Borderline personality disorder (BPD)

BPD is a type of personality disorder. It is a diagnosis given to adults and is sometimes also called 'emotionally unstable personality disorder' (EUPD). When thinking about young people, we tend to talk about 'emerging' BPD, as young people are still developing and it often isn't clear until early adulthood whether they have BPD.

Generally, people who have BPD experience difficulties with the way they think and feel about themselves and others, and as a result have problems managing their day to day life. People who develop BPD will often have had difficult experiences growing up like some kind of trauma or abuse, bullying or other stresses in their lives.

Symptoms of BPD

People with BPD might experience some or all of the following:

  • Intense, changeable moods that you have no sense of control over, like your feelings are 'all over the place'
  • Confusion about who you are. You might feel like you change depending on who you are with, and don’t really know what your goals are or what you are feeling
  • Difficulties making and keeping stable relationships. You might also feel very worried about people leaving or abandoning you and often feel lonely. You might find that you swing between intensely liking someone to intensely disliking them
  • Self-harm and suicidal feelings
  • Acting impulsively, which means doing things without thinking them through, and behaving in ways that suggest you are escaping difficult emotions, like overeating or using drugs or alcohol
  • When very stressed you might feel paranoid or zone out.

Find out more about BPD and how CAMHS can help below.