Due to the plurality of symptoms and its associated comorbidities (depression, generalized anxiety, addiction, emotional dependence, etc.), the diagnosis of BPD is often difficult to make. However, we find central characteristics such as instabilities in interpersonal relationships, emotional lability, marked impulsivity and risky behavior.
Only a health professional is likely to be able to make a diagnosis.
The DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, American Psychiatric Association) offers nine diagnostic criteria, five of which must at least manifest (be present):
- Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
- Unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between the extremes of idealization and devaluation.
- Identity Disturbance: Marked and persistent instability of self-image or self-concept.
- Impulsivity in at least two areas with self-destructive potential (eg, spending, sexuality, substance abuse, dangerous driving, bulimia).
- Recurring suicidal or self-harming behavior, gestures or threats.
- Affective instability caused by marked mood reactivity (e.g. intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety that usually lasts a few hours and rarely more than a few days).
- Chronic feelings of emptiness.
- Inappropriate and intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g. frequent mood swings, constant anger, recurring fights).
- Transient thoughts of persecution or severe dissociative symptoms under stress.
In their book entitled “the borderlines” (Odile Jacob ed. January 2012), Professor Bernard Granger and Daria Karaklic (Doctor in Psychology) highlight the beneficial effect of an adapted therapeutic follow-up as a key factor in healing. Indeed, this disorder can be overcome with an effective treatment (regular therapeutic follow-up and sometimes recommended medication). In this book, the authors clearly explain what defines borderline personality disorder and insist on the fact that one cannot cope with it alone.