How Do I Know If I Have Borderline Personality Disorder?

My wife thinks I have borderline personality disorder. What is it and how do i know if i have it?

Well, there is a lot of debate and controversy surrounding that question. It may sound like pop psychology to some, but borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a real mental illness — one of 10 different types of personality disorders.

It is defined in the standard text Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, or DSM, according to its nine basic characteristics. The DSM says a person must possess five of these to be diagnosed with BPD. But that is not all. The traits must be demonstrated in a way that is pronounced, extreme and long-lasting.

A few of the symptoms are:

  • a roller coaster ride of emotional extremes with regard to relationships
  • mood swings
  • behavioral excesses or impulsiveness, such as with drugs, alcohol, sex, money, food, etc.
  • suicidal thoughts
  • self-mutilation

Not to challenge your wife’s insights, but this is a disorder that is often misunderstood. That is partly because most healthy people display some degree of these symptoms. But BPD can be treated, so if you feel that you may have this or some other mental illness, seek the help of a mental health professional.

The information provided on Health Search Online is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.