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Borderline personality disorder

  • Definition

    Borderline personality disorder is a condition in which people have long-term patterns of unstable or turbulent emotions, such as feelings about themselves and others.

    These inner experiences often cause them to take impulsive actions and have chaotic relationships.


    Alternative Names

    Personality disorder - borderline


    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    The causes of borderline personality disorder (BPD) are unknown. Genetic, family, and social factors are thought to play roles.

    Risk factors for BPD include:

    • Abandonment in childhood or adolescence
    • Disrupted family life
    • Poor communication in the family
    • Sexual abuse

    This personality disorder tends to occur more often in women and among hospitalized psychiatric patients.