Borderline Personality Disorder in Adults

ICD-10 code: F60.3

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is part of a cluster of diagnoses called the personality disorders.  Personality disorders are a group of psychiatric conditions that are characterized by enduring (long-term) patterns of inner experience and behavior that are significantly different from the experiences or behaviors of most other individuals in the patient's culture.  These patterns are pervasive (stable over time), inflexible, have an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, and lead to distress or impairment.

What is borderline personality disorder?

BPD is a psychiatric disorder that affects approximately 1 - 6% of adults.  BPD is characterized by a pattern of impulsivity and instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affect, as indicated by five or more of the following symptoms:

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Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder

BPD severity can range from mild to debilitating.  In severe cases, BPD can lead to severely impaired functioning at work or school and an inability to maintain successful interpersonal relationships.  Self-injurious behaviors can lead to medical complications.  Risk of attempted and completed suicide is elevated among individuals with this disorder.


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How is borderline personality disorder treated?

BPD is treatable.  Published treatment guidelines for BPD include those from the American Psychiatric Association, the Society of Clinical Psychology, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The first step in treating BPD is careful assessment to determine the appropriate level of care.

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