Diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder

A diagnosis is made via a medical professional’s evaluation, based on specific diagnostic criteria.

For medical professionals to diagnose borderline personality disorder, individuals must have a history of unstable relationships, self-image, and mood, and act impulsively, as shown by at least five of the following:

  1. They make desperate efforts to avoid abandonment (actual or imagined).
  2. They have unstable, intense relationships that alternate between idealising and devaluing the other person.
  3. They frequently change their self-image or sense of self.
  4. They act impulsively in at least two areas that could cause them harm (such as unsafe sex, binge eating, or reckless driving)
  5. They repeatedly engage in suicide-related behaviour, including attempting or threatening to commit suicide and hurting themselves.
  6. They have rapid changes in mood, which last usually only a few hours and rarely more than a few days.
  7. They chronically feel empty.
  8. They become inappropriately and intensely angry or have problems controlling anger.
  9. They have temporary paranoid thoughts or severe dissociative symptoms (feeling unreal or detached from themselves), triggered by stress.

Also, symptoms must have begun by early adulthood.

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