BPD Signs and Symptoms

What To Look Out For

People with BPD typically experience some, but not necessarily all, of these symptoms.

  • Chronic feelings of emptiness and shame - may manifest as boredom or anxiety

  • Low self-esteem/feelings of low self-worth or worthlessness

  • High levels of anxiety especially in relationships, efforts to avoid being abandoned, scared of being alone, or of being left alone

  • Impulsive, risky behaviour such as drug-taking or drinking to excess

  • Self-harm, threatening or attempting suicide

  • Anger, moodiness, irritability, very reactive to perceived slights or criticism

  • Unpredictability, having difficulty with life direction or values, not being able to commit to a particular goal - not knowing “who you are”

  • Alternating between thinking people are “all good” or “all bad” (i.e. patterns of idealisation and devaluation in relationships)

  • Sometimes paranoid about others when stressed

A personality disorder will only be diagnosed where these behaviours are consistent over time, rather than a phase or a reaction to circumstances.

  • In young people, these symptoms may be harder to differentiate from teen moodiness or transient problems with identity which can be a normal phase in development.

  • Young people are still developing and may at times experiment with different behaviours or ways of acting and thinking.

    Its always best to get a diagnosis from a mental health professional who has seen you several times face to face and has had time to get to know you.

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