Borderline personality disorder : Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

Alternate Names : Personality disorder – borderline

Definition

Borderline personality disorder is a condition in which a person makes impulsive actions, and has an unstable mood and chaotic relationships.

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

Personality disorders are long-term (chronic) patterns of behavior that negatively affect relationships and work. The cause of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is unknown. People with BPD are impulsive in areas that have a potential for self-harm, such as drug use, drinking, and other risk-taking behaviors.

Risk factors for BPD include:

  • Abandonment in childhood or adolescence
  • Disrupted family life
  • Poor communication in the family
  • Sexual abuse

This personality disorder tends to occur more often in women and among hospitalized psychiatric patients.


Review Date : 10/17/2008
Reviewed By : Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Timothy A. Rogge, MD, private practice in Psychiatry, Kirkland, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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