"I have learned that people will forget what you said; people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
"Live as if your were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and be vibrantly alive in repose."
A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.
Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.
Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in.
Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior.
affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).
Chronic feelings of emptiness.
Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).
Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.
The individual is at least age 18 years.
There is evidence of Conduct Disorder with onset before age 15 years.
The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during the course of Schizophrenia or a Manic Episode.
Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder may have a pattern of undermining themselves at the moment a goal is about to be realized (e.g., dropping out of school just before graduation; regressing severely after a discussion of how well therapy is going; destroying a good relationship just when it is clear that the relationship could last). Some individuals develop psychotic-like symptoms (e.g., hallucinations, body-image distortions, ideas of reference, and hypnagogic phenomena) during times of stress. Individuals with this disorder may feel more secure with transitional objects (i.e., a pet or inanimate possession) than in interpersonal relationships.
Premature death from suicide may occur in individuals with this disorder, especially in those with co-occurring Mood Disorders or Substance-Related Disorders. Physical handicaps may result from self-inflicted abuse behaviors or failed suicide attempts. Recurrent job losses, interrupted education, and broken marriages are common. Physical and sexual abuse, neglect, hostile conflict, and early parental loss or separation are more common in the childhood histories of those with Borderline Personality Disorder. Common co-occurring Axis I disorders include Mood Disorders, Substance-Related Disorders, Eating Disorders (notably Bulimia), Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) , and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Borderline Personality Disorder also frequently co-occurs with the other Personality Disorders.
There is considerable variability in the course of Borderline Personality Disorder. The most common pattern is one of chronic instability in early adulthood, with episodes of serious affective and impulsive dyscontrol and high levels of use of health and mental health resources. The impairment from the disorder and the risk of suicide are greatest in the young-adult years and gradually wane with advancing age.
Although the tendency toward intense emotions, impulsivity, and intensity in relationships is often lifelong, individuals who engage in therapeutic intervention often show improvement beginning sometime during the first year. During their 30s and 40s, the majority of individuals with this disorder attain greater stability in their relationships and vocational functioning. Follow-up studies of individuals identified through outpatient mental health clinics indicate that after about 10 years, as many as half of the individuals no longer have a pattern of behavior that meets full criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder.
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.