Tag Archives: Bpd Symptoms

Borderline Personality Disorder Test

borderline personality disorder test

Controversy Surrounding The Diagnosis Of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) :

Diagnosing borderline personality disorder (BPD) is often regarded as controversial. There are several reasons for this which you can read about by clicking on the links that I provide at the bottom of this article.

The DSM V Criteria For The Diagnosis Of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) :

However, currently, borderline personality disorder is most commonly diagnosed by psychiatrists according to the criteria listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (usually referred to as DSM V and sometimes informally and, perhaps, a little disparagingly, described as ‘The Psychiatrists’ Bible).

The NINE criteria from the DSM V for the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD) are listed below. I have also created a slideshow of the nine criteria which is featured immediately below :


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1) Extreme fluctuations in emotions
2) Outbursts of explosive anger
3) Intense fear of abandonment which can lead to frantic efforts to maintain a relationship
4) Impulsive behavior
5) Self-harm (e.g. cutting skin with sharp objects, burning skin with cigarettes)
6) Unstable self-concept / weak sense of own identity
7) Chronic and profound feelings of ’emptiness’ (often leading to excessive eating/ consumption of alcohol/ illicit drug-taking etc ‘to fill the void’)
8) Dissociation (click here to read my article : Symptoms Of Dissociation – Mild And Severe)
9) Highly volatile and intense relationships

NB These symptoms must have been stable characteristics present for at least six months

AND, TO BE DIAGNOSED WITH BPD : the individual must suffer from AT LEAST FIVE of the symptoms listed. (N.B. BPD can’t be self-diagnosed – only a suitably qualified professional can make such a diagnosis).


Important Reasons Why Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnosis Is Considered By Many To Be Controversial :

As I pointed out in the introductory paragraph to this article, the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is considered by many to be controversial. In order to learn more about these controversies, you may wish to read my previously published articles relating to this which I list below. Please simply click on the titles of any of the articles you wish to read.




eBook :

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David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

Signs That A Parent May Have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is an extremely complex psychological condition. Indeed, it is not infrequently misdiagnosed as some other type of disorder, such as bipolar disorder. For these reasons there is likely to be a very large number of individuals who have the condition but are not aware of it.

And the picture is further confused by the fact that BPD often exists alongside (comorbidly) with other psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety. Furthermore, many who have the condition do not seek psychiatric help for the problem.

Of course, a formal diagnosis of BPD can only be made by an appropriately qualified professional. However, there are many signs to look out for that may suggest a parent has the disorder. It is to these that I now turn.

Signs That A Parent May Be Suffering From BPD:

The parent :

– shows little emotional or physical affection for the child.

– invalidates / ignores/ minimizes/ derides/ dismisses feelings that are important to the child (eg. ‘Why or you upset? – for god’s sake stop blubbering you little cry-baby’)

responds inconsistently to the child’s behaviour – gives the child ‘mixed messages’ (this is sometimes referred to as putting the child in a ‘DOUBLE-BIND’ .

– subjects the child to verbal cruelty – my own mother referred to me as ‘scabby’ (I self-harmed) and ‘poof’ (I was highly sensitive). Often, when I returned home from school, she would glare at me and announce, ‘Oh Christ, the little bastard’s home’. She finally kicked me out when I was thirteen)

– makes the child feel unloved / unwanted.

– expects the child to meet exacting / unobtainable standards – frequently changes expectations of the child.

– hinders the child from developing his / her own identity.

disputes child’s version / recall of events if it involves criticism of the parent.

– creates ‘role-reversal’ (i.e. the child is treated as if s/he is the parent’s parentthis is also sometimes referred to asparentificationof the child; it may include making the child take on responsibilities that are inappropriate for his/her age (for example, I frequently had to act as my mother’s personal counsellor from the age of about ten. She reinforced this by referring to me as her ‘little psychiatrist’).

– makes the child feel on-guard and defensive all the time.

over-confides in the child (e.g. provides intimate details of sex-life).

– expects the child to be the carer / provider of emotional support.

– expects child to constantly demonstrate undying loyalty and unconditional love, but DOES NOT RECIPROCATE.


Of course, such treatment as described above can have a catastrophic effect upon the child. Indeed, if the child is seriously affected, these effects can last a lifetime unless proper treatment is sought. I list some of the possible effects on the child once s/he becomes an adult below:

Possible effects on the child’s future adult life of the kind of treatment described above:

The affected person may:

– suffer severe social anxiety.

– feel inadequate, unlovable, of no value and guilty.

– have pervasive and chronic feelings of emptiness.

– feel incapable of enjoyiong him/herself (this condition is referred to by psychologists as ‘ANHEDONIA’ 

– expects always to be betrayed by others  / be deeply mistrustful of others.

– have no sense of direction in life

– have serious problems in relationships, perhaps due to ‘repetition-compulsion’ the tendency to seek out relationships in which one is abused in a way similar to how one was abused by parents (this acts on an unconscious level).

– question his/her intuition, judgment and memory as parent will not accept his/her view of his/her childhood.

have chunks of childhood missing from memory (for instance, I can remember almost nothing about what happened to me before the age of about eight years).

– have a deep rooted fear of rejection / abandonment so will not take risks with trying to form relationships.

– have a low tolerance of own mistakes / perfectionism.

It should also be noted that research shows that those of us brought up by a parent with BPD are of elevated risk of developing the condition ourselves. Currently, one of the main kinds of treatment for the condition is ‘DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOR THERAPY’ (DBT),

NB: It is worth reiterating that a formal diagnosis of BPD must be made by a professional – as I have already said, it is a very complex disorder.


Above eBook now available for immediate download from Amazon : CLICK HERE.

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) – Four Subtypes


Borderline personality disorder is frequently linked to the experience of severe childhood trauma. 

An expert on the subject of borderline personality disorder (BPD), Theodore Milton, has proposed FOUR SUBTYPES of this serious disorder. These four subtypes are :





Let’s look at each of these four subtypes in turn:


Milton describes this category of individuals as:

– pessimistic

– resentful

– complaining and critical.

– irritable and impatient.

– unpredictable.

– having a marked tendency to swing between expressing a deep need of others and pushing them away (this is known as AMBIVALENT ATTACHMENT STYLE).

– possessing a deep sense of inadequacy.

– prone to outbursts of explosive anger. 


This category of individuals have characteristics in common with those who suffer from DEPENDENT PERSONALITY DISORDER. Milton also describes those who suffer from this subtype of BPD as tending to be :

– depressive.

– prone to self-harming behaviors. 

– angry (although this can often be suppressed)


According to Milton, those individuals who fall into this category have characteristics in common with those who suffer from HISTRIONIC PERSONALITY DISORDER. They also :

– tend to have a superficial charm.

– have a marked tendency towards thrill-seeking (e.g. impulsive sex, gambling, dangerous driving etc.)

– tend to be highly attention-seeking.


Finally, Milton describes this subtype of BPD sufferers as :

– consumed by self-hatred.

– particularly prone to self-harming behaviours.

– prone to physical self-neglect.

-attracted to indulging in risky behaviors.

Other Personality Disorders May Exist Co-morbidly With BPD  :

If, as adults, we have been unfortunate enough to develop borderline personality disorder, it is quite possible that we have also developed other personality disorders that exist alongside it concurrently (or, more technically, CO-MORBIDLY).

Which Other Personality Disorders May Exist Co-morbidly With BPD?

According to Zanarini (1998) the four personality disorders that are most likely to exist simultaneously alongside (co-morbidly with) BPD are as follows :

(For those who are interested, there are eleven personality disorders in total).

The percentages given in brackets after each of the four personality disorders displayed above represent the chances of an individual having that particular personality disorder existing co-morbidly alongside his/her BPD.

Why Is It Common For These Four Personality Disorders To Exist Co-morbidly Alongside BPD?

  • Avoidant Personality Disorder : BPD sufferers are at risk of also suffering from this because, as children, they are likely to have felt threatened by, and been betrayed by, significant others leading them, as adults, to view people in general as potentially dangerous (to their emotional, or, even, physical well-being) and therefore best kept at a distance.
  • Dependent Personality Disorder : BPD sufferers are at risk of also suffering from this because they are likely to have grown up in an environment which caused them to fail to develop confidence in their own coping skills and to feel vulnerable, hopeless and helpless.
  • Paranoid Personality Disorder : BPD sufferers are at risk of also suffering from this because they are likely to have grown up being perpetually harmed by significant others and / or living with the constant fear that significant others may hurt them at any (unpredictable) moment (psychologically, physically or both).
  • Anti-social Personality Disorder : BPD sufferers are at risk of also suffering from this because, as children, they are likely to have lacked positive role models, been mistreated and abused leading to them, as adults, to have internalized few, if any,  positive values, to be distrustful, cynical, angry and resentful. Such feelings can then be projected onto society as a whole and ‘dog -eat-dog’ / ‘every-man-for-himself’ / ‘look-after-number one-because-nobody-else-will’ / ‘everyone -is-essentially-selfish-and-will-ultimately-betray-you’  and nihilistic view of the world may develop.

eBook :

Above eBook now available for immediate download from Amazon. Click here for further details.

David Hosier BSc  Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

Borderline Personality Disorder In Men

borderline personality disorder in men

The most up-to-date research shows that there are a number of differences between the symptoms of borderline personality disorder in men compared to borderline personality disorder in women.




– men with BPD are more likely than women with BPD to suffer from :

1) explosive temperaments (when this condition is pathological it is termed : INTERMITTENT EXPLOSIVE DISORDER, or I.E.D. – click here to read an article that I previously published on this site about I.E.D.)

2) abuse of alcohol/illicit drugs

3) anti-social personality

4) sadistic tendencies

5) paranoia

6) passive-aggressive behaviours

7) narcissism

– women with BPD are more likely than men with BPD to suffer from :

1) eating disorders

2) mood disorders

3) anxiety

4) post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

As can be seen by reviewing the above two lists, men tend to become more anti-social if they have BPD than women ; as a consequence of this, men with BPD are more likely to go to prison than women with BPD (although this is also true of the general population who do not have BPD, of course, which, in my view, confuses the picture somewhat).


1) research shows that there does not appear to be a significant difference between men and women in terms of the mental pain, anguish and distress they suffer as a result of their condition

2) levels of self-harm, too, seem to be about equal amongst men and women who suffer from BPD


Whilst both men and women utilize mental health services about equally, it has been found that men are more likely to seek treatment for substance misuse whereas women are more likely seek psychotherapy and take medication.


Until recently it was thought that women were about 3 times more likely to suffer from BPD than men. However, the most up-to-date research suggests men and women are EQUALLY likely to suffer from the condition.

bpd ebook


Above eBook now available on Amazon for immediate download. $4.99. CLICK HERE.

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE)

Latest Research Leads to New List Of Main Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Symptoms: The List

Main Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms :

Recent research has led to an expansion of the description of the main borderline personality disorder (BPD) symptoms. Following the development of the Sheldern Western Assessment Procedure 200 (an assessment tool which includes 200 questions that aid in the diagnosis of BPD) experts, based on up-to-date research, have now developed a much more detailed and comprehensive list of symptoms of BPD than used to be the case.

The list is published in a book by Patrick Kelly and Francis Mondimore -called Borderline Personality DisorderNew Reasons For Hope – who are experts in the field of BPD. I reproduce the list of symptoms in full below:


FULL OF PAINFUL AND UNCOMFORTABLE EMOTIONS : unhappiness, depression, despondency, anxiety, anger, hostility.

INABILITY TO REGULATE EMOTIONS : emotions change rapidly and unpredictably; emotions tend to spiral out of control leading to extremes in feelings of anxiety, sadness, rage, excitement; inability to self-soothe when distressed so requires involvement of others ; tends to catastrophize and see problems as unsolvable disasters ; tends to become irrational when emotions stirred up which can lead to a drop in the normal level of functioning ; tends to act impulsively without regard for the consequences

BECOMES EMOTIONALLY ATTACHED TO OTHERS QUICKLY AND INTENSELY : develops feelings and expectations of others not warranted by history or context of the relationship ; expects to be abandoned by those s/he is emotionally close to ; feels misunderstood, mistreated and victimized ; simultaneously needy and rejecting of others (craves intimacy and caring but tends to reject it when it is offered) ; interpersonal relationships unstable, chaotic and rapidly changing.

DAMAGED SENSE OF SELF : lacks stable self-image ; attitudes, values, goals and feelings about self may be unstable and changing ; feels inadequate, inferior and like a failure ; feels empty ; feels helpless, powerless and at mercy of outside forces ; feels like an outsider who does not belong ; overly needy and dependent ; needs excessive reassurance and approval.


eBook :

borderline personality disorder


Above eBooks now available for immediate download on Amazon. CLICK HERE.

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).