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Borderline Personality Disorder: Misunderstood, Misdiagnosed

At some points in many of our lives we may find it difficult managing our emotions and behavior. Finding the proper cause may be elusive. In some cases, emotional control may be regained in time. In other cases, trouble may persist and become a real impediment to making healthy life choices.

“While some persons with BPD are high functioning in certain settings, their private lives may be in turmoil. Most people who have BPD suffer from problems regulating their emotions and thoughts, impulsive and sometimes reckless behavior, and unstable relationships

Other disorders, such as depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse and other personality disorders can often exist along with BPD.

The diagnosis of BPD is frequently missed and a misdiagnosis of BPD has been shown to delay and/or prevent recovery”. (National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder)

Dr. Dryden-Edwards, “Socially, this disorder predisposes sufferers to developing insecurity, to be more likely to excessively expect to be criticized or rejected and negatively personalize disinterest or inattention from others. These tendencies result in BPD sufferers having significantly impaired social relationships”. (Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD,. MedicineNet)


“People with BPD may experience extreme mood swings and can display uncertainty about who they are. As a result, their interests and values can change rapidly.

Symptoms include:

  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
  • A pattern of intense and unstable relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, often swinging from extreme closeness and love (idealization) to extreme dislike or anger (devaluation)
  • Distorted and unstable self-image or sense of self
  • Impulsive and often dangerous behaviors, such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, and binge eating
  • Recurring suicidal behaviors or threats or self-harming behavior, such as cutting
  • Intense and highly changeable moods, with each episode lasting from a few hours to a few days
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Inappropriate, intense anger or problems controlling anger
  • Having stress-related paranoid thoughts
  • Having severe dissociative symptoms, such as feeling cut off from oneself, observing oneself from outside the body, or losing touch with reality

Seemingly ordinary events may trigger symptoms. For example, people with BPD may feel angry and distressed over minor separations; such as vacations, business trips, or sudden changes of plans——from people to whom they feel close”. (National Institute of Mental Health (nimh) National Institute of Health (.nih), borderline-personality-disorder)

We at Counseling on Demand recognize the difficulty of BPD diagnosis. For your own well-being, it is important that you see a trusted mental health professional for assessment and therapy; further, if you feel you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It is a free, 24-hour hotline, at 1.800.273.TALK (8255). Your call will be connected to the crisis center nearest to you. If you are in an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. Counseling on Demand does not offer crisis counseling or emergency services

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I am the Founder and CEO of Counseling On Demand with a Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy with over 25 years of experience in helping Individuals, Couples, Adolescents, and Families who struggle with a wide variety of Life's Challenges. I thus have developed an Array of Effective Counseling Tools and Evidenced-Based Interventions to help you towards Your Road to Better Mental Health and Wellness. You are Never Alone...I look forward to meeting with you or your family member soon!