You might be described as having a 'personality disorder' if your personality traits cause regular, long-term problems in the way you cope with life. It may also impact on how you interact with other people and respond emotionally. There is varied opinion around borderline personality disorder (BPD) though, as well as misunderstanding, stigma and discrimination – even among professionals. This can make it harder for people to get the support they might need.

What is borderline personality disorder?

"I hate having BPD, but it was a relief to eventually discover that it's the reason for such a bizarre and incapacitating range of symptoms.” (Anonymous) My BDP diagnosis and my friends reaction

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is one of the most widely recognised personality disorders, though it is still thought to affect less than one per cent of the population.

BPD symptoms might include strong emotions, rapid changes in feelings and moods, difficulties in controlling certain impulses, poor self image, feelings of not fitting or belonging, and a deep sense of emptiness and isolation. All of these things can make social relationships challenging.

Someone with BPD might go to extreme lengths to prevent feelings of abandonment. They might feel tempted to harm themselves if emotions become hard to cope with or express, and might also experience delusions or hallucinations

Find out more about symptoms, treatments and tips for managing it on the NHSRethink Mental Illness and Mind websites.

Supporting someone you know

Mental health problems are common, but nearly nine in ten people who have these experiences say they face stigma and discrimination as a result.

Being judged and isolated can be harder than the mental health problem itself. And without support from those around them, people with mental health problems can lose what they care about most: their job, their family and friends, their home.

Having a mate in your corner can make all the difference.

Personal blogs about living with BPD

Do you want to find out more about borderline personality disorder? Read blogs and personal stories from people who have experienced BPD. By talking openly, our bloggers hope to increase understanding around mental health, break down stereotypes and take the taboo out of something that – like physical health – affects us all.

Personal stories about personality disorders

We have 77 stories on personality disorders