological pattern of behavior. It has out of the normal feelings and thoughts that begin to develop at a young age itself.

It changes your understanding of yourself and the kind of reactions you make to the world around you. You find it hard to cope with your emotions and the chaotic relationships you have with others.

Apparently, there is nothing wrong with your personality. However, many a time your behavior, feelings, and thoughts do not agree with the people with whom you live. The patterns of your behavior and emotional expressions deviate from the norms of generally accepted behavior.

Typically, visible symptoms of personality disorder become apparent by the time of adolescence.  Borderline personality disorder causes long-term difficulties in relationships and functioning in the workplace, family, and society.

Symptoms and Traits of BPD

BPD manifests in people in different ways as there are many symptoms associated with this disorder. For these reasons, the world’s well-known health professionals have classified the symptoms into 9 categories.

Now, how can you know whether you have BPD?

To have BPD, you must have at least 5 symptoms out of the 9 categories.  Importantly, the symptoms must be long-standing and affecting many areas of your life.

Do I have Borderline Personality Disorder?

You could doubt yourself of having the symptoms of BPD. Obviously, only a qualified mental health professional can correctly diagnose a mental disorder. Presumably, you may have BPD if long term presence of any of the following five symptoms as the following:

1. Fear of abandonment

BPD patients are afraid of losing the love and presence of family members, colleagues, friends, or lovers.  They make serious attempts to prevent others from leaving them to the extent of pleading, fighting, or physically blocking.

2. Unstable or unclear self-image

A BPD patient has an unstable sense of self. Her assessment of herself tilts between good and bad. She is confused about the goals in life to the extent of being confused with the meaning of life itself. For this reason, she may regularly change her beliefs, friends, lovers, values, jobs, or even sexual identity.

3. Self-harm and suicidal tendencies

An individual with BPD tends to self-harm and exhibit suicidal behavior. The patient is unable to handle stress and irritation. Thus it is common for her to show suicidal behavior and deliberate self-harm.

Self-harm comes in the forms of burning, cutting, or hitting body parts. Common signs of suicidal behavior are suicidal threats and gestures, thinking about suicide, or making an actual attempt to commit suicide.

4. A recurring feeling of emptiness and loneliness

Most BPD patients mentally suffer a constant sense of emptiness. A feeling of void preoccupies the mind and considers them to be “nothing” or “nobody.”

They feel their loved ones are abandoning them. This feeling leads them to feel lonely and forsaken.

They try to escape from the feeling of emptiness and loneliness by taking solace in drugs, alcohol, foods, or sex that give them temporary mental relief.

5. Unstable relationships

Relationships of BPD persons with others are intense and short-lived. They are quick to fall in love or make friends, but they soon become disappointed with their partner. Rapid mood swings and emotional outbursts make the relationships bitter for both parties.

6. Impulsive behaviors

The impulsive behavior trends prompt the BPD patients to engage in reckless spending, binge eating, risky sex, or overdo with drugs and alcohol. They may put up sensation-seeking harmful activities especially when they are upset.  They feel elated with risky behavior which causes great mental or physical distress to those around them.

7. Over Suspicious And Out Of Touch With Reality

Usually, people with BPD are oversuspicious about the motives of others. They do not fully trust their partners, friends, and family members.

BPD patients often remain out of touch with reality, especially when under stress and anxiety. They may feel spaced out, foggy or they are physically non-existent.

8. Intense Anger and Violent Behavior

One of the prime characteristics of borderline disorder is intense anger. They are short-tempered and resort to violence at the height of anger. It is rather difficult for them to control the rage and keep yelling and throwing or breaking things. They may even involve in a physical fight with others.

9. Intense And Quick Mood Swings

People with BPD suffer from quick and extreme swings in moods and emotions. At one moment they are happy and the next minute, despondent.  It is difficult for other people to adjust to the sudden changes in moods put up by individuals with BPD.

Borderline Personality Disorder Questionnaire

A BPD questionnaire/quiz is a preliminary screening method for self-assessing the BPD symptoms in you. Here is a sample BPD quiz to check whether you have BPD traits.

  1. Your level of anger is often intense, inappropriate, and challenging to control. (True/False)
  2. Your relationships with friends and family members are very intense but unstable and alternate between idealizing and undervaluing. (True/False)
  3. When upset or stressed, you issue suicidal threats or think of committing suicide. You also engage in self-harming behavior such as burning, hitting, or injuring yourself. (True/False)
  4. You experience a sudden change in emotions to episodes of intense anxiety, panic attacks, sadness, or irritability. (True/False)
  5. You suffer from chronic feelings of emptiness and boredom. (True/False)
  6. You engage in impulsive behavior like reckless spending, heavy substance abuse, binge eating, unsafe sexual relationship, severe alcoholism, or reckless driving. (True/False)
  7. You visualize an unstable sense of yourself and confused about who you are or what you truly believe in. (True/False)
  8. You are suspicious and paranoid with friends and dear ones. You think that they are trying to harm you. Feel other people or situations are somewhat unreal. (True/False)
  9. You are afraid of abandonment by loved ones and friends and make frantic efforts to retain people close to you. (True/False)

Other online tests you can try: Test 1, Test 2, Test 3

Behavioral Traits Indicating BPD

You could be a BPD patient if you identify with at least four of the following statements:

  • I’m worried that my dear ones and friends will leave me
  • I feel “empty” quite often
  • I have intense romantic relationships, but breakups happen too soon
  • I experience fast swings in moods and emotions; often experience severe anxiety, sadness, and anger
  • When I am upset or stressed, I hurt myself, issue suicide threats, or attempt to commit suicide
  • I don’t understand why my feelings for others and my attitudes towards life change from one moment to the next
  • I lash out or make impulsive gestures to prevent my lover from abandoning me
  • I often do dangerous and reckless actions like heavy use of drugs, unsafe sex, binge eating, or crazy adventures