“It’s not the same persistent mood state you’d see in someone with bipolar, characterized characterized by severe manic or depressed episodes that can last for weeks or longer,” says Dr. Instead, BPD moods change rapidly, and are often triggered by overreactions to external events.For example, if a colleague was too preoccupied to say hello in the hallway, someone with BPD might suddenly become extremely agitated, says Dr. “Small things that wouldn’t even occur to other people to take personally are completely overreacted to and internalized.” It’s common for people with BPD to react in a way that seems exaggerated or disproportional to an event.
As a result of this heightened anxiety, people with borderline may express their emotions in explosive, inappropriate ways.
The fear of being alone, rejected, or abandoned is a telling sign of BPD.
Of the 10 personality disorders (which include obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), paranoid personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder) borderline personality disorder (BPD) tends to be the most misunderstood.
The disorder's name alone is enough to spark confusion, since "borderline" seems to imply that BPD is not a full-blown problem.
BPD is frequently misdiagnosed as chronic depression.
Though depression is common in people who have BPD, their symptoms tend to manifest a little differently.RELATED: 30 Signs You're In a Toxic Relationship We all get anxious from time to time, but for those with BPD, anxiety is all consuming, characterized by intense feelings of nervousness, tenseness, or panic.These emotions often arise as a hypersensitive response to other people’s actions, says Dr. People with BPD have an extreme desire to be needed and liked, and it can be debilitating.That stat may seem small, but probably fails to represent the entire BPD population, says Behary.BPD can be difficult to diagnose because many of the symptoms overlap with other mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar, and narcissistic personality disorder. “At one end there’s a very low-functioning individual, who can barely manage day-to-day life, and at the other is someone who’s very high functioning,” Behary says.It can be easy to joke around about mental disorders: "I'm really OCD about keeping my house clean." Or, "Ugh, her mood swings are so bad; is she bipolar?