Psychological Theories

Borderline Personality Disorder: Causes, Effects and Solutions

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental health condition characterized by intense and unstable emotions, impulsive behavior, unstable self-image, and troubled relationships with others.

Individuals with BPD may experience a range of intense emotions such as anger, anxiety, and depression that can be triggered by everyday events and last for hours or days.

People with BPD may also engage in impulsive behaviors such as substance abuse, binge eating, reckless driving, and risky sexual behavior.

They may also have difficulty with self-image, identity, and sense of self, leading to feelings of emptiness, boredom, and a lack of purpose in life.


In addition, individuals with BPD may have difficulty forming and maintaining stable relationships, often experiencing intense and stormy relationships with family members, friends, and romantic partners.

BPD can be a challenging condition to diagnose and treat, but with the right treatment, including therapy and medication, many individuals with BPD can lead fulfilling lives.

What are the Causes of BPD?

The exact causes of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are not fully understood, but research suggests that a combination of biological, environmental, and psychological factors may play a role.

Some of the factors that may contribute to the development of BPD include:

Genetics: BPD tends to run in families, and studies have suggested that there may be genetic factors involved in the development of the condition.

Brain Chemistry and Structure: Some studies have suggested that abnormalities in certain areas of the brain and imbalances in neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that help regulate mood and behavior, may contribute to the development of BPD.

Childhood Trauma: Many individuals with BPD report experiencing childhood trauma, such as physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, neglect, or separation from caregivers. Trauma during childhood may disrupt the development of emotional regulation skills and lead to a heightened sensitivity to emotional experiences.

Invalidating Environments: Invalidating environments are characterized by a lack of emotional validation and support, with emotional expression being minimized, ignored, or punished. Growing up in an invalidating environment can contribute to the development of BPD.


Personality and Temperament: Some research suggests that certain personality traits and temperament, such as impulsivity and emotional sensitivity, may increase the risk of developing BPD.

What are the effects of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) on Personal and Professional lives?

Personal Effects

Relationships: Individuals with BPD may struggle with maintaining stable and healthy relationships due to their intense emotions and fear of abandonment. They may experience frequent arguments, breakups, and difficulties in establishing trust with others.

Self-Image: People with BPD may struggle with their sense of self and self-worth. They may experience feelings of emptiness, lack of purpose, and identity disturbance.

Emotional Instability: Individuals with BPD often experience intense and rapidly changing emotions, which can lead to impulsive behavior, self-harm, and suicidal ideation.

Isolation: Due to their difficulties in relationships, individuals with BPD may feel isolated and alone, leading to a decreased quality of life.

Professional Effects

Difficulty with Work Relationships: Individuals with BPD may struggle with maintaining professional relationships due to their emotional instability and impulsivity, which can lead to conflicts and misunderstandings with colleagues and supervisors.


Impulsive Behavior: People with BPD may engage in impulsive behavior at work, such as quitting a job impulsively or making reckless decisions.

Absenteeism and Poor Performance: BPD symptoms may interfere with an individual’s ability to attend work regularly and perform their job duties, leading to absenteeism and poor work performance.

How to overcome Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a complex mental health condition, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to overcoming it. However, with the right treatment and support, many individuals with BPD can learn to manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives. Here are some strategies that may be helpful:

Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy is an essential component of BPD treatment. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Schema Therapy are two types of therapy that have been shown to be effective in treating BPD. Therapy can help individuals learn skills to manage their emotions, improve relationships, and develop a sense of self.

Medication: Medication can be used in combination with therapy to help manage symptoms of BPD. Antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotic medications may be prescribed.

Self-Care: Practicing self-care can help individuals with BPD manage their symptoms. This may include getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and engaging in activities that bring joy.

Support Groups: Joining a support group for BPD can provide individuals with a sense of community and understanding. It can also help individuals learn from others’ experiences and develop coping strategies.

Mindfulness and Meditation: Mindfulness and meditation practices can help individuals with BPD manage their emotions and reduce stress. Mindfulness can help individuals become more aware of their thoughts and feelings and develop a sense of acceptance and non-judgment.

In Short

  • Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a complex mental health condition that can have significant effects on both personal and professional lives.
  • The causes of BPD are not fully understood, but research suggests that a combination of biological, environmental, and psychological factors may play a role.
  • The personal effects of BPD include difficulties with relationships, self-image, emotional instability, and isolation.
  • The professional effects of BPD include difficulty with work relationships, impulsive behavior, absenteeism, and poor performance.
  • Treatment options for BPD may include psychotherapy, medication, self-care, support groups, mindfulness, and meditation.
  • With the right treatment and support, many individuals with BPD can learn to manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.
7 sources
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  3. National Institute of Mental Health. (2021). Borderline personality disorder.
  4. Paris, J. (2005). The treatment of borderline personality disorder: Implications of research on diagnosis, etiology, and outcome. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 1, 277-307.
  5. Perry, J. C., & Bond, M. (2012). Empirical studies of psychoanalytic therapies: A critical review. World Psychiatry, 11(2), 137-150.
  6. Linehan, M. M., Comtois, K. A., Murray, A. M., Brown, M. Z., Gallop, R. J., Heard, H. L., … & Lindenboim, N. (2006). Two-year randomized controlled trial and follow-up of dialectical behavior therapy vs therapy by experts for suicidal behaviors and borderline personality disorder. Archives of General Psychiatry, 63(7), 757-766.
  7. Stoffers-Winterling, J., Tschorn, M., & Kiefer, M. (2019). Pharmacotherapy of borderline personality disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, 116(40), 681-688.


Marissa Stovall

Author, Psychosocial Rehabilitation Specialist, Educator 📚 Expertise in Psychology, Child Psychology, Personality, and Research More »

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