Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by pervasive instability in moods, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and behavior. This instability often disrupts family and work life, long-term planning, and an individual's sense of identity.
People with BPD, originally thought to be at the "border" of psychosis and neurosis, suffer from difficulties with emotion regulation. While less well known than schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, BPD affects 2 percent of adults. People with BPD exhibit high rates of self-injurious behavior, such as cutting and elevated rates of attempted and completed suicide. Impairment from BPD and suicide risk are greatest in the young-adult years and tend to decrease with age. BPD is more common in women than in men, with 75 percent of cases diagnosed among women.
People with borderline personality disorder often need extensive mental health services and account for 20 percent of psychiatric hospitalizations. Yet, with help, the majority stabilize and lead productive lives.