BPD; Often diagnosed among women, it is a controversial mental health diagnosis. Borderlines are characterized by stormy, short-lived, and unstable relationships – matched by wildly fluctuating (labile) self-image and emotional expression (affect). They are impulsive and reckless – their sexual conduct is frequently unsafe, they binge eat, gamble, drive, and shop carelessly, and are substance abusers. They also display self-destructive and self-defeating behaviors, such as suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, gestures, or threats, and self-mutilation or self-injury.
The specter of abandonment provokes anxiety in the Borderline. They make frantic – and, usually, counterproductive – efforts to preempt or prevent it Clinging, codependent acts are followed by idealization and then by an abrupt devaluation of the Borderline’s partner.
Borderlines have pronounced mood swings, shifting between dysphoria (sadness or depression) and euphoria, manic self-confidence and paralyzing anxiety, irritability and indifference. They are often angry and violent, usually getting into physical fights, throw temper tantrums, and have frightening rage attacks.
Under stress, some Borderlines become briefly psychotic (psychotic micro-episodes), or develop transient paranoid ideation and ideas of reference (the erroneous conviction that one is the focus of derision and malicious gossip). Dissociative symptoms are not uncommon (“losing” stretches of time, or objects, and forgetting events or facts with emotional content).