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:
- They make desperate efforts to avoid abandonment (actual or imagined).
- They have unstable, intense relationships that alternate between idealising and devaluing the other person.
- They frequently change their self-image or sense of self.
- They act impulsively in at least two areas that could cause them harm (such as unsafe sex, binge eating, or reckless driving)
- They repeatedly engage in suicide-related behaviour, including attempting or threatening to commit suicide and hurting themselves.
- They have rapid changes in mood, which last usually only a few hours and rarely more than a few days.
- They chronically feel empty.
- They become inappropriately and intensely angry or have problems controlling anger.
- 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.