Counselling, Psychotherapy and Clinical Psychology266

More about Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder is also known as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder. You might be diagnosed with a personality disorder if you have difficulties with how you think and feel about yourself and other people, and are having problems in your life as a result. People with BPD can feel things very intensely. 

"The worst part of my BPD is the insecure relationships…when I am attached to someone, they are my whole world and it is crippling. I care so deeply about how long they take to reply to an email, or their tone of voice, because I’m so afraid of losing them".

Because it can be a very broad diagnosis, we have included a little more about it here.

The NHS states: Internationally recognised criteria are used to diagnose BPD. A diagnosis can usually be made if you answer "yes" to five or more of the following questions:

  • Do you have an intense fear of being left alone, which causes you to act in ways that, on reflection, seem out of the ordinary or extreme, such as constantly phoning somebody (but not including self-harming or suicidal behaviour)?
  • Do you have a pattern of intense and unstable relationships with other people that switch between thinking you love that person and they're wonderful to hating that person and thinking they're terrible?
  • Do you ever feel you don't have a strong sense of your own self and are unclear about your self-image?
  • Do you engage in impulsive activities in two areas that are potentially damaging, such as unsafe sex, drug abuse or reckless spending (but not including self-harming or suicidal behaviour)?
  • Have you made repeated suicide threats or attempts in your past and engaged in self-harming?
  • Do you have severe mood swings, such as feeling intensely depressed, anxious or irritable, which last from a few hours to a few days?
  • Do you have long-term feelings of emptiness and loneliness?
  • Do you have sudden and intense feelings of anger and aggression, and often find it difficult to control your anger?
  • When you find yourself in stressful situations, do you have feelings of paranoia, or do you feel like you're disconnected from the world or from your own body, thoughts and behaviour?

Some people find it helpful to have a diagnosis because they feel it enables people to understand their difficulties, but others prefer not to describe their experiences as medical problems and would rather see them as a response to difficult life events.

In our experience this diagnosis has historically had a lot of stigma attached to it and some clients have felt abandoned or rejected as their condition has slipped through the services 'net'. A situation which only serves to make them feel more disconnected.

The good news is that Talking Therapies are thought to be the most helpful treatment for BPD. There are different types, including Mentalisation Based Therapy (MBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Psychodynamic Therapy and even Arts Therapy - to name a few.

Several of our dedicated professionals at Asana have experience of working with people suffering from BPD and understand that every day may seem like a struggle. But there are things that you can be taught to do to help yourself (or loved ones), and a treatment course with your chosen therapist can support you to plan a way forward and develop skills to manage BPD.  

You can select a therapist from the list below. By clicking on their name you will be directed to their profile where you can read more about them, the way they work and how they may be able to help you.

You can read more about BPD on the Mind website.