The Signs and Symptoms of Borderline Personality DisorderAs with most mental health concerns, BPD symptoms can vary in severity between individuals. With so many different layers to BPD, mental health professionals use a system that includes nine categories of BPD signs to help them get to a diagnosis. Teens should show symptoms that fall into at least five of these nine categories. Without an accurate diagnosis, it’ll be challenging to help your teen get the right type of treatment that he needs. Borderline personality disorder impacts how the person feels about themselves and how they relate to loved ones and others in their lives, and it also affects behaviors. Some of the symptoms of borderline personality disorder include the following:
- An overwhelming and intense fear of being abandoned. Teens may go to measures considered extreme to stop feeling that they are going to be rejected or abandoned. Whether real or not, it’s genuine to a teen with BPD.
- A pattern of relationships that are intense and unstable. Teens may speak highly of someone and then quickly believe that this person, whether family, friend, or partner, doesn’t care about them anymore. It can be overwhelming and confusing for everyone around the person with BPD.
- Shifting and rapid self-image changes. Teens may believe they look great one moment and, the next, see themselves as inadequate or unattractive. They may speak out about how they feel ugly or invisible.
- Paranoia can become more intense during stressful times. It may also be accompanied by feelings of losing a connection to reality. Dissociation is a coping mechanism seen in several mental health disorders.
- Impulsive behavior that is out of character and leans into being risky. Teens may binge eat, take drugs, abuse alcohol, drive recklessly, engage in unsafe sex, or otherwise positive end relationships. This pattern of impulse behavior can follow them into adulthood and even see them quitting a good job or sabotaging themselves in other ways.
- Self-harm or suicidal threats. This may be related to depression or a response to feeling rejected or abandoned.
- Rapidly changing mood swings could last a few hours or days. They may include shame, anxiety, anger, irritability, or intense happiness.
- Feelings of emptiness or describing feeling a void inside of them. They may try to overindulge in some areas of their life to fill that empty void, but it won’t produce long-lasting results.
- Intense anger, which may not even be appropriate for the situation that they are in. Teens may have a short fuse and lose their temper rapidly. Not all will be physically violent, but it’s not unusual to see BPD symptoms such as yelling, arguing, throwing things, or getting into physical fights with others.