Borderline personality disorder is a serious mental illness that has a major impact on how patients view themselves and those around them. It causes a great deal of distress and difficulties with functioning in day-to-day life. This personality disorder comes with patterns of unstable relationships, extreme emotions, impulsive behaviors, and a distorted sense of self. Patients with borderline personality disorder tend to have strong fears of instability and abandonment, and they may have a hard time with solitude. At the same time, they may experience inappropriate anger and emotions toward those around them, which can make it difficult to maintain relationships. The turbulence in relationships can increase the fear of being abandoned, and the fear of abandonment can increase the heightened emotional reactions in a vicious cycle. Borderline personality disorder can be treated, and many with the disorder have healthy and satisfying lives.
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Extreme Mood Swings
One of borderline personality disorder's most defining characteristics is extreme mood swings. Patients with this condition may sometimes be mistakenly diagnosed with bipolar disorder or another mood disorder. However, the emotions in bipolar disorder tend to present differently. Bipolar disorder patient experience highs and lows over long periods. Even rapid-cycling bipolar involves mood changes over weeks, rather than hours. Meanwhile, individuals with borderline personality disorder may swing wildly from one mood to another over the course of just one conversation. They may lash out with seemingly-unprovoked anger, then be giddy within the hour, and then have a serious downturn in emotions again. Borderline personality disorder can cause patients to experience their emotions as extreme highs and lows. Environmental triggers that would usually cause stress instead cause extreme depression or upset, conflict results in uncontrollable rage, and even positive emotions can be heightened to the point of impulsive behavior.
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