As we mentioned previously, there are many comorbidities between BPD and other pathologies, which can sometimes be a source of erroneous diagnosis (some disorders can conceal others). Be careful, however, not to confuse certain psychiatric disorders with BPD

BPD and Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

Type 1

Criteria for a manic episode

Sharply demarcated period of at least one week in which mood is abnormally high, expansive, or irritable and of abnormally increased activity or goal-directed energy, persistently, most of the day , almost every day

Symptoms that significantly change usual behavior

  • Exaggerated self-esteem or ideas of grandeur.
  • Reduced need for sleep
  • More talkative than usual or desire to talk constantly.
  • Flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts race.
  • Distractibility reported or observed
  • Increased goal-directed activity (social, occupational, academic, or sexual) or psychomotor agitation (activity without a goal).
  • Excessive engagement in activities with high potential for harmful consequences
  • Mood disturbance resulting in marked impairment of social or occupational functioning and the presence of psychotic features
  • Episode is not due to the effects of a substance or a medical condition


Criteria for an episode of hypomania

The symptoms are the same except that the general functioning is less altered
Clearly defined period of at least 4 consecutive days
Criteria for at least one episode of mania must be met (essentially manic episodes)

Type 2

  • The criteria of at least one episode of hypomania AND at least one episode of major depression, current or past, are met.
  • No manic episode
  • The occurrence of episode(s) of hypomania and major depression is not better accounted for by schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, schizophreniform disorder, delusional disorder, or other schizophrenic spectrum disorder and another psychotic disorder.
  • Symptoms of depression or the unpredictability caused by the frequent alternation between periods of depression and hypomania cause clinically significant distress or impaired functioning in social, occupational or other important areas.


Bipolar disorder and BPD

Common Features:

  • Frequent mood swings
  • Irritability and anger
  • Impulsiveness


  • People who suffer from bipolar disorder do not have identity disturbance, emotional dependence or anxiety of abandonment and more generally difficulties in relationships, unlike those who suffer from BPD.
  • The symptoms of bipolar disorder are also differentiated by the duration of the episode (Hypo (manic) phase or high phase and depression or low phase) while in the Borderline they would be almost constant
  • Finally, mood changes (although they are common to both) appear for no reason in people who suffer from bipolar disorder, whereas they very often depend on an event for the borderline person.


BPD and depression

Depression is characterized by sadness, loss of interest and pleasure in daily activities, change in appetite or changes in weight, extreme fatigue and/or loss of energy, difficulties with sleep, self-deprecation or guilt, difficulty concentrating and recurrent suicidal ideation (symptoms present for at least two weeks).

Common characteristics

  • Depressed mood (sadness)
  • Recurrent feeling of emptiness
  • Feeling of loneliness and abandonment
  • Fatigue / loss of desire


In people with BPD, unlike people with depression, depressed mood does not last for two weeks
Due to their hypersensitivity, people with BPD are very reactive to their environment. Strong stress or a negative situation leads to the presence of symptoms similar to depression (hence the difficulty of being able to make a diagnosis sometimes, symptoms can hide others)