Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today


Borderline Personality Disorder: Big Changes in the DSM-5

Diagnosis spotlights instability in self-regulation and social function.

Personality disorders are stable patterns of behaving and thinking that emerge in early adulthood. DSM-5 enumerates 10 distinct personality disorders, of which borderline personality disorder is one.

The core features of borderline personality disorder include emotion dysregulation, impulsivity, and interpersonal dysfunction.

According to the DSM-5, borderline personality disorder is characterized by:

Pervasive instability of social relationships, elf-image, and emotions; marked impulsivity beginning in early adulthood and present in at least five of the following contexts:

• Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment, reflecting intolerance to be alone

• Unstable and intense relationships marked by abrupt and extreme shifts between idealization and devaluation

* Identity disturbance, seen in an unstable self-image or sense of self

• Impulsivity that is potentially self-damaging in at least two of the following areas—spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating

• Recurrent suicidal gestures or threats, or self-mutilation

• Marked mood reactivity

• Chronic feelings of emptiness

• Frequent displays of inappropriate or intense anger

Stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.

Copyright 2011 Sarkis Media LLC

More from Stephanie A. Sarkis Ph.D.
More from Psychology Today